Wednesday Words: Deviate Baby

crapsdiceroll It’s possible that life could get better by chance…it could happen, it sometimes does. But to paraphrase Jim Rohn, it’s more likely that life, your life, my life, will get better by change, not chance.

And, if you’re like me, the phrase “Get out of your comfort zone” feels a bit stale  (wise as this advice might be). Instead, think about the shift a small deviation can bring. Want something specific in your life to be different than it has been? Ask yourself, “What’s normal for me?” and then deviate.

Neuroscience tells us something fascinating about our brains; while one system craves routine and “normalcy,” the other thrives on variety and change. No wonder we strive to get into a groove and then before we know it that system becomes a numbing rut!

When I moved our entire household for the second time in four months, I couldn’t help but notice how essential it was to establish routines. You know, for those areas of life where going on automatic makes it possible to think about something beyond “Where’d I put the spoons?” At the same time,  it was delightful to see our stuff in new places and to register the absence of the usual. Fresh sights, sounds and smells made me more alert and I could be a smidge more present to my immediate surroundings.

You don’t have to move to experience small changes lthat remind you of your vitality.Tiny deviations, a new route to work, wearing your watch on the other wrist, saying “No” when you’d normally say “Yes,”  or, saying  “Yes,” when you’d habitually say, “No” can wake you up.  You shift perspective.  Loosened up and re-connected you just may feel emboldened to discover a different response to a persistent problem, or even go for that new form of exercise, eating habit, meditation practice, job, or who knows…

Invite some playfulness and creativity into this practice- nothing more needed than what you can already muster – and take a look at at what you can tweak this week. Post your ideas here!

Enjoy!

Judy

Sample Move Into Change Newsletter here.

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Wednesday Words: Too Short For Shoulds

  • too short

Our inner score-keeper keeps track of how often and how well we live up to its demands. It’s favorite word is “should.”

  • I should exercise.
  • I should be nicer, kinder, more accepting.
  • I should eat healthier food.
  • I should read these types of books.
  • I should watch these types of movies.
  • I should be the kind of person who wants to read those books and sees those movies.
  • I should be more assertive, confident, proactive.
  • I should be grateful for what I have.
  • I should work harder, smarter, and more productively.
  • I should have better relationships with my family.
  • I should be more successful than I am.
  •  I’m not keeping score, should I?
  • I should obey the voice that tells me what I “should” do and then I’ll be…

When was the last time obeying a “should” truly gave you the sense of well-being you thought you’d get when you cajoled (coerced, convinced) yourself to do the thing you “should” do – which, let’s be honest – isn’t very often?

Never? Or, not for very long until exhaustion, apathy, resentment, rebellion, or avoidance show up. That’s because when we “should” ourselves we are aligning with only one part of ourselves. That part is prone to black and white thinking. Its solutions to our problems are usually pat prescriptions.

The “should” voice is likely an external judgment we internalized long ago and because it’s old, it lacks the nuance and flexibility of mature creative thinking (despite logical sounding adult vocabulary).

Have you noticed that when you succeed at doing  the “should,” you may experience momentary relief and then there’s a sense of hollowness. You feel empty because the “should” had no real meaning for moving your life forward now.  You may not even realize your predicament because, before you know it, more “shoulds” jump into the void.

Since it’s always asking you to keep up (because you lack whatever it’s telling you to do) keeping score can only lead to anxiety and more negative thoughts. Never enough…not good enough, if only I could get myself to do this I’d be a ___ person.

The trick is to recognize “shoulds” for what they are; only one part of many ways we talk to ourselves. No more true or right about us than any other part. We don’t have to believe it. When we are aligned with the score-keeper, when we see it as the whole truth and nothing but the truth, we do believe it and that’s where the struggle begins.

Clues that we’re aligned with the “should”:

  • Obviously, the word “should” as in, I should stop saying “should” – don’t fall for that one.
  • We get excited at the idea that finally, this time, we’ll be able to live up to the expectations.
  • We are feeling shame and this offers us the way out – but it doesn’t really protect us.
  • We don’t want to do it, whatever it is.
  • Or, we are avoiding or resisting the very thing we want to do.
  • We are worried that if we don’t listen something bad will happen, like we’ll become lazy, dishonest, a homicidal maniac, a bag lady, unlikeable, immoral, or unworthy.

