Most people recognize a desire for circumstances to change, or to drop some outdated habit. Current contenders for me include chocolate binging just before bed, caffeine (yes, still), and staying more consistent with self-care following big events.
The “doing” of habit change kinda sucks. It feels like depriving ourselves of something we crave. It feels like the tension of wanting things to be different, while resisting the inner work of changing ourselves.
Something I’ve learned thousands of times, in my own work and with countless coaching clients: before we can create an ideal future, we need to be in the now.
We can’t tap the power of our inner Divinity if we’re looking over our shoulder at the past. We need the focus and determination to move toward the best, brightest aspects of ourselves. Each of us possesses a nutty mix of positive, and negative triggers that are personal to us. Negative triggers pull us into shame, regret, or comparison with others. But our positive triggers–when we are target-locked on them and allow them to light our path— pull us onward, upward, and outward in geometric expansion.
When we stop focusing on what we’re missing, we can see Divinity all around us, encouraging us in our becoming.
“Forget the past. The vanished lives
of all men are dark with many shames.
Human conduct is ever unreliable
until man is anchored in the Divine.”
—Swami Sri Yukteswar
To self-actualize we need a brighter goal and reward to show up for, rather than some outdated way of being to outrun. Conquering a negative habit, even one that’s trying to kill you, can’t happen in the same vibe that’s perpetuating it.
Blast all dark corners with the light of possibility, knowing you can— and will— change. Replace the sketchiest, darkest habit with a habit like meditation. It may seem neutral, but meditating daily will be its vibrational polar-opposite. The awareness it creates will eventually upgrade all other habits.
In helping people create meditation, or sobriety habits, I share what works based on my direct experience. Lasting behavior change won’t ever be built on a loose foundation of past regrets and failures. Quitting this time won’t be any different if you’re looking in your rearview at how many times you failed.
But if your willpower is ignited by what’s possible, your inherent strength and resourcefulness carries you past the goal. Is it still hard, messy work with many potholes of short term failure?
It can be.
But surrendering to the Process of Becoming is so much easier, and more powerful than hammering a to-do list of regrets. Everybody has their list. Those who complete their transformation stop revisiting the list.
Recipe for Lasting Change
1 – Hand-write your failures and limitations. Purge them onto a paper.
2 – Light them on fire, ideally during a new moon while setting intentions.
3 – Recite these words by Sri Paramahansa Yogananda: “I will gather all dusty sorrows from the attic of memory, and cast them into the fires of oblivion.”
4 – Meditate a few minutes, holding your vision and commitment for what lasting change looks like. Picture your vitality, the people you associate with, the abundance all around you, and your Mighty Soul fully engaged in the process of becoming.
5 – Surrender resistance to the process. Let the God / Divine Mother / The Universe know you are willing to fail as many times as necessary in order to claim what is rightfully yours.
6 – Proceed like the ski jumper, 100 yards beyond the ramp, leaning fully forward, off her skis. Fully engaged in the process, but willing to be with the crazy uncertainty of it all.
7 – In moments of temptation mentally chant to yourself: “this is what it feels like to be free.”
8 – Stick the landing.
What is predictable in your life if you continue on the course you’re on? What’s possible if you dig in and make the changes now? Let me hear it in the comments below.