New Castle News

Columns

September 20, 2012

Lori Brothers on Healthy Living: Draw power from you, not habits

NEW CASTLE — Not all cookies have to be “no’s.”

Guilt is a very invasive dynamic that can take hold of anyone who is seriously trying to make lifestyle changes, or any changes in their life. It begins as the resolve to set new ways. As the new idea rolls forward, the meeting of the old way is almost immediate.

If you determined to eat less sugar, that next sugary thing emerges, and the drama begins. In that moment of temptation whether it is the actual object or the craving, the trying may fail and the guilt begins. You’ve just corrupted your own pristine vision on the road to your new life.

The very wise Yoda from Star Wars said, “There is no trying — do, or do not.” So how do we take “trying” out of it?

The most powerful tool I can hand you is your own choice. Remind yourself daily, “every yes to something is a no to something else.”

So don’t “TRY to not eat the cookie.” Eat the cookie or do not. Eat the broccoli, or do not. Eat the French fries, or do not. Eat the fruit, or do not.

When you begin to determine your most powerful “yeses,” you will begin to become more satisfied with your “nos.”  Meditate on this.

This is how goals are set, and met.

There is great courage in adopting this method of self-direction. When I ask how many people suffer from guilt while “trying” to meet their goals and intentions, there is an overwhelming affirmative response. Once again, don’t try. Powerfully do. You’ll feel so much better about yourself.

There is a philosophy in yoga that observes “pain is inevitable…suffering is not.” This refers to psychological suffering. When it comes to making changes, your own thoughts and emotions can support you or make you miserable.

Guilt puts a cloud over your vision for change. This clouded view can keep you stuck trying. So, by embracing the do- or do-not attitude, you can realize that you chose to eat that cookie. Enjoy the cookie because it is your yes this time. The question is, how many “yeses” are cookies?  Get it!

Do you have ample “walking yeses,” “volunteering yeses,” “contemplative-time yeses?”

Do you say “yes” to consistent good nutrition, getting enough water to drink, and restorative time?

Your empowered yeses can teach you that not all cookies have to be “nos.”  This eliminates guilt.

When you catch yourself in an old pattern, celebrate that you’ve seen it. You are aware that you are meeting your “no” because you’ve caught yourself operating out of an old habit.

Habits tend to be unconscious action. So if you can become aware — even when you are in the middle of the old habit — you are making progress. When your habit is to keep your new agreements with yourself, your yeses are your successes, and so are your guilt-free nos.

Even if you indulge, you are living by your “yes” because you won’t be in habit mode. You will be in your mode of power.

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