If you want a new outcome, you will have to break the habit of being yourself,
and reinvent a new self.” ~ Dr. Joe Dispenza
Let’s begin with going back and reading once more the quote from Dr. Joe above, as it is an alchemical key ring holding the skeleton key to creating anything, most especially a new self.
Let the words truly land.
What exactly is he saying? What does he mean when he says, “break the habit of being yourself?” What’s wrong with how we are?
In order to understand, let’s delve into our patterns of behavior and thought, the programs we run (for the most part) unconsciously, all the time.
In the morning, we wake up, most likely reach for our phone, and scan email and social media. We go to the bathroom, thinking about what we have to do that day, and look forward to enjoying our first coffee. We go to the kitchen, make coffee, and perhaps think back upon something that happened the day before that upset us, angered us, worried us. We drink coffee, letting the strand of the story from yesterday, or last week, or last month, or from years before, take us on a ride… galloping away on lizard brain thoughts… to places that don’t feel good, that cause more chain reaction thoughts. We shower, get ready to launch our day, and continue to reside in our heads, thinking the same thoughts we thought yesterday, feeling the same emotions we felt yesterday.
If we changed up a few of these details, for instance, we added in drinking celery juice, doing Morning Pages, meditating, hiking/swimming, etc., you’d have a pretty good snapshot of how I launch my day. Even though, I am doing things like journaling, exercising, and meditating, I still go unconscious the vast majority of the time (although I am improving, bit by bit).
We all do.
And, as Dr. Joe would say, when we go unconscious, we run old patterns of thoughts and emotions. Thoughts and emotions of our past. And if we are living in our past the majority of the time, how we will ever be able to co-create our future in the way we desire?
When I become aware in the moment when I have gone unconscious (the clue that wakes me up is experiencing a thought/emotion that does not feel good), I have begun to stop in my tracks and say out loud to myself, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Come back, Susie.”
I will then identify the thought that was the lead-domino thought in the chain reaction and dissect it from the balcony (that is, with awareness and perspective). I turn the thought around with a better-feeling thought, and become focused and intentional on what I want to think, feel, and create differently.
At first, this process just about wore me out, as I was living mostly asleep at the wheel, most of the time. When I started becoming focused and intentional, it was exhausting because I tended to slip out of awareness a great majority of the time.
Happily, as I get better at not going unconscious to begin with, I’m finding the time I spend calling myself back and working on thoughts is becoming less and less. It is an ongoing practice, however, and one I know I will continue to do for the rest of my life.
One recent morning, I was standing in the kitchen, preparing a batch of gumbo, and I experienced one of those fear/anxiety thoughts that was like a lightning bolt coursing through my body. The intensity of the chain reaction really got my attention, and I decided to put down my chopping knife and pick up a pen.
On the back of a recipe, I sketched out a Fear & Anxiety Map, thinking why not create a map to be able to fully understand my edgier emotions so that I can become very intentional, conscious, and get back in the driver’s seat of how I want to feel (so that I can create a new reality)?
This is a very simple, yet powerful tool. By waking up during the moments we are experiencing painful thoughts and feelings, we can map the habit of being ourselves and then scan the map for patterns of thinking, feeling, and doing.
As you can see, here are the elements of the map:
What was the thought right before you experienced fear/anxiety?
What did you do as a result?
What did you not do as a result?
If you couldn’t ever think that thought ever again, what would you do differently? How would you feel?
How can you call yourself back to yourself? Identify grounding, better feeling thoughts + actions.
Keep this handy and use it as your compass back home. Spend some time reviewing any patterns that appear, most especially with your lead-domino thought before you experience fear/anxiety. These pesky thoughts tend to be on repeat, so see what they are for you. There is much to mine in these thoughts.
Next, try changing up your routines, especially those in the morning, that tend to shape and color the experience of your entire day. Routine changes can be as small as keeping the phone in a drawer, out of reach. Reading emails after you have journaled/meditated. Taking a different route to work. Trying something new for breakfast.
Play around with what you can shake up to wake up!
A continual, evolving practice of becoming more and more aware, noticing unexpected beauty (within and around us), as well as seeking as many thoughts, ideas and people you can to appreciate, lifts us up and out of our past and our old emotions.
It is how we move from fight or flight mode to a delicious state of creating… creating everything from our experience of each present moment to a new business launch to a poem to new culinary skills to the gorgeous futures of our dreams.