Updated: Oct 28, 2019
If you want to change you need to allow change to happen.
Change isn’t something you order once, wait for it to be delivered and then go on with your
Change happens a thousand times in a single moment and takes a thousand practiced moments to take hold.
Change is a muscle, like anything else it needs to be used.
Change isn’t scary to anything other than your ego.
Change can be resounding and lead to a 1000 other shifts in your life.
But how do you start, when you know you need something to change but you don’t know where to begin?
You start small, infinitesimal. You start at the tiniest little spec of you in your life and you let change ripple out.
So many of my clients want change, it’s the backbone of Coaching work. Yet it’s terrifying, because change means different and the human brain and ego aren’t a big fan of different.
This is why we start small, you start so small you may not even feel like change is building, but it is.
Below is my flow of change, for anything you want in your life.
Before you change anything outwardly, a job, a relationship, a status of any kind, you have to change yourself.
You have to BE the change. (Yup I’m quoting flipping Ghandi, and one of the most over used quotes in history).
If you don’t change, anything you change outwardly in your life won’t stick. It’s simply a facade, something that has nothing to root into, to develop, to grow and to further change you in your life.
These steps are necessary for you to change, to create deep and meaningful change that can then grow and shift with you as you continue to live your life. If you start this process and stay true to it you’ll be able to build upon each positive change with another, until your life looks completely different and completely like you.
First step in changing - get back in touch with yourself. So often we loose sight of what we really want and need. As you’re preparing for change I like to encourage clients to take a couple hours on the weekend, when you have less pressuring you, and make a list of things that bring you joy. They could be things from childhood, things you’ve never tried but are drawn to, things you used to do but have left behind.
Now pick one, how can you honor that ONE thing in your life for the next month? Let’s say it’s baking, why not make every Sunday evening a “baking time” you only need a couple hours at most, set that time aside and enjoy the act of baking.
Do this for one month, do it religiously. This is as important as a doctors appointment or meeting with your boss. You don’t get a pass.
Look, now you have a thing that brings you joy ingrained in part of your schedule! You’re feeling more like yourself. Keep this up! Where else can you bring in things that make you joy that will end up changing your life?
Step two, look at what you want and make room for it. Do you want to start being a morning person? You need to make room. I don’t mean getting up at 5am like you love it and faking it for a week or two until you’re exhausted. I mean, start removing things that hinder you from doing the thing you want.
Are you up watching TV until midnight every night? Break it down…first spend a week limiting TV, turn it off at 11 instead of midnight. The next week, 10:30 and then add that you’re in bed by 11. Then the next week 10pm and in bed by 10:30pm Then once you have that set to you know you’re going to be early enough to get up you can start working on the other end. And you start that incrementally too - check out my Soulful Tools on Instagram for more on structuring your Morning Routine.
With these two steps you’re doing two key things for lasting change: You’re changing your over all mood (it’s really hard to make lasting change if you wake up every morning feeling like the Grinch.) And, you’re making ACTUAL room in your life for the work to be done and then in that space letting new patterns and change grow!
Step three, start shadow work. Yes you’ve made some space and you’re starting to get back in touch with yourself and your loves. But if this is really going to work, you need to get rid of those things that live within you that can sabotage you. Shadow work is work around the shadow part of yourself, and often your ego. It’s those trips that you know are coming up. Those “well things are always great for a month but I can never…” or parts of yourself that you haven’t integrated because you don’t want to accept that a negative aspect is part of who you are. This is where journalling, meditation and mantra work come in. You need to accept that there have been times in your life when parts of yourself have taken over and it’s been negative.
How have you self-sabotaged in the past?
What are triggers you have that set you off, why?
Are there other engrained habits you have that you feel powerless over? Why?
Start this deep work by journaling on the prompts above, and ask yourself “what do I need to release in order to align with who I want to be, or who I truly am?” You will get an answer and you may not like it…but listen. Then keep writing, why is this hard? Why do challenges keep coming up? List out ALL the excuses all the bull shit that has stacked up around this specific thing you’d like to change. Keep it specific, don’t let yourself throw everything and the kitchen sink at this - that’s a great way to overwhelm and shut down.
Now start pulling things apart, what is within your control to change RIGHT NOW?
Do you fly off the handle when a certain topic comes up? Ask yourself why, dive into THAT alone. And see what you can change. Can you prepare yourself for those moments and instead of flying off the handle take a deep breath and repeat a mantra? Can you find a way to divorce your ego or your identity from this thing? Often reactions like that are due to expectations that haven’t been met or outcomes that are “wrong” to your ego. How can you detach a bit?
Know that this is not going to be the response the first time you try it. More often than not what happens first is you fly off the handle like always then feel extra guilty because you were supposed to change. Don’t let that spiral start. Thank yourself for the experience and the reminder that you want to change. Next time, try again.
I often find having a memento like a bracelet or something on my person helps me to remember in those moments to slow down, breath and repeat the mantra. This will take time, but you can rewire yourself.
This too is often where having support comes in. Let someone in your life know about this change you’re trying to make.
Finally - turn it over to the Universe/God/the world. Just say “Hey I’m working on this, give me opportunities to be better. Support me when it’s hard and let me surrender to you what I can’t change myself in this moment.”
Letting things go, letting it unfold on it’s own and getting the hell outta the way of change is the hardest part. The Universe wants you to be your best, God wants you to be your best…whatever you prefer to call it…You are designed to be your true, beautiful self on this earth. Anything you picked up a long the way that doesn’t serve you, feel like you or resonate with you any more, you don’t have to carry forward into tomorrow.
Allow yourself to change into your natural beautiful state of being.
Allow the ease of this to flow through every part.
Allow yourself to see your TRUEST self, give that self a hug and say “please come hang out more often.”
Doing these steps and keeping yourself open and inviting to change will make major shifts in your journey. From there you can look at the big “things” in your life and be ready to approach them in a much healthier and loving way.