Finding Change That Sticks

Last week I was ready.

Even declared out loud I was ready. (What was I thinking!)

More accurately, my body had found a window of opportunity (or weakness?) to deliver a message – “ready or not” – to my brain.

I felt good, solid, clear – a rightness of the way things were supposed to be.

 

For months we’ve been talking about making a few changes to our diet and habits.

The plans and bargains all sounded good enough – on these days we would [blah] and if this happens then we could reward ourselves with [that].

Then something would happen and tomorrow, next week or whenever became the new start date.

We just couldn’t gain traction to begin.

 

Know Where Change Comes FromChallenges were out of the equation.

No X number of days to get through and miraculously things would change.

That’s a backwards bargain in disguise.

Also been there, done that several times including the year my dad died.

 

Days before his accident I committed to a 90 day challenge of three daily practices, and no alcohol was one of them.

And I didn’t have a drop, in spite of many crappy days and the 50th anniversary celebrations of close friends.

Rising to the challenge of a commitment, with a dash of “I’ll show you” to the challenger thrown in, fueled my desire to get through.

My mind hunkered down to succeed.

On day ninety-something I sure enjoyed a drink, and many days after that too.

 

That was a far different experience from the day I stopped drinking coffee.

I’d been at the point for far too long of finding every excuse to swing by the local coffee shop for a medium coffee to start the day.

 

Even recognizing the addicted behavior was not good, I didn’t really want to stop.

But Body did.

 

After several attempts at failed negotiations, Body won out.

Brain subconsciously knew this was a losing battle, and made the most of the time Body allowed me to fool myself.

Sometimes you just have to go through the motions to strike a bargain and come up with all the reasoning to feel you at least tried.

 

Body gave the heads up Friday would be the last day.

Body is a sneaky schemester because Friday turned out to be the last free coffee on the my last coffee card.

All loose ends neatly tied up in a bow.

 

The coffee was enjoyed like every other day and with the last sip, that was it.

Just it like every other day too – no fanfares for the cold turkey.

There were also no yearnings, no withdrawals, no slip ups.

Body knew best – as usual.

 

Fingers crossed, Body is right again as we head into this change up.

The last few days have been filled with wonky experiences, the perfect fuel for Brain to cry “Not now! Wait until [then]!”

Body remains silent.

 

I think Body is sitting back, smiling knowingly at what lies ahead and what it wants.

Now is not the time for pep talks or convincing arguments.

Brain needs the space to have any last temper tantrums or hopes of bargaining.

Body simply knows what Brain doesn’t.

 

Today is the day Body said start.

With all on the plate today, time will tell if this is Body is truly driving the bus or Brain jumped behind the wheel.

Brain will fall prey to excuses.

Body will ensure the feeling of rightness previewed before, the knowing will be felt inside and Brain’s battles of will power long gone.

 

 

Have you ever experienced a change that your Brain was opposed to, but you moved through somewhat easily anyway?

 

 

 

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Lorraine Watson - on rustic porch

chief nudging officer

Lorraine

Crazy for cats and potatoes, Lorraine's insatiable curiosity of Life leads her to question, explore and push beyond the box. A self-professed "left-brained creative big picture" type, she has an intuitive knack for seeing beyond and beneath first appearances while at the same time nerding out on the details. Most of all she sees and holds others in their highest until they can see it for themselves.

6 Comments

  1. Carrie Ann Lahain on October 14, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I love to walk. At times I’ve begun walking programs and my brain always got in the way…you’re too tired, it’s too hot, you’ll be chased by a dog, hit by a car. Did I mention that my brain is a bit of an alarmist? Well, at one point, I just step outside and walked around the block. Then I did it the next day and the next. I worked up to forty minutes most days. It didn’t last forever–interfering brain reasserted itself after a few months. A stretch of bad weather gave it the opportunity! But if I did my outdoor walk once, I can do it again. Right now I use an indoor walk DVD five times a week. Now that the summer heat here has passed, I’m toying with taking my walk outside again.

    Brains can be pains. I know mine makes every doctor or dentist visit a nightmare…and yet the actual events usually go so smoothly. If you ask me, brains should come with “off” switches.



    • Lorraine on October 17, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      Sometimes I wonder if Brains have nothing better to do than run amok. Isn’t there a body to run, after all. Body can be too polite as the quiet observer waiting for the space to talk.

      Sounds like you’re already being given the heads up about hitting the sidewalks again. Do you think you’ll be walking in the rain this time around?



  2. Dawn Downey on October 15, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I really liked the part about the last day for your free cup of coffee. That helps me trust that life will work itself out beautifully without my help. My body also decided it was time for a change. My mind had insisted on healthy changes time and time again. It kept saying I had to do things and I had to stop doing other things. It was all about guilt and wanting to have a better body. But when my body instituted the changes, it was easy. I get up and walk every day, even when my head says it’s too cold. My feet just head out the door, while my mind is complaining. And then we went on a long vacation and my mind wanted to eat junk food because “hey, it’s vacation!” but my body just wasn’t interested. No guilt, no discipline.



    • Lorraine on October 17, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      That’s very much my experience too – when the body wants the change, all the nattering mind does is tuned out. I’ve also experienced bad reaction previews just by looking / contemplating eating something body doesn’t want. And far too many experiences to know Life has got things well under control without my help.



  3. Christine on October 23, 2014 at 8:58 am

    So funny I should read this today, Lorraine. (And yet not surprising, because that’s how life seems to work). Months ago I had taken on a 30-day green smoothie challenge with gusto. I loved it – maybe because I love to have my cake and eat it too. So I enjoyed those healthy smoothies so much – and also enjoyed red wine, coffee, tacos, pizza, and lots of healthy food as well. The folks who created the smoothie challenge followed up with a 21-day cleanse, and it looked amazing. But I wasn’t ready. Then recently my body advised me – in no uncertain terms – that it’s time. I’m ready. My brain is too, at least for now. I’m starting the cleanse at the beginning of November, which will give me time to slow down on the caffeine and wine and stock up my cupboards with all the cleanse-related stuff. So interesting though… I was just invited to a friend’s party that takes place on Nov. 8th and for a fleeting second my brain thought, “well, maybe I’ll have just one glass of wine while I’m there.” Then I realized – no. I don’t want it. It’s a fascinating dance between brain and body, isn’t it? I love that you’ve allowed your brain to have its temper tantrums, because they’re real and have to be heard. But sometimes – often, maybe – body is so much more wise. Great post!



    • Lorraine on October 23, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Being put on notice by Body is real wake up call. No ifs, ands or buts. (Was just thinking its similar to getting ‘the look’ from a cat.) Funny I had the same experience with being invited to a gathering and having the same inner discussion of ‘one glass, no, don’t want a glass’.

      Wishing you an easy cleanse savouring all that is now (or will be) stocked in your cupboards.



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