The New Year always represents the chance to start anew, with fresh perspectives, inspiring goals, optimism, good vibes. How can we hold onto these uplifting spirits and keep it flowing through the rest of the year? I'm really into transforming habit energy. You know, those negative habits that keep you in place, repeating the same ol' and then we wonder why we get the same results we don't want anyway. Isn't it time to squash them once and for all? It is possible to make these shifts and the first step originates with awareness. This process takes time, so patience with ourselves is vital...though in our modern world of immediate gratification, patience isn't always a core strength.
Transforming our negative habit energy begins with first admitting---we have to change our negative thoughts! This can be so difficult. We all have this transgenerational karma, perspectives and experiences that we may not be aware of that can drain our positive energy and hold us back. It is true that in the present moment we still can carry the karmic energy of our ancestors. We are our past whether we know what that past entails or not, but this doesn't have to be our fate. Unfortunately my father and step-father carried quite a bit of negative energy in their lives and mindsets. It is still a process for me to break free since I now have this awareness on a deep level. As Joanne Friday, my beloved Dharma Teacher stated, “We must chose to constantly place our mind in the highest and best places.” But how?
Buddhist psychology teaches first we must find the root cause of our bad habits. This is through meditative concentration, deep reflection and then developing compassionate understanding for ourselves, aka being kind to ourselves, practicing self-love. Often times we are so hard on ourselves, we are our own worst enemy. When we can see ourselves going down the rabbit hole of negative vibes, we can stop immediately, reflect and shift gears. Asking ourselves.... 'What is the truth?' 'What wonderful right here and now?' Within my spiritual studies I've learned a number of universal feminine false beliefs I have held about myself, that are completely not true, but boy did I believe these negative whispers for decades.
One Tuesday morning at 6:30am, I was on my way to attend a BNI business networking breakfast. I have never been to this particular meeting, yet assumed it would be corporate and normally I don't feel comfortable in über corporate environments. It was so damn early in the morning, I was wondering what the hell I was doing coming all the way from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side at 6:30am! Is networking really this important?
As I was entering the building, there was a glossy plaque on the building stating it was a Republican club building of some sort. My mind immediately went into judgement mode. Now I do agree with the Buddhist Samiddhi Sutra as described my Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn, which talks about the 'trap of complexes – thinking you are better, worse than or equal to others.' Humanity is interconnected and when we realize there is not a separate self and we are all connected, then there is more of a chance of harmony and happiness. --- All that inner wisdom was out the door at those wee hours for this night owl. I was raised with rather liberal values and though I know plenty of kind Republicans, hanging out at a Republican club house with strangers at 6:30am is not really within my comfort zone. My mind was already shouting “This is not my scene!” The truth is BNI was just renting a suite, as I wasn't entering a Republican convention.
I enter the elevator and my false belief that was ingrained since childhood was repeating itself “I don't belong.” Yet within a few seconds of this negative habit energy flowing I actually stopped, noticed and said to myself there was no point in my getting up so early and making this trek if I was going to have this negative vibe stepping off the elevator. I immediately shifted my mind and kept repeating my powerful mantra “I belong,” negating that false belief. It was that simple. Within the few minutes of that elevator ride, my energy took a positive shift and I physically felt the difference of radiating positive light. As I stepped off the elevator, I felt comfortable just being me and meeting all the different business people at the breakfast. I ended up making some great connections and was able to truly enjoy the beauty of the gorgeous building with a huge balcony overlooking Manhattan's skyline as we had a summer sunrise breakfast and learned about each other's industries. It was fruitful morning and I learned a lot about the power of the mind and my own power to determine my fate and my feelings in any situation. Releasing judgement and radiating positive energy is real. I have witnessed these successful shifts in mindset in every one of my coaching clients. It's so crazy to see how life blossoms when we just make a conscious choice to transform our perspectives! It takes effort, but it sure is worth it.
THREE STEPS TO TRANSFORM HABITS THAT HOLD US BACK:
You've heard it a thousand times, but developing a meditation practice is paramount in my book. If this sounds daunting, just make a pact to yourself in the New Year to give yourself 5- 10 minutes a day to relax and focus on your breathing. You would be surprised how quickly time flies. Add music to the mix to get you in the zone. I love this beautiful album "Healing" that supposed to open up the chakras, Healing Earth is my favorite ethereal song from the artist Anugama. If you are familiar with Buddhist meditation, check “Tibetan Singing Bowl, Music for Deep Meditation”, though I'm thinking that if you haven't practiced with a meditation bowl before, you may think gong sounds are pure craziness.
The written word.
I find writing to be a gateway to the soul and deep reflection flows when you allow yourself to look in the mirror and get real. In order to envision our bright futures and bring it into fruition, we must have clarity. There is no achievement if we don't know what we want. Here are some powerful questions to start you off. Free flow and write from the heart.
What small achievements in 2015 can I celebrate? Celebrating the small stuff = joy.
What do you most desire to:
What habits do I want to transform in 2016?
3. Take Action.
To kick off the New Year, just pick one habit you want to tackle. I'm ashamed to admit I had 20 damn habits I wanted to shift when I did this exercise!!!! So as you can see, I am too hard on myself as we speak!!! :) Transformation is an evolutionary process. Make a plan, something doable and start small. What actions need to shift? Make a commitment you can keep.
One of my key action steps is to drop the sugar addiction, which is not easy, since I'm a chocoholic. Each day I need to make conscious choices and this is my focus because my health is front and center for me. Cutting sugar is no joke, it's hidden everywhere! Though I forgive my slip-ups, I am staying the course. What's it for you?
The best part is....you don't have to be perfect! Yeah for all us 'recovering perfectionists!' In a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, headed by Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher, they confirmed on average it takes 66 days for a new habit to take shape. Of course this varies widely depending on the individual and lifestyle, yet on a whole this study, confirmed it took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for us to form a new habit. Practice patience, determination and diligence and be aware that it will probably take you anywhere from two months to eight months to build a new behavior into your life. This study debunked the 21-day myth.....boo hoo...no quick fixes! Transforming habits is a process, an art form, a scientific experiment. Just channel Thomas Edison when you fail and succumb to that stubborn habit that is taking hold...“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Dust yourself off and develop a strategy to get back on track. I can feel the fear of failure dissipating already! As I avoid the chocolate bar & cookies in my pantry, I'm feeling moved to quote some old school 80's electro dance hip-hop...
Ya'll want this party right? Ya'll want this party started quickly, right? Set it Off for 2016!!
Are you bold enough to share the one habit you are going to transform? Comment below...Inquiring minds want to know. :) If you like this, please share and "Set if off, I suggest ya'll." :)
Feel the need for some extra support in your radical transformations in the New Year? Reach out to inquire about my complimentary Spark Sessions offering a taste of my Premium Transformative Coaching Program "Ignite Your Insight." I only have a few open slots left for registration this January. Click here to reach out.