3 Levels of Personal Transformation

face with energetic waves moving throughBehavior

When I start working with a client, I want to move us towards small behavior changes in the beginning. If we can accomplish some small behavior changes, we are moving confidently towards transformation. For example, maybe you can start eating a piece of fruit after a meal instead of the dessert you used to always eat after certain meals? This small change implemented once per day can begin to uproot a pattern and this kindles a succession of positive health benefits down the line.

Small changes are the key because this relaxes the client’s psyche allowing for fundamental change. When prodigious changes are introduced to our ego, defense mechanisms are triggered, which create a formidable barrier against meaningful change. This is a common phenomena amongst everyone so don’t be alarmed or feel you are inadequate in any sense.

Some people believe that you think your way into right behavior. Others say you act your way into right thinking. I believe it can be done either way, but we know thoughts move at supersonic pace so it’s probably that a though occurs before you take a specific action. Saying that, we can certainly take an action, such as exercise, even though we don’t have positive thoughts about exercise right now. We can perform the action even if we don’t feel like it. This is discipline. Over time, we find that our associated thoughts become more supportive of the actions taken.

Beliefs

Your stories are the #1 determinants of your health and metabolism. These stories are results of deep-rooted beliefs, which have been entrenched since early childhood. They are unconscious mostly and it takes new levels of awareness and conscious effort to change our stories. It can be done. It will be done once we become aware of the common, inner stories and their negative effects upon our health.

You can do investigative work on your daily thought patterns and beliefs. What are you thinking about as you walk down the street or take a jog? Notice if most of these thoughts are positive or negative. Write down the questions you have about your beliefs. “Why do I have the consistent thought ‘I’m fat’? When is the first time I can remember having that thought in my life? Who suggested that I’m fat? Is it really true? Is this something I have to keep repeating? How does it benefit me?” Start writing down answers to these questions and you will soon discover the original thought or suggestion occurred long ago and it might not have anything to do with your present life. You will probably discover that it’s simply a repeated pattern of habit that you have no use for anymore. It’s simply a mental habit and nothing more. There is no truth to it. This is incredibly power because we are uncovering the real truth behind these negative patterns. We are removing the veil of secrecy covering them, which have allowed them to promulgate most of our lives. These insubstantial phantoms have directed our lives in some negative pathways, but there is no longer a need to be afraid of the thought patterns. We can simply let them go and replace them with new beliefs rooted in reality.

Identity

Who are you being? Act the part and your identity will change over time. Start acting like the person you want to be. Do you want to be in shape? Then start acting like a person who is in shape. Get congruent with that identity, persona, or being. Your mental projection will begin to create your identity over time.

Have you ever heard “fake it til you make it”? This is a powerful way to transform. In the beginning, it may feel awkward or impossible. Nothing is impossible. Just keep acting the part and support your new identity with new beliefs and behavior. Remember, the universe is in a constant state of motion. That includes our bodies, thoughts, beliefs, etc. You can start directing all of these fluid phenomena into a desired direction and they will eventually manifest on the physical level. You already know this, but I’m just pointing it out for you again.

These three levels of personal transformation can be engaged as soon as you find a small behavioral change to enact. This doesn’t have to be complicated. We can start small and ultimately produce life-long changes that transform us and consequently others who are closely connected.

 

How To Date While Having Ulcerative Colitis

couple walking and holding hands

Dating is tough in general, but when you have ulcerative colitis, it can be even tougher. All hope is not lost. Many people with UC date successfully, enter marriage, and have children successfully. Below, I will discuss the importance of not being a whiner, being confident and honest, partnering with a nurturer, and focusing on gratitude.

Don’t Be a Whiner

Take it from me; nobody is going to completely understand your predicament with UC except for others who suffer from the same malady. Nobody wants to be around a whiner no matter the circumstances. Try to remember this when you really want to whine about your current suffering. Instead of complaining to your partner consistently, you can go to an online forum or call a friend who also has UC. They will understand and may have a larger tolerance for current complaints. Many people in general are simply not aware about their complaining because it is second nature and its been utilized as a coping method most of their lives. How about you? Are you aware about your level of complaining with your partner? This isn’t a reason to feel guilty or beat yourself up; it’s simply a new level of awareness that can help you become healthier while developing effective relationship skills.

Be Confident and Honest

My experience is that most people are very tolerant and non-judgmental about ulcerative colitis as long as you present yourself as a capable, nice individual who offers a lot of attributes. People quickly look past UC if they see positive attributes, which resonate with them. Consider that you “look normal” on the outside for the most part so visually people have no reason to judge you negatively. I don’t like hiding the fact very long from someone I am dating. I let them know relatively soon that I’ve had surgery and I’m healthy most of the time. I usually say something like “I used the bathroom a little more frequently than most people.” Again, I’ve never felt judged unfairly. If anything, I’ve probably always judged myself more harshly than others. This is a wonderful reality that others can be so tolerant and I’m grateful for this kindness in the world, which I sometimes overlook.

