I was thinking back over my personal journey recently and realised that I spent the first 20 years of my ‘seeking’, trying to find ways to change my life. I went on every course and seminar I could find. I read every book. I did every technique. I recited every mantra.
Always doing. Doing. Doing.
If I had a change I wanted to make, I became fixated with the ‘how’.
I wouldn’t even glance at the ‘where do you want to be?’ – I would wash over my destination ideas and dive into “How? How? How?”
I would sit in that horrendously expensive, packed seminar and not hear a word that was being said, because a little knot of anger was building up inside:
“But your’re not telling me HOW?”
“Let go of old hurts!”
“Stop thinking negative thoughts!”
“Stop telling yourself those painful old stories!”
It screamed from every pore of my being.
It became my fixation.
It drove my development. I trained as a certified NLP Trainer, as a hypnotherapist, as a Reiki Master Teacher, I dived into EFT, I wallowed in Journey Processes, I devoured courses from Wayne Dyer and Abraham Hicks, I studied spiritual texts, I practised yoga and energy release techniques, I became a student of homeopathy and aromatherapy and herbalism and nutrition, I qualified as a Meditation Teacher, all the while looking for the HOW.
It was an awful lot of effort to put into HOW.
And, because I wasn’t finding that HOW, I felt like a failure, most of the time.
“But I shouldn’t feel like this, I’m an NLP Trainer.”
“But my life shouldn’t be falling apart, I’m a Meditation Teacher / Abundance Mentor.”
“But I should have more energy than this, I know all about nutrition / natural health.”
The list went on…
Anyone else with me on this one? Can you see this pattern reflected in your own journey?
Then, one day, something shifted.
I didn’t realise it at the time, but looking back I can see it clearly now.
I had a simple yet profoundly life-changing insight. I asked myself a question that blew away decades of ‘self-work’.
What if there is no ‘how’?
After decades of building my identity around trying to find the elusive HOW, to even consider asking myself that question was scary beyond measure.
But if there were no ‘how?’, then what was there?
Firstly, I grudingly had to accept that my ‘HOW’ had been an excuse; a massively effective delaying tactic.
If I didn’t know ‘how’, then I couldn’t change.
Woo hoo! Off the hook! Stay stuck for a lifetime.
Then, once I let that settle, I realised that I had been running from the secret of how to change my life, the whole time.
The feeling of relief as I released my relentless search for ‘HOW’ was immense. It set me free.
I had discovered a secret truth that set me free.
I’d like to spare you the decades I took to realise this one, so I’m guessing (if you’re still reading by this point!) that you might like to know what that secret is?
I’m going to break it down into sections, to help your mind accept it more easily.
The life-changing secret it took me 20 years to learn:
- There is no ‘how’.
If you want to change your life, you need to change the thoughts you are thinking and the things you are doing. No change can happen without this.
You don’t need ‘special’ thoughts.
You don’t need a ‘process’.
You just need to choose, moment-to-moment, one thought at a time, whether or not to feed the thoguht you’re currently thinking.
There is no ‘how’.
Shift your thoughts, shift your life.
Everything else is just fluff.
- The ‘how’ is an invention of your Monkey Mind, to avoid change.
Change can feel scary (because of the stories we tell ourselves about it!).
‘How’ – waiting for that single magic wand that will painlessly take all of our old ‘stuff’ away – is one of the best excuses around for not being able to change.
- You don’t need to change; you just need to choose.
There is nothing wrong with you.
There’s nothing to ‘fix’.
You’re not broken.
Your thoughts and actions might be leaving you feeling a bit rubbish, but you don’t need to ‘undo’ or ‘get rid’ or ‘change’ or ‘repair’ anything about you.
The essence of you, deep down inside, is beautiful and shining and whole.
The only thing you need to do is to choose:
- Who do I want to be? (I’m talking at a soul level, here, not profession!)
- How do I want life to feel?
- How do I want my relationships to feel?
- What am I here to give?
- What can I do, think and say today that will make my heart sing and my soul smile?
Then simply choose to feed the thoughts, the words, the deeds that move you in that direction.
In each and every moment, you can choose.
You don’t need to ‘do’ anything.
You just need to choose.
And choosing is within your power, right now.
You don’t have to wait until that seminar you’re going on later in the year – or until you have finished reading the book – or until you’re an expert at a particular yoga posture.
Sure, all of that can help.
But the bottom line is that you have the power to choose to ‘do’ nothing; simply to allow yourself to melt into ‘being’ who it is you want to be – right here in this moment. Yes, right now. No, not ‘then’ or ‘when’ or ‘sometime’.
LET GO!!!!!! 🙂
When you know how you want your experience of life (the inside job bit!) to feel, then you can choose, right here in this moment, to live your life from that feeling.
One thought at a time, you can choose to feed the thoughts that move you closer to that feeling and to gently accept and release the thoughts that move you away from it.
One thought at a time.
That really is it.
There’s nothing to ‘do’.
There is no ‘how’.
Yes, you can wrap all of this up in processes and procedures and ceremonies and rituals, if that’s floating your boat.
Or you could choose to keep it simple.
I know which I’m choosing.
Care to join me? 🙂
P.S. If this resonated for you, and you want to dive in more deeply, here are some ideas for how we could work together.
This is a great post! I guess I’m lucky to realize that now after around a year of looking for a HOW
But I wonder, any ideas on what to do when you have no idea what you want? who you want to be? I see now why looking for the HOW is so tempting…looking for the what is really scary.