We can’t banish “shoulds.”  We can learn to recognize when we’ve bought into the score-keeping attitudes. We can spend time watching our thinking so we can see that we’re more than those thoughts. We can sense in our bodies that we are more, much more than any set of rules.

We can tap into life, which is too short to waste on trying to appease the score-keeper.

Fall in Love with Your Life

What would it take for you to love your life?

Dear Valentine’s Day,

I’m using you as an excuse to talk about what matters to me.

Today, I’m thinking about how often I hear people say, “I hate my life.” Granted, it’s usually in a moment of frustration, annoyance or when yet another obstacle arises. I know I felt like this when the ceiling fell in on our bed. But I digress…

Most people, when pressed would say they didn’t really mean it, at least, not in the sense of being clinically depressed. They say that no, no, they like their lives, or maybe they just feel embarrassed by an outburst that holds a kernel of truth.  side note: If you feel so awful that you don’t want to go on living, stop right here and call someone for help.

Falling in love with your life is a little bit like falling in romantic love for the first time, but it’s more akin to rekindling the fire in a long-term relationship like marriage.

If you’ve been in a relationship for longer than a year, you know that relationships get into habits. Difficulties can get swept under the stove. We can start assuming we know what the other person will say and feel and how they’ll react. Sometimes we react as if they already said, felt and did those things before they even happen. We even interpret something new in light of the old. It can be jarring when years into the relationship one or both parties wake-up and wonder “How did we get here?” “Do I still love this person? What does it mean to love him/her now? We can feel trapped and uncertain about what to do next.

See where I’m going here?

We have a relationship with our lives, as we live it every day, whether we know it or not. If we walk away from this relationship we abandon only our selves.

The first step, and always the first step, is to intend to have a new relationship with your life. To commit to it. Dear Life, will you be mine?

Feeling the love again requires some work. No news there.

Questions to explore are the same for any other love relationship. Do I like my life? Do I Love it? What habits have I gotten into? Do I expect less of myself and tamp my desires because I’ve let myself down before? What have I decided is true that isn’t? Am I willing to look at my responsibilities here, including not taking on what isn’t mine? How do I treat me? How do I treat my life? What actions will I take to spark some change?

What will it take to fall in love with my life?

Coaching is one tool for falling in love with your life. Check out 27 Benefits to Coaching.

Love, Judy

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Wednesday Words: Billie Jean King

Self-awarenessSome people learn about themselves in the crucible of competition. Others- through taking risks in as many different ways as there people on this big green earth. Exhorting people, locker room-style, to become champions isn’t my thing. But getting in touch the whole-hearted conviction of a champion, and becoming curious about inner experience – yours and mine- is.

What do you think Ms. King meant with her words? Even more important,  do they mean something to you?

Leave a reply. I’d really like to hear from you.

Wednesday Words: Myth #3

Myth #3Not true, though we’ve all had that voice inside that tells us this is so at least once. And that voice uses Myth #1 and Myth #2 as evidence!

What myths are you telling yourself about the nature of confidence, your confidence?

You can find more at my website  moveintochange.com

Wednesday Words on a Saturday…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat in your life needs a “good-bye?”

Sometimes we hold on too long to something that needs a loving goodbye. We do this out of habit, out of fear, or simply because we haven’t notice just how much we’ve already moved on. Or, we don’t realize that a new beginning (the next growth) requires us to let go of something now. In other words, to enter the next room, moment, or phase, we must exit the one we’re in. Intentionally.

I  remember the first time I said “bon voyage” to a relationship, not because it was bad for me, or negative, but because it wasn’t the right thing for me right then. I was amazed this new way of looking at the world had grown up in me; that change could happen because it was about expansion not crisis, anger, or flight from struggle.  It felt odd, new, and grand.

So, today I’m making a list of those projects, ideas, patterns, and relationships that may need a fond farewell. Then I’m going to make another list of the stuff that feels stickier, that needs more attention from me before I’m ready to wave at it from the shore.

Who or what might you be sending off with champagne and streamers, and what can you let drift away?