One of the highlights of my recent trip with my father was a visit we had with his 96 year old cousin. His cousin was in a long term care facility and she suffers from dementia. Somehow my father was able to connect with her and she remembered who he was. She suddenly made the grand pronouncement that she was going to make us dinner. “We have not had a roast of pork in a long time and I am going to make it for you.” Her whole energy changed however when she realized what day it was. “Oh, we can’t have pork. Today is Monday so we have to have fish for dinner.” We laughed at first but then I began thinking about routines, habits and beliefs. Why was this grown woman, with 96 years of life experiences, still so entrenched in the belief that she had to cook fish because it was Monday? Would pork not cook if it was Monday?
I began to observe many incidences of people stuck following old beliefs or routines and finding it hard to change. Lately I keep hearing the old saying “You Can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” One instance in particular was with a senior who was being asked to make some changes that would help ensure their safety. Making the changes would help them to safely remain in their own home which is their wish. What would happen if, instead, the person’s attitude was, “You are never too old to learn something new!” Which attitude is likely to have greater success in making the necessary changes? Which mindset would give the families confidence that their loved one was going to be safe?
“I have always done it that way.” Have you ever stopped and taken the time to really look at how you do “it”. Why are your doing “it” that way? Perhaps we should even ask ourselves why we are doing “it,” at all. Sometimes we get so caught up in doing things because we always have, that we never stop to consider alternatives. Is it possible that you could do it more effectively, efficiently or safely?
I recently caught myself saying “I hate doing that.” A friend heard me and suggested that I could try saying “Doing <whatever> is not my favourite thing.” The energy shift with this simple change in wording was remarkable.
I know someone who had to undergo chemo therapy. She was informed of all of the possible side effects. Instead of hating the drugs and worrying about the side effects she told her body that these drugs were helping her to heal and to take what the body needed and to dispose of the rest. She experienced fewer side effects of the chemo and they were less severe than what she had been warned about.
‘The mind is powerful and we often overlook how our thought patterns affect our lives. Here are 3 steps that may help you upon this journey of change.
1) Be mindful of what we say and do.
When we truly listen to what we say and observe our actions we become aware of beliefs or habits that may no longer be serving us well. Pay attention and become an observer looking at these instances in a not judgemental, non critical and non resistant way.
2) Be willing to let go of old beliefs or mindset.
Are they serving you in a positive way? How else could you handle the situation? Can you rephrase what you are saying to put it into a positive?
Here is an example that I recall from the movie “The Secret.” Mother Theresa was asked if she would participate in an anti war demonstration and she refused. The person was surprised about the refusal and inquired further. She responded that she would not participate in an anti war demonstration but she would participate in a peace rally.
Words such as anti, can’t and no, do not change the focus on the main subject. In the case of anti war the subject was still war and therefore Mother Theresa would not participate. Notice that the change in wording to a peace rally carries entirely different energy. Say both phrases to yourself and see which one resonates more positively with you.
3) Affirm that you are willing to make the change.
Affirmations are positive statements that finish the statement “I am.” They are always said as though you are already experiencing the change. Example “I openly accept the changes that are for my highest good. An affirmation for the the elderly person asked to make changes to improve their safety may be “ I willingly embrace the changes needed to keep me safe.”
Try using these 3 simple steps to help you embrace change in your life. If you have taken Reiki you can give yourself Reiki as you complete these steps, especially during the affirmation step. Reiki will helping you to affirm at the physical, spiritual, emotional and mental level.