Why change can be hard (and what to do about that)

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/domestictimes/ Creative commons license

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/domestictimes/ Creative commons license

Why the important stuff is hard

Love really matters to me. It truly is all there is. I want to continually become more accepting, more loving of people just as they are. Family friends, everyone. Recently, I began to focus more on developing that attitude or mindset more fully, holding that attitude more deeply.

One day as I sat on my mat waiting for my yoga class to start, I realized I wasn’t being very accepting of myself. I could feel the constriction in my shoulders and around my heart. I noticed my breath was shallow and I noticed that I was still beating myself up for a small mistake several hours before…

As the teacher sat down to begin class, I saw that there is work to be done before I can be more accepting of others. I can feel the way that this tendency to be hard on myself is deeply embedded – it’s in my body, my emotions, the way I think about my life. It’s part of me.

In my coaching, I talk to clients about becoming the self that can fulfill on your commitments. This moment in yoga class was one of those times I encountered that for myself. I wondered, “How do I become the self that can fulfill on my commitment to accept people just as they are?” This feels like a very different question than “How do I learn to accept others as they are?” A harder question.

This new question might lead me to look at

My felt sense of what matters.
Love is what matters to me, in my work, my personal relationships, in everything. Can I feel that deep caring about love in my body? Do I have a felt sense of that to draw on when the change is hard?

My level of embodied self-awareness.
Noticing in yoga class those feelings of constriction gives me clues. Can I tune in to my physical being, life inside my body on a moment by moment basis? If I can, that will let me hear the subtle signals of my self-criticism and work more skillfully with it.

My internal narratives.
I have a well-practiced story to justify this behavior. I’m not a slacker and I certainly don’t want anyone to think I am. So I “beat myself up” to “make” myself successful. Hmm. Might need to look at that story, become aware of it, challenge the logic of it.

These are examples of ways I might begin to more fully become the self that can live into my commitment fully. I’ll be talking with my coach about this in our next call for sure!

  • What commitments matter to you?
  • How do those live in your body?
  • How might you more fully become the self that can fulfill on those commitments?