5 Steps to Inner Change
Happy 2016! Did you make any resolutions or a commitment to change something this year? I bet you did. Change is a funny thing. Many of us like the results of change, but some people detest the process. I have been jones-ing for a big change recently. In the past, I never got too comfortable in any one place. Every so often, I’d get bored and move cities or leave the country for a short time. What I finally came to realize, though, is that it wasn’t the places with which I was bored (or disappointed). It was me. Fortunately, boredom can easily be remedied by packing up, moving, getting a new job or traveling. Although I don’t regret any of the moves I’ve made, I’m learning to look inward when I need a shift instead of making drastic (sometimes impulsive) changes on the outside.
What is amazing about change is that we can practice feeling the desired sense of what we want before (or instead of) actually changing anything in our lives. No more delays in happiness, fulfillment, relief, or success!! But, how? Here are 5 steps to get you there.
1. Figure out the desired feeling you want from the change. What do I want from a big move, a trip, or transition? I want to feel alive, inspired, motivated. I want to shake up all my cells like a snow globe and see where they land. I want a fresh perspective; a more open heart and mind. What might someone want from desiring a romantic relationship? Connection, affection, belonging, companionship? What about financial security? Freedom, safety, status?
2. Sit with the feelings you have named and imagine what it would be like to feel them from the inside. Once you can imagine the feeling in your body, give it a name, a color and specific place in your body where it lives. Use all of your senses including your gut. Be descriptive. Use memories from past experiences to conjure the feelings. Imagine new situations that would illicit those feelings. In addition to sitting with it, you could get creative and write about it, draw it, express it in any way you can imagine.
3. Begin to act, think and make choices like a person who already has what you desire. In my case I would ponder if an open-hearted, inspired person would be curious or judgmental in a certain situation? Would a person who feels connection and belonging choose to go out and be with friends or stay home alone? Would a person who feels safe and free try something new or continue to do things the same old way? Are you picking up what I’m putting down here? Good.
4. Do small things, easily within reach, that would illicit similar feelings to the ones you desire from the change. If it wasn't in my budget to attend a big inspiring women’s conference this quarter, I can sign up for free seminars or live stream conference online. I can watch a new yoga, exercise, or meditation video on YouTube. I can hike in a new park, invite a new person out for coffee. The person who wants connection and affection could join a group activity in town and begin hugging everyone he or she knows.
5. Practice, practice, practice. It is simple, but not always easy. The awareness you create by going through these steps will often be the catalyst you need for the shift you desire. It helps in becoming more mindful and feeling less like a victim waiting for life to happen to you.
I know these things aren’t perfect substitutes, but it is amazing what will happen when you shift your perspective from lack (wanting and waiting for it) to abundance (I already have it). By putting energy and attention into what you already have (and can create), you will begin to attract the things and people you desire in your life.
Lastly, I am not proposing you never go for the big stuff. Are you kidding?!? Get out there! Travel! Move! Go for it! Get rich! Play big! Just be sure that the big stuff isn’t a substitute for something lacking on the inside. Be discerning. Do it when the time is right (or as right as it could be). Make sure your choices and desires are in alignment with the real you.