The New Year is a famous time to reflect on the past, remember inner commitments and create new ones. It is easier to think of past successes but it can take some self compassion when reviewing how we have missed the mark. How can we step up more into the potential of what is important. The last years have let us know that time is precious. What is your call to action? How have you been stepping into to that? There are a few levels to how we keep commitments to ourselves. For me, as a start, through this recovery, I have increased capacity to support others in my work, reach out to more friends, swim, play more and grow into a more empowered me. That said, I have yet to be more involved in a more global and community level and complete some life time goals. On a personal level, I didn't dance as much as I wished for, ate a little more this winter and kept my desk a mess. With all of that, I stay gentle with myself. It takes looking both the good, the not so ideal and what wants more attention. This is a great time to reboot goals and identify life values.
As you step into the doorway of the new year, What do you choose to leave at the gate? What old habits do you want to let go of? What new dreams do you want to bring in? Its a time to think about how you spend time.Is it quality time? Are you finding meaning? Do you play enough? When we think about ways we haven given into unhelpful desires, some unpacking is really helpful. It may take some time for reflection, but will serve so much in the year to come.
What stands in the way of what makes you feel most alive?
Behaviors always serve a need. Often that need is obscured by a habit. It's called inner resistance. Whether this applies to a small habit or a way of life. For a simple, down to earth example, someone wants to quit sugar, but can't resist it. The question becomes what does eating sugar serve? Is there a need inside that behavior. What is calling to be fulfilled? Is there nurturing? Identifying the felt sense inside that is more satisfying than a chocolate chip cookie is a key to true satisfaction. I have worked with many people who discovered they associated sweets with Love. The association may have started with baking with family, or that tasting sweets simply feels good. This is the time to do some untangling. Often the behavior is covering real feelings. Whether this is loss, loneliness or grief, identifying and attending to emotional needs offers a deeper satisfaction. Once this recognized there is room for inspiration. That inspiration brings a shift away from repeating old habits. Moving consciously into satisfying needs is a life long commitment.
On one hand .... but on the other Hand
One part wants to turn on that invisible switch that activates the new behavior. Another part wants to keep the comforting behavior.
What does the resistance part really need? That part may be in freeze state. Once we consciously know what that part needs, we can respond to just that. Curl up and stay in bed. Listen to this part and offer designated times to do exactly that. The key is to bring in focused awareness to what you are doing and designate time to listen. This is the time for somatic and emotional awareness. A time to sharpen emotional literacy. This is the time to hold that part with compassion and even talk to the part like a child. Take a book a curl up in cozy pajamas. Watch movies, choose comforting healthier foods. Even find recipes that celebrate your inner needs. It's not about the Cookie. Its about how you feel about eating the cookie. Do you celebrate that cookie? or it is covering up a need? Knowing about this this tug of war is the first step in understanding behavioral impulses. It is necessary to bring care this part again and again, and check to see if that part really feels cared for. It takes patience, self compassion, and some processing to unpack what gets in our way.
Below is a process to get to the bottom of inner needs and address resistance
1. Place your hands in front of you.
2. Assign one hand with a goal or aspiration for the new year.
3. Designate the other hand to be what ever is getting in the way. Like a puppeteer:
4. Ask how this habit serves
5. Ask the second hand what it needs.
6. Ask that hand what it REALLY needs
7 Reflect on some healthier ways to meet those needs
7. Ask what would happen if those needs were met.
8. What is the new action you may take instead.
9. Continue a dialog if needed
10. Listen to what the inspired hand is saying, receive instruction.
10. Repeat as needed, again and again. This is not just a one time process.
This reflection can also be done through journaling. Using the dominant hand to ask the question and the non dominate and to respond.
Meeting in the middle
Now, inner needs are met. it is possible to meet in the middle. Now notice that when you are ready to commit an invisible switch goes on? The question is: What needs to happen to turn on that switch? What is the motivation? There is a driving force within us, that connects us to ourselves: Our inner guide, higher self, over self, our inner witness. There are many names for the inner voice that knows what we need. If you listen carefully to that voice you can receive direction. You can receive guidance on what foods are good to eat, how your body wants to move and what people are good to hang out with. You know. Notice the positive reinforcement that happens when you tap into that inspiration. When you show up for yourself, you feel good about yourself. It is that loop the brings self trust. Listening to that inner voice is connected to being in the flow of life. Being in your fullest vibrancy. Write a love letter to yourself. It's a self rewarding proposition to keep agreements with yourself. The chemistry released becomes the new feel good state and it becomes easier to forget about that cookie. Self trust creates true joy.
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Jennifer offers personalized recordings, sessions and journeys, through her private practice as Somatic Experience Practitioner, Certified Hypnotherapist and Master of Transpersonal Psychology. She has a MA Consciousness studies and a MFA in Sculpture. For over twenty years she has personally guided and coached hundreds of clients experience incredible life changing breakthroughs. Offering Optimal State Modality, and Live Between Lives journeying, she has certifications in Medical Hypnosis, Somatic Experiencing,©, Journey Dancing. and is a Hypnosis Instructor through the National Guild of Hypnotists.http://clearmindarts.com/training/ To schedule an online or in person session: firstname.lastname@example.org
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