My life now honestly feels like I was living in the Matrix but I woke up and took the blue pill. If you haven’t watched the movie the Matrix I highly recommend it. It’s a great analogy of what its like living a programed life, vs what its like to live reality: reality is not great, but you fight to protect it.
If you have had a lifestyle change or are in the process of
changing your lifestyle, I highly applauded you. Even if its just something as
simple as changing your diet. And if you are a survivor or thrive after abuse,
I want to take this time to acknowledge your journey and give you a standing
So, what gets us to make a shift in our life? Especially a major shift that feels like we just woke up from the Matrix. Change is difficult as I explained in a previous article. I found what Richard Granon stated in a video interesting, so I wanted to share the 3 things he suggests set down neuropathways.
1. Intensity Of Experience
You might have heard that sometimes you just need to hit
rock bottom before you decide to change your life… Pain has been known to be a
more effective change generator than pleasure. Pleasure will also motivate you
to change but its not as powerful as pain.
Have you ever had that moment where you feel like you just
want to scream “I’ve had enough!”? Pain was my motivator to change my diet. I
had had enough and was not going to just take the doctors advice of keep an eye
on things and go for surgery if things get worse. So, I was all over starting a
new diet that claimed to cure the incurable.
As effective as pain is, it starts to wear you down as time
passes. Focusing on the negative all the time is draining. And since change
takes time, it can be easy to give up. Also, as things start to get better you
might settle for better and stop without following through to the end goal.
This happened to me when I finally quit my job. I wasn’t in
the toxic work environment anymore, So I was OK with just another job and forgot
about my end goal of creating a life that I LOVE.
Write down a pros and cons list and see what motivates you the most. It helps to write the pros on one sheet of paper, then put it away. Then days later write the cons on another sheet of paper.
We tend to want to write a pro for every con when we write
side by side. So, write the lists separately on different days. Then, bring the
two lists together and do a comparison.
Do this with major decisions you are struggling with, It
will give you perspective and help you make a decisions based on the intensity
of the experience.
For a professional athlete who is very aware of their body,
it takes a lot of repletion before they can master a new technique. For an
average person trying to master something new, it takes even more time. And if
you have had any trauma either physically or emotionally, breaking resistance
will take an even longer time.
What routines do you have? What words are you repeating to
yourself on a regular basis? I had resistance, wanting to stay in a secure job
because at least I knew the money was coming, even if it wasn’t enough.
Resistance can look any way so we sometimes don’t even
realize why we are resisting because we have been raised up will all sorts of
conditioning: our programing. You need to recognize a problem to fix it.
Moreover, sometimes change feels like you are trying to come
of the rails and ride a train out into the wilderness. But repletion got you
where you are. Repetition can also get you out. It just takes a lot of
In this I use affirmations and visualizations to break
through resistance and create change in my life. Create a vision of what you
would LOVE your life to be like. Imagine yourself there every morning, first
thing when you wake up.
When your getting ready in the morning or shortly after you
get up, look yourself in the mirror and say hi to yourself. Then say an
affirmation. I know. Talking to yourself in the mirror feels like the weirdest
thing, but its somehow very effective to hear and see yourself say this
Repeat this every day. Look yourself in the eyes. If you are
like me, you will start halfheartedly and think it’s silly but don’t give up. You
will notice the day you finally look yourself in the eye, say this affirmation,
and mean it. And that is absolutely worth it.
3. Spiritual/Religious Experience
This includes the psychedelic experiences and usually comes
through meditation, prayer, fasting, a near death experience, the death of a
loved one, initiation… These all fire up the same thing in the brain.
Spiritual or religious experiences have been used in ancient times where tribal initiation required the boys or girls to prove themselves worthy by doing some act of horrible torture.
This has been used in recent times where mental toughness programs are used in places like the military. I would also include the stressful jobs which are unnecessarily harsh, such as architect, or doctor.
Honestly, there is no reason for the large workload: its not key to making you a better doctor or architect. Its a painful experience so that you join a brotherhood (cue dramatic voice) “your one of us now” because you have been through that.
I’ve found myself wondering if the people who come up with
this stuff knew what they were doing to get people not to resist. Or if they
just tried it and it worked…
Research shows Its how our systems are wired. We are wired to most effectively respond to the trauma when it “breaks” our spirit. It sets down neuropathways that stay set in place.
The findings left me feeling cheated when I looked back at
all the stuff in the society and our environment that have been placed to bond
us to things we wouldn’t voluntarily agree to.
I wouldn’t go as far as traumatizing myself to break resistance, but you can deliberately rewire yourself at a spiritual or religious level to break resistance. Or simply, philosophy.
You need to almost do things in the reverse. Don’t let the traumatizing experiences bring you away from who you are, use it to draw closer to who you are.
Here are some non traumatizing ways you can start increasing
Make a conscious effort to love. Even if it’s
just the colour blue (I love blue!!) always make a conscious effort to love.
Think about who you want to be every day in the
things you do: this connects you to your higher consciousness.
Do things you love!! When you are exited about
life you reach your inner spirit.
Do something for others without expecting
anything in return.
Read books that will lift up your spirit: Turn
the TV off.
Sit quietly for 15 minutes per day, preferably
at the same time every day, and quieten your thoughts.
Create change! Unplug from the matrix!!
The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. Which
one of the three do you find has made you break through resistance? Intensity
of experience, repetition or spiritual/religious experience? Make a conscious
effort to intentionally create neuroplasticity; your life doesn’t have to be
Comment below on what you have experienced and what your takeaway
is. Create change and create a life you love. The mind is quite rigid, its purpose
is to make sure you survive – keep you safe. But you can unplug and live out of
March 18, 2020
Affirmations are great! My last therapist used them extensively; she had a basket of them on slips of paper that she had me draw from after every session. Julie (Huffle Mom) sat in on a few, and then my therapist gave us materials to start our own box of affirmations. I included many of the ones she gave me, plus ones from the new box at our Journal Jar blog.
We also found GREAT growth and progress through gratitude challenges, and we have even done so by Angie Atkinson’s standards. It can be tough to start, but OH, it’s very worth it.
March 19, 2020
That’s where the tag line for my website came from: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” I picked it up from a jar at the therapists office! I love affirmations. You have so much content. Will read them when I get the chance.
Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read my article. I used to do Angie’s thing for things you are grateful for and things you love about yourself. Cant remember how many I used to write. I should get back to it.
March 20, 2020
When I did 43Things’s “DAILY: 5 Things for which I’m grateful”- it was indeed only 5 items, compared to Angie’s 10 items. Angie also added listing things you like about yourself- which is REALLY hard as my maternal grandmother made me a golden child, and Mom retaliated by making me a scapegoat!
But I sat down with Julie (actually, it was with Julie’s child alternate personality, Rosie- Julie has Disassociative Identity Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified) and actually got through Angie’s challenge at least once as we were dining out.
April 1, 2020
Wow. That’s wonderful. I could never really get through the love part for an extended period. And honestly my 10 things turned into a modified things I did today list, after a few days. But I love seeing it in my journal.
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