I was speaking with someone earlier this week about the importance of moving information the six feet from our head to our heart and body. Understanding things intellectually will not produce the changes needed for long-term growth and transformation.
For example, you can know with head-knowledge that trying to control other people and every single circumstance in your life is not possible. But, without a way to practice releasing control, you’ll have a harder time breaking the pattern of trying to control all the things.
True growth and transformation require practices that incorporate your mind, body, emotions, and spirit. Today, I want to share with you four practices that will support you in this work as you navigate change.
These are short words or phrases that you say on repeat to help retrain your brain away from an old pattern. Mantras are a little bit like magic. They work with the plasticity of the brain to create new grooves in the brain. These new grooves in turn lead to new thoughts, new beliefs, and ultimately, new ways of being. I love a good mantra!
Some of my favorites include “it is what it is” for letting go of perfectionism. “Not my monkey, not my circus” for letting go of my tendency to be overly responsible for other people. And one I’m currently working with, “I have to stop hiding my body” to release the belief that my plus-size body cannot be seen or be allowed to take up space.
In my personal work, moving my body along with the use of mantras has been a game-changer. Your body has an IMMENSE amount of wisdom for you. It has been with you since the very beginning and has borne the burden of everything you’ve experienced in your life.
Bringing in movement practices helps reconnect you to your body and its wisdom. Yoga is a popular example of a movement practice. But you want to use it less as a form of exercise and more for paying attention to your body.
Yoga doesn’t work for me, so I incorporate other movement practices. My favorite is Elizabeth DiAlto’s Wild Soul Movement.
Feeling your feelings
Feelings are neither bad nor good, they simply are. They bring information with them and if you can feel them you can get to that information.
In a practical sense, this looks like interrupting the habits you’ve developed to hide or run from your feelings. For example, if I sense I’m about to cry, I know saying “I’m about to cry” out loud will stop my tears from coming. To break this pattern, I try not to say those words and instead allow my tears to come.
Feeling your feelings can also look like having a dance party when you’re feeling joy. Screaming into a pillow when you’re frustrated. Or hitting something with a pool noodle when you’re angry (my personal favorite way of dealing with anger).
Releasing judgment around your feelings can help you in this practice of feeling your feelings.
I saved spiritual practices for last because too often these are used to bypass the actual work of moving through change. We “love and light” or try to “pray away” the issues that come up. But being super spiritual doesn’t actually move you forward. It serves only to keep you stuck long-term. You may have the illusion of growth but deep down, there is a hollowness that is potentially harmful.
Spiritual practices – prayer, meditation, journaling, chanting – work best in conjunction with the others I’ve already mentioned. It’s never either/or, always both/and. You use your spiritual practices alongside your mind, body, and emotional practices.
It’s a Practice
Almost everything I talk about in my work is a practice. This makes sense since I am a coach 😊. The practices I’ve shared today are all things I’ve used in my own personal journey. I share the things I share because I know they work.
Moving through change takes time. The work of true growth and transformation is not a one-and-done kind of work. It comes through the persistent consistent choice to do things differently.
Here’s to you embodying these practices and rising into your greatness.
From my heart to yours,