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How Can You Achieve Lasting Change In Your Life?

How can we anchor in the transformations we want in our lives? How can we at last kick the bad habit we want to release, start the good habit we want to maintain, or achieve the change we are looking for in an area of our lives?

The transformation has more to do with who you proclaim yourself to be and the small, consistent, continual actions you take. It is far less about what you want than you may realize. Instead, it is about what you are ready to step into, claim, oscillate at, radiate, and embody. 

When you say that you want something specific to be part of who you are and something

else to not be part of who you are, you are expressing a wish. Proclaiming that you ARE it and that it is currently true for you NOW is the difference. 

You are invited to proclaim you ARE what you want NOW.

Your mind and physiology will start screaming that it isn’t true now and that is the crux of the problem. You want it, but it isn’t true, and therefore there is the tension, the struggle, the discomfort, frustration, or deep suffering. Here is where and who you perceive yourself to be in time and space and you are envisioning something different you would like. 

Pause here to think about all of the times you have ‘tried something on’ that you saw someone else embodying, only to realize you wouldn’t want it. You do this all the time and most of the time it isn’t conscious. The world is a playground and you have a desire to play.

What is for you? What will delight, empower, enliven, soothe, or uplift you? What will expand you and fill you with fulfillment? 

In this game, there is the point where you are at, and a new ‘you’ you want to grow into and it occurs over and over again in your life if you allow the flow of change to shift and move you. You are capable of multiple phases of transformation in one lifetime. Fear, confusion, a lack of clarity, self-doubt, anger, guilt, shame, bitterness, hopelessness, and other heavy emotions can get you stuck. 

People who are stuck are looking for ways to get unstuck. They search outside themselves and sometimes disempower themselves by thinking someone or something outside of them can ‘fix’ them or the situation. No one can fix you. Only you can remedy the situation. 

Yes, there are plenty of valuable teachers, books, and methods of all kinds you can leverage as tools. You use the input as the tool YOU leverage for the transformation you are looking for, and then it can work because you remain empowered. You take the tool, try it out, toss out what doesn’t work for you, and modify it for a customized fit. 

You are invited to proclaim you ARE what you want NOW and decide on the daily tiny action you will take, at what time, in what place, and what you will do immediately afterward.

You are a soul in a body and the body responds well to cues, action, reward, and repeat. Your body loves routine. Some of you who are adventurous and free-flowing by nature may resist any notion of routine. Know it is possible to keep the same loops of habits while awaking in a new location every morning.

You are what you repeatedly proclaim yourself TO BE and follow up with embodied action.

I am a ( ). I (           ) every day for (           ) time amount.

You are what you repeatedly proclaim yourself NOT TO BE and follow up with embodied action.

I am not a (           ). I do not (           ). Instead, I am (           ) and I do the following (           ).

In this way, you also take the focus off of what you want or do not want at any given point in time and instead on what kind of person you are and want to be. So it isn’t a question of whether you do or don’t want a cigarette, it is that you are not a smoker and do not want to be a smoker. 

Do you want a cigarette? Your brain will say yes and you will get into power struggles over you shouldn’t, but you want one, but you shouldn’t. You can stop this loop with: I am not a smoker. It is okay for you to want one, and to feel this within you, and hold at the same time that you do not want to be a smoker and you are not one.

Let’s turn the focus from not doing to doing.

Give yourself a pause here to think about this. Can you be a chef and not cook? A painter and never picking up a brush? Can you be a pilot and never fly a plane?

And the answer is, surprisingly yes. Yes, because you can have spent years cooking and being a chef and now be retired. Are you still a chef? Yes, because you have spent countless hours cooking and you now embody the skills, instinct, creative vision, experience, and knowledge of a chef. What is true is that at some point, you needed to aspire to be the chef and do the embodied action over, and over, and over again. 

Here is one of the sticky points. You can bring your focus to the number of hours and effort required to embody becoming a chef and feel overwhelmed. The answer is to strengthen your resolve that you want to be a chef. The next sticky point arises because your mind can entertain doubt. Will the hours be worth the expense? Will invest yourself in this payoff? Are you even capable of measuring up, let alone becoming a success at cooking?

You might be thinking that everyone in the world would want to cook, but it isn’t so. You are thinking that because you see all the chefs in the world. You live in a world of culinary delight. Some like to build, organize, process, and catalog. Others only want to climb mountains, teach, or analyze. There is no end to the diversity and it isn’t the competitive jungle they would have you believe. There is space for you and what you want to be.

You can ease and melt away overwhelm and doubt by proclaiming what you aspire to be, taking embodied action every day, and bringing your focus to the level of joy in your experience.

I am a chef. I cook every day for 90 minutes. 

Yes, when learning to do almost anything there is a phase of discomfort, struggle, and unease. The activity can become more enjoyable as you become more comfortable, skilled, and knowledgeable.

 So gift yourself a grace period to show up over and over again daily until you attain a certain level of mastery before you judge. Then feel into your inner being. Is there a glow of joy, peace, curiosity, passion, heart warmth, intense interest, delight, energy, or timelessness in the doing so that the activity itself is fulfilling even if the end reward never occurs? 

