“Repetition is not failure – just ask as the waves, ask the leaves, ask the wind.” – Mark Nepo
A friend and I were talking recently about reoccurring lessons in life. She struggles with putting an end to relationships that continue past their shelf-life. I struggle with pacing myself and allowing for pause. We laughed at how life reminds us of these behavioral patterns. She’s had brakes on her car die twice. And both times she was in a relationship that needed to end. I’m guilty of riding my bike for quite some time before recognizing that I could shift gears to accommodate for changing terrain.
I’d stubbornly push up a hill with all my might, only to realize that if I’d shifted gears, I’d have put both my bike and body through less strain.
I ride through life similarly. I push a constant grind, despite messages from my body and mind saying “Let’s take a day off.” Then I wind up exhausted and angry that I’m so tired.
I don’t think I’m alone. I hear this theme often in the office with clients. Some clients take on too many projects. Others stay with boyfriends who don’t reciprocate. And there are those who seem to find themselves under a mountain of work due to procrastination. It’s these times I say, “It seems like we’ve been here before.”
Change is not easy. There are definitely stages that we can recognize early on so that we can make adjustments.
Stages of change
Unconsciously don’t know what you don’t know
Consciously know you don’t know
Consciously know you aren’t skilled
Unconsciously become skilled
Change requires awareness, as well as being okay with not being good at the new behavior.
In her book, When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron explains, “What we call obstacles are really the way the world and our entire experience teach us where we’re stuck.” If we’re open to learning about our habitual reactions in this situation, we can grow.
It’s amazing when we listen to our bodies or our “gut” and find that we can open new doors in life. The benefits of change that we have been craving are tremendous. It could be getting out of a toxic relationship or job and starting down a new path in life. Or making a minor change like an athlete may do in their stance or grip to get out of a slump.
Today I leaned into a new behavior and took the day off. And wouldn’t you know I awoke with a blog idea.
For your own consideration
What patterns repeat in your life?
What is the action to change?
Are you ready to skillfully soften into the unskilled part?
Take these questions on a walk.