I was over at I Was Thinking, Heidi Hass Gable’s incredible blog, where she recently wrote a post about what she’s learning through her relationships and a line within her post caught my attention:
How do I want to be?
It’s an interesting question and one that has come up a lot lately, especially with the Eckart Tolle work around remaining grounded and present in the moment. In the context of Heidi’s blog, she’s working on a new way of communicating in a relationship that has incredible longevity. She’s challenging her old patterns, her old thoughts that come up and instead asking herself: how do I want to be RIGHT NOW?!?
It’s incredible when we realize for the first time that we are operating within a paradigm made up of old habitual patterns. I suspect Heidi would agree that it’s no easy task to have the presence of mind to recognize when this “old dance” is rearing is head again and within that moment – STOP, BREATHE and ask yourself: how do I want to be right now? But, if we want there to be change within a pattern that is no longer serving us, we have to be willing to BE the change.
Her conversation reminded me of something that I’m working on within my own personal paradigm which is the ability to be a good receiver. All my life I’ve been an incredible and generous giver. I feel amazing when I am able to give to others – my time, money, love, affection, care, attention, whatever it may be. And, intellectually, I know that there is a cyclical response to all that giving, BUT, I have not been a good receiver. Like Heidi, I’m continuing to “see” the old paradigm in me that says “no no no” whenever someone is trying to give to me – no matter what it may be. What I’ve realized is that I don’t allow myself to receive from others and it’s nothing more than an old paradigm that no longer serves me.
Let me give you a quick example. I was having coffee with a friend over the weekend and a third friend joined us. Upon arrival she announced that she had made a cd for me, but, that it wasn’t complete yet and she would bring it along next time. My IMMEDIATE reaction was, “no no no – you don’t need to do that…” AHA! I was doing it again. Instead of thanking her and receiving the gift (even mentally) I was resisting her gift. This may seem like an insignificant event but it’s not. It’s indicative of operating in a paradigm. I didn’t think about my response, it just came out – automatically – indicating that it’s a habitual response – it’s a paradigm.
When you are trying to change an old operating system “paradigm” that’s no longer serving you the first thing you want to do is just become aware of it. Don’t judge yourself, don’t beat yourself up, just notice when you’ve gone back down that old trail. In the beginning, you likely won’t notice until after the fact and you’ll look back and say “AHH…I DID IT AGAIN” – and that’s ok, in fact, that’s great! As time passes you’ll get closer and closer to having the ability to “notice” your paradigm before it even engages itself and that is the moment that you can “change the dance”.
It’s not easy to continually self-evaluate and notice where in your life you have the ability to make changes that will increase your happiness, peace of mind and and allow your spirit to grow. But, if you give it a try I think you will find great joy in the process.