There’s a part of us wants to keep things exactly the way they are…
Each Monday morning we do a short Facebook Live on our Eat Move Live 52 page. It’s a way for us to keep the conversation between readers and students, and meet new people who are on the path of wellbeing and self-care.
If our sharing helps you – great – that’s why we do what we do – we love to see people feel better! To all of you who watch and share those short videos – thank you!
Three Ways We Avoid Making Change
This Monday we talked about three ways we avoid making change – procrastination, denial, and disembodiment.
In stepping forward to what we want, we often forget that while one part of us can see and feel into a different future, another part of us wants to keep things exactly as they are (I know, shocking!). It becomes doubly complicated when the part that wants the change works for the bad guys (more on self-sabotage here).
Even when motivation is pristinely clear, such as: “I have a condition that requires a lifestyle change, as well as following my doctor’s advice”, we may find ourselves stuck in the past, living the same uncomfortable life and suffering the painful erosion of self-respect and self-confidence instead of doing what’s being asked of a healthier future.
By observing your own patterns of avoidance, you can become a better detective and loosen these unconscious drives, so they no longer yield such power over you. When you can see yourself as a whole being, who’s human, you can also give yourself permission to try again, each time learning from past behaviors. When you pretend the avoidant behaviors are not happening, and tell yourself you are “fine”, you continue to drive from the past into the past, never really experiencing the changes you know you desire and deserve.
There’s a building on the main street in our town that has a funny sign they change each week. This week it was: “The procrastinators’ meeting has been postponed.” It’s only funny until it’s not. “I will get to this tomorrow, I will start next Monday, let me wait till after vacation, my kids are getting married, etc.” are just a few of the well-known excuses we use to tell ourselves it’s ok to put off our actions till tomorrow.
It’s not a big deal when it’s about washing the linens or sweeping the leaves behind the trash can, but when it’s about taking care of your health, following medical advice, or worse, procrastinating on a lab test you fear the results of, there are consequences.
What is procrastination buying you? Time, bliss, a faux sense of peace, more episodes of a Netflix show? The next time you find yourself procrastinating, break the pattern by asking yourself: what am I gaining here? What am I avoiding here?
Be curious why you are telling yourself that you can’t handle creating a positive change in your life. Let the procrastination happen, because you are human and it will, but don’t let it happen without asking darn good questions about it.
This is how we loosen the pattern.
This is how we make change possible.
Procrastination’s best friend, denial is what gets us through the day.
We deny that the discomfort we feel is real, we tell ourselves that the heaviness, pain of suffering is just a part of life, that it’s a matter of age or stage, or that everyone around us has the same problems.
Denial buys you a smile and a positive attitude, even when you realize it takes serious overriding to get yourself there. Underneath the surface, you are spending serious energy suppressing feeling not like yourself, and the crazy thing is that this same energy, channeled well, can actually move the dial on how you feel significantly. What smaller or bigger issues have you become comfortable with, what physical, emotional and mental struggle has become second nature?
One of the most remarkable things that happens when people do our Real Food Reset program is that when they fill out the symptom tracker in the beginning and the end of the month, they can measure and note a significant difference. How you eat matters, and here are the numbers that show it.
So often they will share: “I didn’t even know I was feeling so bad, I guess I was used to it.”
Your body is not just a taxi for your head, yet, because of our modern lifestyle, we don’t need to pay attention to the environment or how it affects us internally.
We can afford to lose our bodies. Air-conditioning keeps our body temperature steady, smooth sidewalks make sure we step evenly, no wild animals means we can let down our guard and we don’t have to listen to our gut and heart when we make decisions. We have Descarte’s famous: “I think, therefore I am”, which has become so ingrained in our civilization, that we believe it and we live it. As long as you can hear your thoughts, you are good – they tell you what to do, analyze how you did and how you should feel about what you did and how you did it.
So much of our day is spent in our heads, that between work, leisure and study time, we probably check in with our bodies only when we are hungry, sleepy, or need to use the restroom (if that!).
Being divorced from your body means it’s harder and harder to feel the effects of the changing inner world of perceptions, sensations and emotions, and the influence of the outer world within which they are occurring.
Often, it’s hard to feel what food, activity, stillness, presence of absence of company, or a place does to our health and wellbeing. And so, it becomes harder and harder to create change since we don’t know which way to go or what needs to be changed.
How do you break this pattern?
Little by little, starting to pay attention to your body where it’s safe to experience its inner world.
For some people watching their breathing and taking moments during the day is a wonderful start.
For others, being aware of movement while walking, or exercising is a next possible step.
Mindful eating is another avenue to start paying attention – how food that is external to your body is becoming, through texture, temperature, taste – internal to your body. Something that is not you becomes you….try it out?!
I hope as you see some or all of these patterns, that you can observe them with non-judgment and see them for what they are – an opportunity to know yourself and make the change you want to have for your future.
Are you ready?
If you feel like you are ready to start making a change, you can try one of our free 5-day programs:
5 days to break free from your chair
If you are ready for significant shifts and you want to start now, consider scheduling a free 30-minute coaching call with Roland, so you can determine which courses or programs, or personal work format are best for you.