Do you have a vision of the ideal person you want to be one day? Give that up. Here are four steps to creating lasting change in the life you have right now.
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
Things do not change. We change Henry David Thoreau. Hello, and welcome to self-talk. I'm Rachel [inaudible] . So you want to change your life, but you don't know where to start sound familiar. Well, that makes sense. You know, that you want to change something you're well aware of what you don't want in your life. Perhaps it's anxiety or you're quick temper or overeating or drinking, perhaps it's racing, thoughts or judgmental , ism , whatever it is. Once you realize that there's something that you don't like in your life, that's actually the first step, just like with an addict. The first step is to admit you have a problem in changing your life. The first step is awareness. Something is off. I don't like how my life is going. It's Rocky. I feel out of sorts, but how do you get from one way of being to another way of being a more ideal way of being, how do you become the person that you want to be? First of all, our vision of who we want to be is usually fashioned. After someone else, a role model, a mentor, a friend, or even a celebrity whose life looks amazing, but probably isn't, but that's a whole other thing that's out of necessity, right? If you fashion your ideal self based on you, you'd be all set, right? So obviously we're looking at somebody else or perhaps a bunch of other people. So the second step, if the first step is awareness, the second step is to drop comparisons. There is no one like you in all the world. That's a good thing. We need variety in this life. Is it bad to admire traits in another person? No, of course not. But to kick yourself because you aren't like someone else is a complete waste of time. You will never be anyone, but you and we need you and all of your uniqueness because that contributes to the diversity of the entire planet. And it's not always others that we compare ourselves to. Sometimes we create an ideal self in our mind, which is a composite of other traits that we find admirable in others. Here's a really important lesson. When you set out to make changes in your life, it is essential to realize that there is no ideal self out there that you are trying to become. That's really important. There is no ideal self out there that you are trying to become. Here's why, when we have an image of a person we want to be, and that person seems somehow separate from us. Some nebulous future person that we're trying to be the quest to become. That person feels impossible. We have this ideal self that's so far from where we are right now. All we can do is let ourselves down because we're constantly comparing our current selves with that ideal self. And we will always come up short. Let's say you imagine yourself to be a highly successful person in your field. Confident, affable, a good friend and family member. You're in good shape. You're doing yoga. You're meditating. Every day. You're eating clean, organic being kind to small Woodland creatures, whatever the image is, that means that whenever you drop the ball, you snap at your kid or your partner, or you skip the gym or you spend your entire meditation session fantasizing about the Jamaican holiday. You're going to take once the pandemic is over, you are going to feel like crap about yourself. Whenever you behave in a way that is out of alignment with this ideal self that you've created, that doesn't even exist. That's the antithesis of what you want. You're comparing yourself to an ideal that doesn't exist. So I'll say to you what I say to my cat, when he has a jaw full of chipmunk drop that just drop it. It doesn't serve you. You are perfection already. Yeah, but I'm so fucked up, Rachel. No, you're not. Whatever you think is wrong with you is really your internal alert system. Just like a light on a car dashboard saying that something in your life is out of alignment. The perfect you needs an oil change. That's basically it. How well designed and smart you are that you have that alert system. You know, you need to change good that's awareness. That's number one second. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Now what the good news is that we don't have to change radically. Sometimes it isn't having an aha moment or having a moment of awakening. It's the comparison factor that actually makes us feel guilty. If we don't have those moments, like I see everything clearly. Now I know my path. I know exactly what I need to do. This is what I've been waiting for. It doesn't happen like that. Not sometimes you may have moments of clarity and that's great, but sustaining them as a different thing, change happens slowly. It is a practice. So the third step to change is to shift your perspective from a place of deficit. Something is wrong with me to one of alignment, rather than coming from a place of being broken approach, change as an adjustment to an already perfect being. We'll talk next time about not identifying as your emotions as an I am selfish, or I am full of rage, or I am weak willed, or I am judgmental . All of that. Remember that these difficult emotions are alerts, letting you know your being is off somehow, and you need to make an adjustment. We'll talk in more detail about that next time for now. What you need to keep in mind is that the process of changing yourself is dialectical. That means you can accept yourself while also wanting to make a change. That's beautiful. So the fourth step is to begin to check in with your body. During the times you feel off center, you can do this using the self alignment meditation in episode 22 or a short version of it that we'll practice together in a few minutes slowly, by checking in with the body, once, twice, 16 times a day, as much as, as needed every time you feel the unpleasant feeling or have the negative thought about yourself, where do you feel the misaligned feeling? Is it grief? Is it rage , depression? Self-doubt welcome that feeling as a facet of yourself, not your whole self, but as an alert, that's asking you to reclaim it as part of you, a small part of the multifaceted gem that you are slowly, that check-in behavior becomes part of your normal life. And because of that, because you're more comfortable being in the body and not afraid of the emotions that move through it, you begin to be more