Some girls grew up loving Cinderella or Snow White. I grew up loving Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland. I loved the clever speech and if I listened closely I would learn life’s lessons. I would run around the house jumping like Tigger saying, “Curiouser and Curiouser,” to my mother and father, who would just stare at me and ask, “What did she say?” The tea party with the Hatter, and the complications of Rabbit and Eeyore would send me laughing for hours. I would imagine people I knew who reminded me of these colorful characters. This, along with the adventures of Alice and the Jabberwocky and the mean Queen of Hearts.
There are many quotes that I have written down and kept through the ages. Some are better than any self-development seminar I have ever attended. Here is one I love:
“I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.”
-Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
This fabulously true quote came to mind when I was speaking with a client. She said, “I understand it in my head but my mind doesn’t register it.” We were discussing applying some of the tools I know to raise her vibration in the morning and decrease the anxiety. Although she has heard me say how these tools help her and she sometimes follows them, resulting in a morning she feels good, refreshed and anxiety-free, there are still many mornings she doesn’t follow the advice.
How often do we say, “I should do this…” or, ”I know this is exactly what I should do…” – and then we do not do it? Why?
I have a couple of theories on this topic. The first is that even if the advice we tell ourselves is good and can help us, we allow the paradigm that creates the problem in the first place to rule what we do. We don’t even realize it! We think, “Oh, I will try it tomorrow…” and tomorrows fill our schedule with no improvement in sight. Or, “I don’t feel like doing it today,” “It won’t really work,” or the best, “I can do it my way just fine.” Which, of course, if you could, you would have already.
We need to see that these phrases, and phrases like these, are our paradigm. Maybe you are not consistent with writing out your gratefulness or meditating two times a day. Maybe a week will go by before you notice that you haven’t studied anything to improve your thoughts, understanding or growth. This especially happens when life is starting to become good. Things are starting to happen for us. We get caught up in all the doing and forget what really got us there. Or we think, “Guess I am okay now…”
The second theory is that we are lazy creatures. Now, I do not mean to insult anyone; however, the human race can be known to be more in line with the sloth than the cheetah. It is very easy for us to become comfortable with our habits. It is known and accepted and has worked in the past. “Why mess up a good thing?” is a common phrase.
We know that gratitude list will bring us to wonder, and even sometimes a tear of happiness and wonder, and that a good dance to great upbeat music in the bathroom will bring us to a day full of feeling great, but we just can’t get our mind wrapped around trying it. It is different, takes effort, thinking – heaven forbid! And so we continue to stay in our comfort zone, feeling anxious, unhappy or just going through well-worn motions.
Sound awful, doesn’t it? And it paints a sad picture of us. Sometimes it is difficult to look into the magic mirror; however, it can open our eyes and move us to action.
What advice are you giving yourself over and over but seldom following? What do you know in your conscious mind you really should do – it would help tremendously – but you stay in the comfort of old habits? It truly does become “curiouser and curiouser!”
Make a list of one or two things you know you should add consistently, or write out a schedule including a time for these improvements to your life. Now, follow the schedule. If it says meditation at 2 p.m., then when 2 p.m. comes, use your will to make it happen. Don’t settle for excuses in any area of your life.
A very helpful exercise for the lazy lay-in-the-bed person – which I may be guilty of myself – is to spend a moment visualizing exactly what you want to accomplish, and how you will accomplish it that day. I will raise me weary head and pick up my gratitude pad and begin to feel glad and grateful as I write, or I will get up and put on Stevie Nicks. … No, maybe Fleetwood Mac and dance like there is no tomorrow – now, that sounds fun!
The point is to visualize yourself stepping out of the “norm” moments before you give yourself a chance to slip back into it.
This is not hard; it just needs consistency and the will to start doing it. And as Christopher Robin said to Pooh:
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
Light and Love Always,