There are three essential pieces to all personal evolution: willingness, awareness, choice.
Seems like an unnecessary-to-mention first step, but willingness is like creaking open the door, even just an inch, to peek inside. Without the inch of openness, you’re not seeing anything on the other side. If you’re reading this novella, you’re already willing. Check off the box, friend.
Many times willingness is the hardest step. We’ve all been in a bad mood — and most of us rationally know that if we just change our mind to decide to be in a good mood, we’d eventually get there. But when you’re in the thick of it that’s an obnoxious notion, one that feels like overturning massive, misshapen boulders.
The first step to shifting is just willing to be somewhere else, to feel something else, to exist in a new way in this moment. Willingness can be silent, like taking a deep breath to garner the strength to not argue with your father about politics or deleting the phone number of a toxic ex-partner. Sometimes willingness sounds like a half-hearted yelp out loud, “OK, this isn’t working for me. I am willing to explore new options, thanks.” It can have thousands of different qualities, the one that matters is an openness to feel something different.
Once you decide to feel something new, you must find awareness around how you’re currently being and what you’re currently doing. It’s much easier to change the situation if you understand what’s actually happening. The trick to honest observation is the honesty part —there’s no room for victims here because victims don’t actually don’t want to change, they just want to validate why they’re stuck in the mud. And as a good friends (we’re already friends! I, like, love you), I can’t validate your need to continue suffering when there are so many other juicy options. Continually remembering and committing to honest observation will allow you to start noticing your personal patterns. Once you know your personal patterns, you can catch your BS before it starts to wreak havoc on your full ecosystem.
If you can’t look at your situation objectively, ask an honest, gentle, loving someone else to take a look with you.
And lastly, using the data you’ve collected during your honest observation, you’ll make empowered choices. Empowered choices aren’t ‘right choices’, because there’s no such thing. Empowered choices feel strong and distinct because they’re rooted in intuition and your commitment to growth. Empowered choices nourish the ecosystem, so they can never lead you astray. Empowered choices have enough momentum and promise engrained in their DNA that they encourage you to show up with both feet in the decision, without having to doubt whether it was ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, which usually allows the choice to be ‘right for right now’ merely because of your enthusiasm. A ‘wrong’ choice with lots of enthusiasm, authenticity and gusto can make for loads of learning — and that, to me, is a spicy right choice.
TORY DUBE is a Holistic Nutrition Specialist, Certified Life Coach and Certified Hypnotherapist through Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. She is the founder of Tory Dube Holistic Health (formerly 'Hotchickpea', founded in NYC). Tory writes for several health publications, is a children's book author, hosts international wellness retreats, and works with clients around the world. Follow her here: www.torydube.com