comfortable with say meditating, which is really just the act of aligning mind, body and spirit. Meditation is just that a moment to drop in and connect mind, body, and spirit all have to work in conjunction for you to function at your highest and best self. So maybe you begin meditating three times a week, then maybe going once a day for five minutes, then maybe you're a little more open to going deeper and spending more time in meditation, holding the experiences. And sometimes even the pain of the mind body and the way that a mother holds a child. That's all you're doing. Meditation is checking in with your divine self, just sitting. So over time, this loving attentiveness to all the areas that are out of alignment will help them to adjust. This has changed. This is change happening right here. You're not creating a new, you, you are paying attention to what is out of sync with the you that was born perfect and making the necessary corrections. That's an extremely important point. This is what change is. You're not creating a new being you're already fine. There's just some stuff that needs tweaking. And that's what you're doing. That's what these steps are. So this is a daily practice at first, it's a daily practice. Sometimes you have to do it more than once a day. So let's review first step is awareness that something is off. You know what that feels like. Even if it's hours later, by the way, Oh, I , I didn't even realize I was raging at that moment. Fine. Or I didn't even realize that I was acting out of grief. Fine. That's okay. Nobody is timing you. It still counts because you became aware of it. So you can still work with it. The second step is to stop comparing yourself to others. The Indian mystic Osho talked about a blade of grass comparing itself to a bamboo stock. Oh, I'm so small. And the bamboo is so majestic and huge and I'm worthless. That's ridiculous. Right? These are two separate beings on the planet. I'd add onto that, that the bamboo might also see this cute little petite blade of grass and think I'm a Hawking monster. I wish I could be soft and comforting under foot. You know, no one wants to lie on me and look up at the sky at the stars. I'm a , I'm a beast. You know, it's silly, right? These are two separate things that have no business comparing themselves to each other because they are perfect in themselves. So you get the point. So stop comparing. The third step is to change your perspective. You are not broken. You are perfect system created by great spirit. God creation, great mystery, whatever it is that speaks to you, whatever caused us to be has alerted you to a misalignment. And now you have to make the necessary adjustments. How do you do that? By step four , dropping into the body where all the feelings live, they're not in our minds. We don't think a feeling. We feel the feeling and we feel it in our bodies. They're in our bodies. So let's practice that. Now we'll do the short version of the self alignment meditation. So you can see how to integrate it into your daily life. So first, just close your eyes and you don't even have to do anything special. This is why it's the short version. Because sometimes when we're caught up in an emotion or we catch ourselves being in a mood or , or something that doesn't feel right, we don't have time to go and grab ours off who cushion and sit down and light candles and all that. So this can happen anywhere. So don't do anything special, just close your eyes and become aware of the emotion or feeling that is out of alignment for you. You may feel it already, but it's muted. Since you're distracted. By listening to my voice, maybe you've been feeling it all day. So turn up the volume on that. Now, if you're not experiencing something right now, just bring to mind a difficult emotion or some piece of unhelpful, mental chatter or something like that, that you're dealing with right now in your life. So the eyes are closed. We're going to take one deep breath in through the nose. As much as your lungs can fill, hold for three seconds, then push the air out of your mouth until your lungs cannot press out any more. And even your stomach contracts now breathe. Normally just let your breath regulate. Locate that feeling in your body. Where, where is it, whatever feeling that you're dealing with or whatever unhelpful mental talk is going on. Where are you feeling? The result of that right now in your body? Visualize it? What does it look like? Notice if it's moving or if it has any sound or taste or smell to it, just, just be aware of it. Now, rub your hands together and place one, wherever you feel that feeling and the other on your heart or your belly, whichever one is free. And you name that feeling. So if its anger, it's anger. If its grief, it's grief. If it's sadness, it's sadness. If it's anxiety, whatever, overthinking , whatever. So you name it and you say welcome. Fill in the blank. Whatever the feeling is, welcome anger, welcome grief. Acknowledge the feeling and own it. That's all you're doing. Just letting it be. You are welcoming the feeling in like an old friend coming for tea. This is your emotion. That's why I say old friend, this is yours. This isn't something that's coming to visit you. You don't know what it is. It's yours. It's , it's moving through you. You are the host, the feeling doesn't run the house. You do. You let it in the door and let it sit down and have a cup of tea with you. You call the shots. So once you feel connected to that feeling, stay as long as you wish just holding its presence, acknowledging it. And then you take a deep breath in and out and open your eyes. The super short version of this is to simply take a breath, place your hands on their positions and say welcome. Whatever the feeling, just sit with the feeling for a moment like you would a frightened child and you can do that anywhere. Standing in line at the grocery store. So the way to integrate soulful change into one's misaligned life is to slowly allow it in a little bit at a time, a little bit at a time it's a practice. Remember that it's not a fad diet. It's a life change. First, make the decision, then take each tiny step, ask yourself what can be done. What can practically and peacefully and comfortably be done to realign myself in this moment you call the shots. You decide the pace. It's your life to craft until next time, many blessings on your path. Thank you for joining me on self-talk. Aha .