If I had a dollar for every time someone told me they were going to make a change that never happened…
Every single person I have ever spoken to has at least one thing they’d like to change about their habits around health.
Everyone wishes they ate a little better, exercised a little more, or drank a little less.
But so often we make choices that simply do not align with our health goals – why is that?
Why is there so often a huge disconnect between what we want right now and what is best for ourselves in the long term?
Simply put: Often the comfort of doing things the same way is stronger than the pain of changing.
We RESIST and each of us has our own brand of resistance created from our unique set of experiences, subconscious beliefs and conclusions (that aren’t necessarily based in fact).
Ugh. Am I right?
But, there’s a way out! Stick with me for a minute…
To change our habits we have to look not only at biological and psychological aspects of ourselves, but energetic ones as well.
For example, when someone wants to lose weight they may know that eating less and exercising more are habits they want to build to reach their stated goal. They may even understand a great deal about their biology and genetic predispositions.
Yet, if they don’t investigate their psychological tendencies and continue to disconnect from the subtle, energetic side of themselves, they are likely to be unable to identify the resistance that lives in their subconscious.
The level of resistance varies for each individual based on how much the habit or goal they seek is in line with them sharing the best of themselves (their unique dharma).
Here’s what I see again and again.
People are excited to read an article or attend a workshop about changing a specific behavior or living a better life. They are often willing to gain knowledge around how to get what they want out of life. They can even see the amazing potential that exists within them.
Yet, few of these same people will actually do the work necessary to overcome their resistance to change.
Not just because it’s hard and uncomfortable. Not even because they say they don’t have the time or the money to invest in changing right now.
They don’t show up and do the work because what is actually driving their behavior is their deepest driving desire, not the change they say they want to make.
They are acting from the deepest driving desire of their subconscious, which is holding onto an old pattern and belief that cuts them off from what they consciously have as a goal.
I work with a process known as The Four Desires, in which I facilitate the uncovering of these subconscious rules that you may not be aware you are following and actually benefiting from (known as your vikalpas).
While you might be tempted to think this sounds like a therapy session, it’s quite different.
Much of modern psychology focuses on dissecting how your beliefs and patterns were developed during your upbringing.
The yogic process brings light to the pattern and how you benefit from it and doesn’t analyze your background.
Instead, yogic practice is more concerned with how you actively use your power to make a different choice in the present and thereby build a different trajectory for your future.
Once you uncover your vikalpas you still have to manage your energy in such a way that you are able to take right action in spite of them.
This means connecting with the part of you that is beyond fear and doubt.
Over and over again we train ourselves to pause and step back from our reactive subconscious and connect to a deeper awareness within ourselves.
One method to achieve this is mindfulness. Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to be a primary support in making your new choices turn into habits (this includes breaking bad habits.)
Mindfulness creates the capacity to pause and decouple our vikalpa and old pattern from the present moment so that we can make a more conscious choice – the choice we say we want to make.
We can repeat an affirmation all day long for hundreds and even thousands of days and still find that the affirmation doesn’t change anything.
Why not? We certainly want it to change, don’t we?
When something becomes habitual we do it without thinking. Our conscious mind isn’t involved.
To change a habit for the long term we have to use both our conscious mind – what we say we want – and our subconscious (our deepest driving desire), to actually pause and shift to right action, rather than revert to old action.
This happens in the space of deep connection to the intangible, yet all knowing, aspect of yourself.
So the next time you hear the internal dialog in your head complaining about how you just don’t have the willpower, time or money to change, remind yourself that this is simply a script your brain has learned.
Get quiet, sit still and begin to question how you benefit from your old patterns and investigate what your subconscious has been motivated by all these years.
Then seek out a group of people who are making similar changes in their lives and are willing to look beyond the “just do it” culture to incorporate a holistic approach to transformation.
Living a full and happy life is not accomplished by achieving a few big external goals. You must begin with a holistic approach to your true self – body, mind and soul.
This work is by far the most important way that I serve those in my community. I encourage you to reach out to me to chat about how your old patterns may be getting in the way of taking actions that align with your goals.