Find a Nurturer

Some people are naturally nurturers and some people don’t want to be bothered. Now, you have to be careful when considering this idea because you don’t want to enter a relationship with a co-dependent caretaker. This sort of dynamic creates difficulty for both individuals and there are many therapeutic modalities and recovery groups that address this type of caretaking.

A nurturer is someone capable of empathy. They care when you are having a flare up or when you’re in pain. They offer to do simple things or just listen when you need to express your current health. There are many people in the world who possess this wonderful, natural quality. How about you? Do you tend to gravitate towards nurturers or people who abandon you when you need them most? Journal about your past relationships and notice a pattern. Do you need to raise self-esteem and begin attracting people who can give and receive with equanimity? I hope some of this makes sense. As someone with ulcerative colitis, you deserve to date someone with natural compassion, who can possibly become a long-term partner in marriage or another arrangement.

Focusing on Gratitude

Life is about attitude. Even though you have ulcerative colitis, think of the ways you are incredibly blessed. What have you noticed today that is wonderful and worthy of gratitude? There are so many small things. Right now it is July and there is one tree near my home that recently has a bird singing amazingly beautiful songs every day. I stand there and lookup at this bird and can’t believe the songs it composes. I swell with gratitude when I pay attention because it feels like heaven on Earth. This is just an example of slowing down and realizing all the miracles, which fosters gratitude. Your dating partner will sense this gratitude in you. Why? You are not needy. You are already abundant with gratitude and blessings so people naturally want to be around you.

Embracing Your Appetite

photo of food platter

Archetypally, women can feel deep shame and guilt when desiring something strongly like a sweet food. This is partially caused by a misrepresentation of old Biblical stories such as Adam and Eve, which depict the treacherous downfall associated with strong desire. For example, indulging and eating a brownie is seen as bad and something experienced as a “guilty” pleasure. You can really begin to analyze these little negative messages that bombard our consciousness throughout life and culminate in complex neuroses and shame.

What is Appetite?

Appetite is a biologic phenomenon, which is necessary to keep us alive. When I’ve explained the 20-minute meal and how you can eat “anything” when adapting to this meal period, people initially panic. How can we eat anything we want? As I explained in a previous post, how you eat is just as important as what you eat.

The Collective Fear of Appetite

If you love sex, you’re a whore. Have you ever felt bad about your sexual desires? Why? Where did you learn this message? Has sex caused you heartache in the past?

If you love food, you’re a glutton. Where did you learn this? What kind of food makes you a glutton? If you crave sugar, is that “bad” or just a temporary craving that will pass?

If you love money, you’re greedy. All of us need money to survive in most of our modern world so why would we stigmatize this subject with morbidity or scarcity? Isn’t money a common, every day need that we should openly discuss without guilt or preconceived angst?

By invalidating our own appetite and ourselves, we create a false inner prison that must be deconstructed under this new paradigm of acceptance associated with our natural desires.

Trusting Ourselves

In addition to trusting our appetite, and ourselves what if we also trusted ourselves, especially our body, to communicate that we are full? What if we started paying attention to messages from our body that are saying “enough, I don’t need anymore”? As I’ve mentioned before this is a continuation of the slowing down process, which enables us to become more “aware” of what is really going on and consequently reacting to the present need.

Some people will binge eat instead of asking love ones to help fulfill their desires. Men and women often use sweets as substitutes for physical touch, love, and sex.

Conclusion about Appetite

In conclusion, begin to assimilate the idea that appetite is natural and healthy. Yes, sometimes you will crave sweets or something unhealthy. If you do, just practice eating the food slower. If you have to eat a bowl of ice cream, take a full twenty minutes to eat that bowl. Over time, this will change “what you eat” in addition to how you eat because you are increasing presence and awareness.

In addition, pay attention to new appetites for new foods. Are you beginning to enjoy a spinach salad more than in the past? Are you slowing down and paying attention to the multitude of flavors in that salad, which you never noticed before because you were in a hurry?

What area possesses your strongest appetite? Is it sex, food, money, etc.? Why do you have a strong appetite in this area? What is the real need you are avoiding? Can you find the clarity and courage to voice your need? These are things to consider moving forward.

The more centered and present you become, the more your appetite will become moderated. The outer always follows the inner. Unfortunately, we get trapped into the habit pattern and belief that says outer things create our inner peace. This is a false belief, a delusion that most of humanity embraces.

“Be still and know that I Am God” is a great statement to investigate and imbibe into your soul. The simplicity behind the message can lead us to a healthier appetite and awareness about our current appetite.