BOOK EXCERPT: You Might Not Realize This About Change (And It Could Help You)
Imagine a vast field of wildflowers waving in the wind at the base of a mountain range. You’re walking a clear path through these wildflowers while contemplating the mountain before you. Your stroll on flat land is steady, and you relax in the surrender of now, understanding that the approaching mountain will change everything.
As you stroll through the soft beauty all around you, you think about how your lungs will adjust as you climb. Your blood flow will increase, your pace and stride will change. What’s coming might feel intense even as you contemplate rising to the task. You wonder if the physical part of you pulsing and breathing will have a thing or two to say about what this climb will require.
It’s OK, nothing’s wrong, everything you’re thinking and feeling is a natural part of negotiating a changing landscape.
Your mental and physical self hums along on easy terrain, until suddenly you begin the climb you’ve only been thinking about. Everything about you is changing now because you’re no longer on flat ground, you’re heading up, up, and receiving different stimulation.
Your mental thoughts (or opinions) about the climb begin to kick into gear. Maybe you find yourself thinking that returning to flat land would be a really, really good idea about now. Or maybe you stop thinking altogether and enter “the zone.” Your body kicks into high gear and it feels terrific.
On a different climbing day, your physical body (lungs, muscles) might rejoice, might not. What’s true on any day is that on flat land, your mind and body had your established pattern all worked out and automated, and now you’ve challenged it!
Change creates inner chaos right down to the cellular level.
Expect it. Welcome it.
Deliberately changing a response to your husband is like climbing, it changes everything inside you, not just your words or actions. Your usual responses to him are the flat land of wildflowers, and your new responses and realizations are the equivalent of climbing the mountain.
Your decision to change, along with new action, creates an inner flurry (new chemicals released) and suddenly you’re not in Kansas anymore. Why? Because how you think and how you feel don’t quite match up yet.
Give it time, and they’ll match. Meanwhile, the ripple effect of your decision and subsequent action will most likely feel new, awkward, unsure. It could feel weird, not correct, maybe even wrong.
This is natural! You’ve gone from flatland to, well, UP.
(Author’s note: Prior to this section, there was a full discussion about cellular/chemical change in the body in response to the decision and action of changing. This wildflower section is meant to be an illustration of previous information. Lifting an excerpt out of the book is always a bit risky!)
THE STRENGTH OF MOMENTUM
You’ll probably be amazed at the strength of the flat land pattern of what you’ve always said to your husband. It’s strong and it may wash you right back into how you’ve typically responded to him. Momentum is a tall, deep wave and you’ll deal with that wave when you make conscious changes in your behavior.
Even if you’re really awake and aware, your mind may try to talk you into putting your hand into the cookie jar of the past. It will do that because it’s built to do that. It might even launch sneak attacks or employ brilliant back door methods to usher you back, back, back to staying the same. You know, to maintain the status quo and all! The mind is a cheerleader whose drill is hooray for sameness!
This is how we do the hokey pokey of change. Step one, we put the right foot in, we slow down, we surrender. Even when we put the right foot out, and shake it all about (change things up), we’re getting there, we’re on the path.
Now for the left foot…
(This is an excerpt from Terri’s book for women with multiple marriages, due out in 2017.)
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