Where we go wrong however begins right there: instead of making what has come up in the body a point of recognition, we instantly begin coming up with the solution or answer that will solve the problem, or in other words, we go outward first to:
- Join a gym
- Stop eating chocolate
- Eat healthy
- Find a new job
- Start writing to do lists
- Go to bed earlier
- Speak up more… and so on
We know from experience that actually making changes to our lifestyle for a day or two is easy, but when it comes to sustaining the effort, not so. We generally last a short time before we find ourselves falling back into old habits, feeling disheartened and defeated when it comes to our ability to change what we know we need to.
In fact, our usual strategy to find the solution or quick fix is actually destined to fail.
And so… the real answer is that we must go inward first when we seek to make change, so that the root system of the weed is exposed, understood and unearthed for what it is. The understanding that results leaves us free to make a choice, based on a newfound awareness of everything that contributes to the unwanted behaviour or choice in the first place.
Here is a basic guideline, which we can apply, to support this process of unearthing what doesn’t belong in our lives and make sustainable changes - not just from ground level, but from the roots up.
Our starting point must be to bring the greatest level of HONESTY to ourselves as we can. We can do this through self-reflection, or discussing the following with someone we trust:
- When do you find yourself feeling impulsed to do it?
- Where are you when you do it? Who is around you?
- What sort of situations trigger you to repeat it?
- What are you aware of feeling before and after you find yourself doing it?
- How long has it been happening? When did it first become a pattern?
- What are its perceived benefits?
- What are its consequences?
- What does your body communicate about this behaviour? What symptoms or signs do you experience as a result?
- How would you feel if you didn’t do it?
This process of honest self-reflection can support you to deal with life’s intensity, as it offers how you can go about making lifestyle changes that you can sustain. This allows you to build a new foundation of self-care, enabling you to maintain a greater level of vitality, energy, awareness and therefore capacity to cope with life’s intensity and demands.