How we begin

How we begin

Have you ever had the experience of wantingsomething to change, waiting, being frustrated, and then finally you wake up one day and see clearly how the change needs to happen? From there, it’s only a short step to putting together a plan and before you know it, you’re making changes. This is fascinating to me every time I experience this phenomenon. I drag along until I cannot stand “it,” then finally I’ve had enough and act. I didn’t realize other people also do this, so imagine my surprise when I heard a teacher talking about this very thing recently.

My teacher described this moment as the exact time in which we realize, have awareness that there is in fact an alternative, a different way, and then we reach for it. We become curious, we investigate, we might even plan or commit – for certain, we act. This arouses even more intrigue for me – why is it then that we move from lamenting to action? Yes, I know all the theories and techniques for helping folks get from pre-contemplation stage to action stage; but still, what are the conditions under which we move into action?

Two motivators

Someone else said recently that we make changes out of desperation or inspiration. I’ve been considering that, too. Maybe those are the two main motivators for change. Either things have gotten really unbearable, or we recognize a more positive alternative. Think for a moment about how you’ve made changes in your life: do you have a particular style? You might further consider if your style is working well, needs updating, or has been established by conditions that no longer fit you.

I’m guessing most of us have been making decisions and changes in the same way we learned as children. Maybe we look outwardly for an authority figure to establish the “correct answer,” or do the opposite of what is asked of us, or don’t decide because we get stuck or overwhelmed. Whatever your style, here’s a thought: If you’re struggling in your life in an area, perhaps your decision-making-style-into-action needs a tune-up?

Time, awareness, change

A key component of the change process is awareness of what’s going on in our lives. We need to recognize and realize how we’re living and how we might want to change. Foundational to awareness is time. Do we take the time to notice, or are we speedily running from one thing to another? This past year has offered many people a different experience of their own lives in relationship to time. Maybe you recently gained new awareness that is now beginning to manifest into action, or conversely your awareness got swept away once life got busy again?

Whatever your situation, I’ll invite you to notice your life from time to time and maybe even be curious about a change. The change could be sizeable or small, whatever it is go for it! Make a change and see what happens next, it could be only the beginning.

Dr. Gwin Stewart founded the St. Louis Wellness Center in 2007. You can write her at Read more about her HERE.

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