“Before you try to change others, remember how hard it is to change yourself.” Bill Bluestein
Covid-19 has certainly sorted us out. Those of us who always work from home anyway and nothing much has changed; those of us who have had to bring our business home, our kids and their schoolwork home and our partners trying to work from home as well, creating a stressful chaotic time; those of us who have decided to make the most of the stay home enforcement and spent time in nature, doing the yoga provided on TV, and generally spending time looking inwards. Whatever our circumstances there may have been things that have cropped up, that boldly stare us in the face and tell us it is time to change.
When looking at the conscious and subconscious minds the conscious part is like the piece of iceberg above the water. It is with the conscious or intellectual mind that we make our New Year’s resolution or other statements from our will. However the subconscious is the part under the water that actually controls everything we do. It remembers everything we have done and said. It wants to keep us safe from repeating things it sees as a mistake or failure from our past. So when we try to work on a new habit it keeps telling us there is no point because we messed up last time, or whatever your story is. We may need to look beyond the obvious when we have difficulty changing some of those habits. E.g. eating too much, smoking!
Recognizing those unhelpful or limiting beliefs are there, and that they no longer hold true, starts us on the road to making the changes we really want to make. We probably have our work cut out to spend that time on ourselves rather than focusing on the habits of our closest and dearest. Before thinking about what needs to be changed in others it may pay to take a long hard look in the mirror.
It may also be helpful to realize, that what we have noticed in others, is probably something we would recognize in ourselves if we turned the attention inwards. And strange as it may seem, if we make those changes within ourselves what then is reflected back to us has changed. Which takes me back to the quote I have on my website, “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”
Enjoy making the necessary changes in yourself!
“Even better than ceaselessly pushing that boulder to the top of the mountain, is letting go of what you no longer need to carry.” Author unknown
Sometimes we cling on to a situation we really don’t like, because it is familiar & it is too scary to take a step into the new direction. We fear the unknown more than a future in a life that is not nurturing the development of our life’s purpose. A life that is frustrating, because we keep repeating the same job, the same relationships, the same mindless activities & we’re not living with the passion we were born with. Pretty much everything that aggravates us is something we are free to leave behind if we choose to. And now is a time a lot of us are having to make the change, we no longer have the choice, it has been forced on us. Unfortunately you may not feel you can get support from others around you because we are all going through some form of discomfort, upheaval, cr..!
So now may be the time that the universe is asking you to step up, to do something maybe you have been wanting to do for a while but haven’t chosen to do that YET! I was hearing yesterday that it took an acquaintance to be electrocuted to jolt her into the reality of her situation. She hasn’t looked back. Once we are through whatever and we look back we realise that whatever that horrible situation called us to do has actually been one of the best things that happened to us – they say hindsight is a great thing.
But maybe Covid hasn’t changed a lot physically, maybe it has changed your thinking or your perception of the parts of your life that you unhappy to stay in and you want to let go of. If you’re struggling with a goal, a job or relationship it could be a sign that you’re being called to make new choices & head in a new direction. I think back to when my children were small. They often got cranky just before they made the next milestone. Have you heard the phrase, “Whatever you resist, persists?” What is it going to take, to let go of your past beliefs that are holding you back, causing you anxieties & fears?
So what can you let go of to lighten your load?
Enjoy lightening the load!
“You only have control over three things in your life – the thoughts you think, the images you visualize and the actions you take. And how you use those three things determines everything you experience.” Jack Canfield, Author and Speaker.
Most of us have heard of the quote that says we become what we think about or what we focus on most of the time. The thoughts we have, cause us to feel a certain way and those feelings in turn cause us to act in a certain way and become the results of our lives. This then can become like an endless circle and unless we break the cycle at the thought stage it will be pretty much impossible to alter our feelings and actions. If you watch someone’s behaviour you can work out what they have been thinking. And what we are thinking now affects the future. At the moment a lot of people have been feeling fear and anxiety about what is going on in the world. The fear can be about the basics of life – having to walk closer to someone than we’ve been told is safe. But usually we consider that fear is about the future. So if we do walk too close to someone what could happen down the track if they pass on some infection to me? Unless we do something to change it, that low grade anxiety can hum along and affect our ability to think clearly or make good decisions. The other major emotion that is affecting a lot of people is grief. Grief is not only about ‘loosing’ a person, it can be about the loss of our job, our connection with other human beings, especially family and friends or it could be about the loss of our way of life as we have known it.
We have the choice about the thoughts and emotions we have, and we can choose to change them at any given moment and therefore change the outcome of our feelings and actions. If you are feeling low, you are the only person responsible for that. Yes something may be going on around us that we are blaming but we can choose to not allow ourselves to get sucked into that negative vortex. So often those low thoughts are not truths, so ask yourself is it worth thinking them if they are going to make you feel so blue. I have talked before about energy levels that we are broadcasting out to the world. Those vibrations are going to depend on how you are feeling in that moment. None of us knows what is going to happen in the future so why not think hopeful optimistic thoughts rather than the low energy thoughts. Just think how much better you could feel if you didn’t think those particular low energy thoughts.
Enjoy changing the gears of your thoughts!
“The brain is designed for one purpose: to get whatever it needs from the environment to grow stronger and bigger. And that is not a definition of happiness, it is a definition of wealth.” Mark Waldman
Mark is a neuroscientist, researching all the time to find out how our brains work and why that is important. Information that we were given 10-20 years ago is being re-written. We have much better tools for testing, including functional MRI. We can see in real time what is lighting up in different areas of the brain when certain emotions are felt or when certain words are said. Years ago I had an aversion to the word ‘faith’ because of its connection to organised religion. And I have spoken to others who feel the same way. We all have choices to decide how we are going to handle that discomfort we feel when others use a word that has such deep connections. Last week I was talking in a group who were on the same training as I was as we worked towards certification in Conversational Intelligence coaching. At the moment I’m hearing the word ‘hope’ a lot so I asked the group what their take was in the difference between hope and faith. We all agreed that hope was more like wishing whereas faith gave more of a sense of certainty.
One of the other women has also had an aversion to the word faith. I had worked through my discomfort by accepting that the word faith didn’t really have anything to do with religion as such and I was reminded of a quote, “faith is the sound that the song bird makes before the dawn.” The other women has virtually taken the word faith out of her vocabulary and replaced it with trust. We know from our training that trust is experienced in the front part of the brain where we can see the big picture, where we make decisions, where there are mirror neurons that cause us to feel empathy for others and where the hormone oxytocin is produced. However distrust is in the part of the brain that has the stress response and it puts out cortisol that shuts down the part of the brain that houses TRUST.
Why is this important? I feel our new world is about connection more than ever and most of us have felt the truth of that while ‘hiding’ in our bubbles. We have had to get creative to find ways to make those connections we feel are worth continuing. And this trust part of the brain needs to be firing for us to make meaningful connections, the hugging hormone oxytocin needs to be flowing, for some more than others depending on the type of person we have biologically been born into this world to be. No 2 people have the same reasons to find happiness or wealth – and this doesn’t have to mean money, there are so many ways to feel wealthy. Let’s acknowledge that, be grateful for that and shore up those connections that make us feel happy and wealthy with TRUST!
Enjoy the choices you are making as the world turns on its head!