Everyone works, and lives, according to learned patterns and strategies. Think back to a time when your life was going well, what were you doing. More importantly, how were you going about your life. Everyone is different, I know one thing and that is, that the way in which you go about your life in ‘good’ times is very different to the way you go about living in ‘bad’ times.
I know for myself, when I’m in a resourceful and positive state, I place an emphasis on organisation and structure. I have lists of the things I want to achieve and I go through the lists until they are done. I use my schedule more to map out my time with meetings, meditations, writing, and fitness, and catching up with friends and family. Using the language of Donald Epstein‘s Triad of Change, I lead with structure, which then sets up the conditions for particular behaviours, which in turn will open up new levels of perception and awareness. Another person, though might prefer to lead with their perception and their thought.
When we go into less resourceful states, however, what you will invariably find is that you start to lead with your least preferred modality. I for example, will start leading with perception – trying to think my way out of it. For me, this doesn’t work. Not because I lack intelligence, but because I function best once I have created a structure that I can work within and around. A flexible structure, sure, but a structure non-the-less.
The ‘trick’ is to learn to access this awareness to shift states so that you can take a more active leading role in your life. This takes practice.
The first step is to look at your strategies – understand how you operate in the best times. What do you lead with – Structure, behaviour, or perception? If you struggle with this, think about the last time you successfully improved your state of mind. Did you just decide to be happy (in which case you lead with perception) or did you have to do something? Did you have to go for a run, or just get out of the house? If it was running, could you have run anywhere, or do you have to do this in a particular place? If you just have to run anywhere then the lead strategy is behaviour? On the other hand, I have to run in a particular environment, so it’s a change in structure – like going from inside to outside, going to your favourite place to write, think, etc.. Are you getting this.
Once you know this, the next time you slip into an unresourceful state, observe your shift in strategy and make the choice to use your lead strategy instead. For me, I know that I can’t simply think my way through pain. I have to change my posture (structure), and do something different, like running, dancing etc, and this will in-turn open up access to new thoughts and much more powerful states of awareness, wisdom and knowledge.
This is probably enough to play with at the moment, but if you start to use this you will also benefit from learning some SRI (Somato Respiratory Integration) exercises that apply these principles but through using your own naturally preferred sequencing of breath, movement, and energy in the body. It’s great stuff. To learn about Somato Respiratory Integration more go here