Habits are self reinforcing cycles of beliefs. If you believe that you cannot live without smoking or eating certain foods then you will maintain the habit as it is being driven by the belief I cannot live without it.
In order to address habits or patterns which no longer serve us, we must understand their nature. Your conscious/rational/logical mind knows these habits or patterns no longer serve you, yet you keep repeating them, why is this ?
It is because these patterns are held in your subconscious which is below everyday awareness. In order to transform these habits, you need to shift your perspective (expand your awareness) as it opens the realms of possibility which enables you to address the issue differently. Once you relax and step back from whatever is triggering you, you can create the space to make a different choice.
My approach is grounded in the fact that recurring patterns are about a lesson not learned or a need being met.
We do not repeat behaviours because they are good or bad, but because of our attachment to them.
This is due to what we call a conditioned response which basically means we pretty much react on auto pilot to many of our beliefs/thoughts/images/triggers/ impulses/sensations/ cravings/judgements/attitudes/assumptions etc.
Here is an example that you may relate too..
Step 1 ~ We feel x , …….it could be fat, bored, lonely, afraid, anxious, insecure, tense, stressed, tired, etc…
Step 2 ~ The feeling then activates a belief or set of beliefs we have about this feeling…… I am a bad person, I am not good enough, I am unworthy, I am fat, I am weak, I am pathetic, I shouldn’t be tired…..
Step 3 ~ We then resist the above as they create discomfort and emotional suffering within us. So now instead of dealing with the initial feeling, we are resisting what is coming up as a result of this feeling, so the feeling nor the beliefs it has brought up are being addressed as the discomfort and suffering from your resistance is taking centre stage. This creates more tension in the body which results in an imbalance which blocks the flow of energy in the body.
Step 4 ~ This triggers the subconscious….what did you do last time this happened? Now you know where this is going!!!
Step 5 ~ We repeat the pattern.
So if at step 4 your memory of what you did last was to self medicate with food, alcohol or drugs, then you will do this again and again and again.
Over time this can result in eating disorders, dis-ease, illness, pain, and emotional /physical suffering due to our conditioned responses.
These are all signals from the body trying to get your attention saying ‘please stop !’, there’s another way !
We generate these responses on the same level of the problem so they are limited in perspective, hence shifting perspective opens the realms of possibility where we can tackle the issue differently.
We need to dissolve the auto response by Doing Something Different !
So How do we Transform these patterns/habits/conditioning ?
You must develop a new level of Awareness to notice what is going on inside you ! Only then can you transform it. You are not your thoughts, and you are not your feelings! When you can observe neutrally what is going on, this relieves you of the pattern that the subconscious is looking to repeat or reinforce. Expanding Awareness involves creating space for the previously unknown to come in ! It also involves….
- Acceptance of the fact that we are exhibiting negative behaviour. Acceptance does not mean we have to like it ! It simply means we are not at war with it.
This enables us to access creative solutions on a higher level.
‘Self Acceptance is an invitation to stop trying to change yourself Into someone you think you should be, long enough to find out who You really are !’
- Not identifying with our thoughts (you are not your thoughts).
- Not identifying with our body (you are not your body).
- Say to yourself ‘ I am choosing to eat x , is this Self Love or Self Loathing ?
- Connect with your Inner Self, Real Self, Higher Self, Soul Self, Your Essence, what ever you wish to call it. Most emotional suffering is as a result of mis-identification, mis-understanding and mis-interpretation based on who you think you are. It is based on judgements coming from your lower self, false self, ego, again whatever you wish to call it. Transcending ‘Your Story’ re-programmes conditioned responses which are reactive. A different story creates a different perspective which results in different choices. Your story involves who you ‘think’ you are and how you ‘think’ and this needs to change in order that you are no longer controlled by old patterns that are not in alignment with your real/higher/soul self.
Transcending your old story enables you to choose another pattern which will bring you somewhere new.
So What’s your Story ?
It may be something you wish to write about so you gain some awareness around who you think you are and why you do what you do.
- Be Present, the present moment is all we have. Learning can only happen when you are present. Being present means being aware of thought and not identifying with it. Neutral Observation !
- Appreciate each experience you have is teaching you something and recurring behaviour is a lesson not learned. It is another opportunity to grow, and access your higher wisdom.
- Develop Self Compassion, Forgiveness, and Non Judgment as a part of the reason why the pattern/habit is being perpetuated is because of how you relate to yourself as a result of having the issue. So the issue isn’t just about the pattern/habit but how you relate to yourself as a result of the pattern/habit.
- Stop looking at your body as the problem as this activates your body’s natural healing ability.
- Illness, pain and disease is the body’s way of telling you that you are believing, thinking, saying, or doing things that are not serving you. These can be ways to avoid taking responsibility or unpleasant situations. You overeat to make up for lack elsewhere.
- Pattern interrupt is a wonderful tool to enhance awareness and break a pattern/habit. It involves the following process……
Pattern Interrupt Process
- Choose a habit/pattern/feeling you wish to transform…. Restricting / Compulsive Eating/ Binge Eating / Alcohol Abuse/ Drug Abuse/ Anxiety / Fear / Worry etc… (unconscious conditioned response)
- Place the energy of the habit/pattern/feeling in a beautiful bright pink box and imagine yourself looking at it.
- Now bring into your awareness the fact that you are not it, you are observing it. It can be helpful at this stage to either climb a stairs or take a lift up so the box becomes tiny.
- Awareness bring choice…. Do I want x ? Does it serve me ? Do I need it? What other way could I relate to this issue ?
- Bring into your awareness the fact that events/circumstances/situations are neutral until we interpret/judge (unconscious conditioned response). It is as a result of this mis-interpretation or mis-identification that we are now repeating the pattern/habit that we desperately want to change. Separate the event/circumstance/situation/feeling and your mental interpretation as it’s the emotional reaction as a result of your interpretation which then triggers the conditioned behavioural response.
- A good Mantra here would be …. I Choose Peace !
- Surrender and Release habits/patterns to your higher self for healing.
Suzanne 087 2056560