“If you always do what you always did…
You’ll always get what you always got.”
I’ve known that, even taught it, for years. But lately I realized something. Sometimes – not always, but sometimes –I fool myself into thinking I’m doing something new, something different, when really, I’m doing what I always did, just in different ways.
Like with my eating patterns. I realized recently that I would make bad choices, every day at about the same time. Then that night I would guilt myself – over and over. More expertly applied guilt, at higher levels, every day.
I’m really good at guilt, but it was not working, day after day.
Because doing something that doesn’t work…still doesn’t work. Even when we do it harder. If we want to have a different outcome, we have to do something different. And so, finally, I developed a truly different approach for the “mid-day danger zone”. I’m changing my brain and body functioning, not just relying on my overworked will-power and worn-out guilt, to change my behavior.
I’m using meditation in the mid-day danger time, as well as during the healthy morning zone, because I know it changes brain biochemistry. That’s not the only change I made, either, because rarely does just one change cause the kind of system shift I’m going for. So I’m also listening to the experts and drinking lots of water, especially mid-day, both to feel fuller and to keep my brain from mistaking thirst for hunger.
And of all the amazing things…it’s working.
But even with that good experience, “doing the same thing and expecting different outcomes” still creeps up on me. You know – insanity?
It crept up on me during an argument with my husband just last night. But this time I realized it. I suddenly saw that I was stuck trying to “get my point across”, using different tricks with each new attempt.
So I stopped long enough to breathe, just one or two really deep breaths. Only that. But that was enough. My focus shifted from “getting my point across”, something I’d done a thousand times already (and which he’d probably already got) to a new process, “opening my heart to hearing and change.”
And it all went a new and different way. And ended up in a much better place.
Seeing the “stuck-ness”, stopping to breathe, opening your mind and heart – that’s a hard thing to do. I’ve ranted at God sometimes, for not doing it for me – but only recently have I stopped and opened a space for him to work. It makes a difference.
What would you like to do differently? Where are you stuck in the same unhealthy pattern? What interaction do you wish would end up in a different, better place? How can you open a space in your brain and body to allow change to happen?
It’s often as easy – and as difficult – as stepping back from the battle and taking a moment to breathe.