You may never become a world-famous award-winning chef, but if you experience a surge of wonderful energy each time you cook, then you can ease the doubt and overwhelm by focusing on your experience.

If you show up daily to cook and are filled with a majority of good feelings, then each passing day you will feel good, feel good, show up to cook and feel nourished by what you are doing, and the days will accrue until you spend months, years, or even a lifetime feeling fulfilled. 

Society wants to make it more complicated. They want to say money, power, or accolades a person or people gift you are the only way for you to declare yourself a success, and thus, fulfilled. You can color outside the lines of cultural conditioning.

Few can argue with happiness, not that they won’t try.

There are those who will call you delusional or even irresponsible for gifting the majority of your life force to that which intrinsically fulfills you. Fulfilled people cannot be manipulated. 

For if you are fulfilled, you are full, and if you are full, then how can they get you to do, buy, or acquiesce to what they want to sell if it isn’t in your highest good? 

Let’s circle back because perhaps all you want to do is stop smoking, drinking, or eating heaps of fatty or sugary food daily. The same rule applies.

You are invited to proclaim you ARE, what you want NOW, and decide on the daily tiny action you will take, at what time, in what place, and what you will do immediately afterwards.

You are a soul in a body and the body responds well to triggers, cues, action, reward, and repeat.

So you would say, over and over to yourself as the idea comes up: I am not a smoker.  

I am not a (smoker) I do not (smoke). Instead, I am (health-conscious) and I do the following (breathwork).

Say the trigger for smoking is your coffee break or feeling stressed and worn out or overwhelmed. 

When I want a coffee or it is my regular coffee break (trigger), that is my cue to do five minutes of breath work to soothe and calm my nervous system (action). Then I drink my coffee (reward).

Here is another example. You want to stop drinking as much wine. 

I am not a (drinker) I do not (drink alcohol except on very special occasions). Instead, I am (drinker) and I do the following (drink tea).

Repeat to yourself internally: I am not a drinker.

Trigger: feeling stressed at the end of the work day or meeting with others who always drink in social situations.

Action: drink a camomille tea, which is soothing and calming for the nervous system at the end of the day instead. 

Reward: You can take a bath, hug someone, do qigong or yoga, meditate, give yourself a foot massage, go for a walk, play a game of catch, or anything else that will be destressing and give you a positive rush of endorphins at the same time.

You can use both triggers and cues to create the transformation you seek. Here, we will define a trigger as something that happens externally and a cue as something you create for yourself. 

A cue would be walking inside the door from work. The moment you walk in the door what do you do? The cue of home arrival can be the bell to guide you to do a specific action daily. Do not underestimate the accrual of small investments of action and time over the long run.

There is a congruence that occurs when you do an activity every single day. When you run daily, even if it is only for ten minutes, you are a runner. When you paint daily, even for five minutes adding to your painting, you are a painter. When you give daily gifts of kindness, you are a kind person.

When you never talk about other people's affairs, then you are not a gossip. When you do not smoke daily then you are not a smoker. When you do yoga daily, even if only for ten minutes, then you are a yogi. When you are always honest you are not a liar.

You are what you repeatedly do and don’t do. 

Yes, there are professions you need to be hired into or go into business for yourself to become that thing. If there are no other options available, then do your desire for minimal pay or for free. The more you embody and gain mastery in the area of your desire, the more you will gain energetic and physical confidence that it is yours: you are what you desire to be.

You do not need massive willpower, grit, or motivation. Really. It is about starting small and staying consistent.

The more you keep showing up, the more clarity you can gain that you do, indeed, authentically enjoy and want your aspiration. This is an important stage because we can think we want something when we are trying to do something or be someone to get or keep love, approval, and other forms of connection. 

Starting small and staying consistent with investment of self, time, money, and energy can allow for play as well as trial and error.

Once you keep up the daily actions for a sustained period of time, you can increase your investment in terms of training and the amount of time you commit each day. Eventually, there comes the point where you may want to go all out for your desire. 

Study those who have done what you would like to do and research their pathways. How much time did they invest daily? What did they do to achieve their mastery? What didn’t work for them that they tried? What worked out instead?

Sometimes we can learn more from people’s failures than their successes. As you research release putting anyone on a pedestal. They are all people, just like you are. Admire and feel gratitude for the inspiration and resist any instinct to idolize. 

You are ready. The last step is to prepare for failure. You read the correctly. There will be moments, days, or even weeks when it gets tough, you don’t want to show up, and you just can’t seem to follow through. What will you do in these scenarios? What about when people deter, distract, or openly ply you to not follow through? 

Planning for when things will grow wrong and what you will do will enable you to get up, dust yourself off, hug yourself, and try again. You will go back to doing what you set out to do. Whatever time you missed, add it on to the next day. Don’t let yourself off the hook, but don’t make it so much that you can’t continue. 

Ready? start now:

You are what you repeatedly proclaim yourself NOT TO BE and follow up with embodied action.

I am not a (           ). I do not (           ). Instead, I am (           ) and I do the following (           ).

You are what you repeatedly proclaim yourself TO BE and follow up with embodied action.

I am a ( ). I (           ) every day for (           ) time amount.

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