Simply hearing the word "change" can bring up resistance. We are taught from the beginning that change is hard, and we will sometimes resist change with all our might even if we know that what awaits on the other side would be much healthier for us. My goal as a healing practitioner, author, and mind-body mentor is to make change not only easy but fast and accessible for all. I outline it in more detail in my book, A Short Path to Change: 30 Ways to Transform Your Life, but wanted to give you a jump start here in what is needed to begin your journey. Below are ten tips to help you get started.
- Be Kind and Patient with Yourself.
As I mentioned, change will bring up resistance. Affirm to yourself you are safe and want the best for yourself and that it is safe to bring these changes into your life. Your ego will resist and try and keep you in that same space, because it is there to keep you safe. Know better! Know that you can move beyond that place, and that once you do—as long as you are moving in a direction that is in your highest good—the Universe will open up to support you. Patience is key in this path to change, as you might have what we conceive of as "set-backs." This is a part of the process, and as long as you remain kind and patient with yourself, you will ultimately keep moving forward.
- Love Yourself.
When I mention this to my clients, almost every person asks me how it is possible to love themselves. We are not taught to be kind and loving to ourselves; rather, we are taught to focus on other people. While being loving to other people is wonderful and important, we need to also treat ourselves as we would like others to treat us. We would not berate someone we knew was trying their best to attain a goal; we would support them, give them hugs, advice, and love, and tell them they could do it. The same is true with yourself. As you begin to become more present (more on that in the next step), self-deprecation will most likely come up. Love yourself enough to know you are indeed worth these changes. Claim your self-worth and self-love. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you love yourself and want the best for yourself. Yes, it will be very uncomfortable at first, but it gets easier—I promise!
- Become Present.
Begin to notice your thoughts. Are you repeating a lot of negative comments and thoughts to yourself? Do you believe what you are telling yourself? Sometimes we repeat negative thoughts and words that we do not even believe because someone else—perhaps even as long as a decade ago—once said them to us. Know that once we become present we have the power to change the way we are thinking to reflect what we want and what we are now. We do not need to live in the past or to worry about the future. We need to be present and begin to notice where we are now to even have an inkling of where we might like to go.
- Learn to Forgive.
Self-forgiveness and the forgiveness of others is necessary to move forward into positive change. If we are unforgiving of something that happened in our past, we are keeping ourselves tethered to it and are unable to move forward. If we feel someone has wronged us, and that that is why we are in the predicament we are in, we are labeling ourselves a victim—which makes us feel disempowered to move forward. Forgiving does not mean that you are happy with what occurred. Rather, it means you are no longer going to let it keep you from being present and ultimately creating the life and change you desire. There are tools to make forgiveness easier that I go into in A Short Path to Change, but for now just set that intention for forgiveness of yourself and others and visualize how that feels and how your life looks if that anger or angst was suddenly removed from your life.
- Assess Your Influences.
Take a look around you. With whom do you spend time? What music, media, and other entertainment do you surround yourself? Is it positive? Do you feel empowered after spending time with those people or doing those activities? Look around at your living space and/or office. Is it cluttered, or is it free and airy, thereby allowing energy to flow and more to enter? Starting to become aware of what influences your energy is key to owning what you will allow into your energy and setting healthy boundaries.
- See Yourself as More Than Your Body.
In A Short Path to Change, I go through exercises to get you to feel more connected and to experience each chakra. We are so much more than our bodies. Our bodies give us clues to our well being and what might be out of balance. Getting quiet and tuning in and acknowledging that we are indeed more than our bodies is a good first step toward feeling and knowing it. There are many ways to tune in, from meditation to energy work, and each is a tool to help you know and feel within every pore of your being that you are indeed so much more than your body. Begin with your hand on your heart and the affirmation, "I am much more than my body and am able to create lasting change," and see how that feels.
- Gather Tools that Bring You Joy and Peace.
There is no one-size-fits-all in growth and change. We are all beautifully unique, and because of that, different tools will work for different people. Know that even if a tool works today you might choose to use another or resonate with another at a later date; it is all fine. The only one who will judge your use of the tools is yourself. And we've already learned that we need to be kind, patient, and loving to ourselves in this process—no judgment needed! Examples of these tools include walks in nature, laughs with friends, meditation, exercise, energy work, writing, dance, educating yourself on something you have wanted to learn, and so many more. Each tool you gather supports you. If you fill your toolbox when you do have a challenge you will have a huge supply of tools from which to choose.
- Process Emotions.
Up to this point you may have been running on "auto pilot." As you begin to become present, emotions might rise to the surface and there might be a tendency to keep them down, as they don't feel good. Emotions are meant to be processed. Why are you feeling the way you are, whether you are sad, angry, upset, or disappointed? Our emotions give us clues so we can get to know our inner selves. Squashing them down or repressing them can cause dis-ease. Likewise, letting them take us away and being overwhelmed by them without looking at them does not help us to understand them or ourselves, either. The next time you feel a strong emotion, be it joy or fear, look at it and ask questions around it. Thank that emotion for signaling you and letting you feel so deeply.
- Understand Fear and Worry.
Fear and worry do nothing but hold us back and keep us scared about the future. Noticing and paying attention to what is surrounding that fear and worry is key. Understanding and also imagining more positive outcomes puts different energy into the Universe, and brings other possibilities into our reality.
- Be Grateful.
Be grateful for all you have and are, and for this journey. We have the power to change, and that in and of itself is something for which to be grateful. You are working on yourself and have that intention for positive change—another thing for which to be grateful. If we spent half the time we do berating ourselves on being grateful for ourselves, all we do, and everything in our life, just as it is—life would become magical. Gratitude is the most powerful tool for change that I know. Spending a few seconds or minutes each a day becoming present to reflect on what you are grateful for in your life and in yourself can make change appear effortless.
This is a quick list of how to bring quick and lasting change into your life. For more tools, tips, and exercises, please check out my book, A Short Path to Change: 30 Ways to Transform Your Life. I know change is possible, not only because I transformed my own life from one of sickness and disease to one of health and happiness beyond all measure, but also because I have seen countless clients of mine do the exact same thing. Be kind, loving, and patient to yourself in this process as you use these tools and give yourself tons of gratitude for each step taken.
Thank you so much for reading! I wish you all the best in your short path to change!