Now that we have all pointed ourselves in the right direction and passionately pledged to take small steps on the path of self-improvement, how do we avoid, when no one is watching us, jumping into a taxi and heading to the closest and easiest place to give into our old habits? Making the smallest change requires a concerted effort to be upbeat, kind and loving to ourselves. It’s all well and good to resolve to change in a moment of clarity and awareness. However, when daily stressors pressure us, we are tempted to mutter, “What was I thinking
? I can’t do this; what makes me think that this time things will be different?” We don’t need other people’s anecdotes. We have our own collection!
The problem lies in the word, thinking
. Our ability to tell “rational lies” seduces us to give up almost as soon as we have begun. We’re not lazy; just look at how good we are at multi-tasking. We do not lack determination; no matter how dull, we accomplish our daily routine. Basically, we do not believe in ourselves and in our personal power. This reminds me of girls sitting in a classroom, suppressing their intelligent responses because they are afraid the boys wouldn’t like them if they are too brilliant. So, they become adept at contracting their inner light and unfortunately, their power.
Too bad, for what keeps us on track is our inner light which illuminates the way when we are in the dark about life’s uncertainties. If we are driving down an eerie country road on a dark, rainy night, our headlights will enable us to see ten feet in front of us. We can make it all the way home just by seeing ten feet at a time.
To find ourselves, to return home, we need our senses. Physical cues like: light, sound, aroma and color are powerful guides. By losing our minds which fill us with doubt, fear and pessimism and getting into our senses, we can feel our way around to naturally rediscover, maximize and enjoy the ordinary things we already have.
The most important change and the perhaps the first change we should consider making is to take care of our body because it does not just belong to us but to all those who are an important part of our life. Perhaps, there are many things we want to change about our bodies. Begin with exercise. Exercising daily from walking to strength training or any fusion workout will fuel all other changes. The empowerment the body and the limbic brain get from exercise drives all the rest of our resolve – this is the secret to change. Simply put: Exercise is like a physical affirmation which enhances all the senses.
Here are a few suggestions for sense appeal:
- Feel the appropriateness of your natural rhythm. In other words, when it’s time to eat, sleep, travel and exercise.
- Keep in touch with the people you love. Even though you are busy and overscheduled, keep them up to date with a few considerate words.
Clear the air in your home or workplace with plants like: ivy, spider plant, dracaena, gerbera daisy, peace lily and weeping fig.
Use aroma to motivate and de-stress: lavender, sandalwood and frankincense calm an overactive mind. If you need determination and confidence try: rosemary, laurel and peppermint.
- Use color to help you succeed: Yellow will help boost your self-esteem which stands at the root of transformation. Keep some yellow object in view.
- Ground yourself using the earth’s gravity. Stand feet hip distance apart. Rotate your shoulders back and down as you stand straight and tall with your head natural and your eyes looking out to the horizon. Breathe deeply. Imagine you legs are grounded like two giant California redwood trees.
- Listen to music because it taps into your neural machinery. Music corresponds to your emotions. Let it play in the background to subtly, subliminally influence what you need to feel.
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout
and Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul,
a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com