By Martha O’Regan
Easier said than done: Then say it or think it as often as you can and it will eventually become true for you. Since the brain does not know the difference between what is real or imagined and has no concept of time other than present moment, we can often re-establish patterns and behaviors simply through repetition of thought. When working with folks who are stuck in old patterns that are affecting their health, I will often suggest a shift thought to help break a pattern and create a new one. For example, I might suggest, I move through life with grace and ease” to someone who is clumsy and always getting hurt from moving too fast in the world. When they roll their eyes and respond, “easier said than done,” I say, “Then make it easy by thinking or saying it a throughout each day even when you can’t believe it could be true.”
We now understand that the way patterns get established in the first place is through repetition because in the brain, nerves that fire together, wire together to create a corresponding physiology. If a person has been told since childhood that he or she is clumsy, then repeats it to themselves every time they fall or trip, the pattern gets reinforced and more embedded. But when those signals get interrupted with a shift thought of grace and ease, the network can begin rearranging allowing the pattern to change. The changes in the brain through thought, along with a new awareness of movement, ultimately creates a shift in behavior and physiology.
Throughout life, we continuously go through the four stages of learning. The first is unconscious incompetence — we don’t know what we don’t know. The second is conscious incompetence — now we know what we didn’t know and can decide whether or not we care to know more. Then we proceed to conscious competence where we practice, engage and repeat until we are unconsciously competent and are able to perform the task or have the knowledge without having to even think about it because it is ingrained as a pattern.
What about the patterns that were established before our brains were able to consciously choose what went in? Up until about the age of 7, everything that our brain picked up through our five senses went in as 100% truth whether it was or not. Without the ability to discern or reason, whatever was being repeated to or around us established a neural pathway that became a belief or pattern in us, so ingrained that, as I hear folks say, “it’s just who I am.” True, but when it is affecting health, relationships, behaviors, or even financial stability, would you be willing to break up some of those patterns if you could (Stage 1)? With what we know about the brain, now we know we can (stage 2). Stage 3 — learn, shift and repeat. Stage 4 — new pattern or behavior.
If you desire to break up an old pattern, begin by creating a shift thought. It should be easy to remember and in present tense such as “I am,” “I allow,” or “I am open to receive.” For example, instead of “I can’t afford…” shift to “I allow financial stability…” or “I am sick and tired” to “I am vibrant and alive.” Begin to hear common words in your language such as “the problem is,” “I am worried that…,” “My fear is…”, etc. As you catch yourself, just shift and try it again. For more practice and reinforcement, get your friends and family members in on it and lovingly help each other.
So, if it is easier said than done, then say it! Practice creates change.
Live Well … Have Fun!