Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Transformation Through Awareness

Over the years I've tried to change my life and myself. I've struggled to make myself take action. I've tried hard to use will power to just do or not do things. This approach always worked, for about a day. I've read over 1,000 self help books, attended workshops and talked with counselors and coaches and still remained stuck in old patterns. Nothing worked until I read a book called: "Working On Your Relationship Doesn't Work" by Shya and Ariel Kane. It was such a radically different approach to transformation than anything I've ever read. When I read what Ariel and Shya suggested was the key to transformation, I got chills as it resonated so completely with me as being a deep truth.
There are many wonderful points in this book and I would highly recommend reading it for anyone, those in relationships and singles. However, the point they make in the book about transforming through simple awareness is so powerful. They say that in order to transform, no effort is needed. What is needed is non-judgmental awareness of the behaviors. This means that you just notice what you are doing without trying to change it and without calling it "good" or "bad". When you are engaging in a behavior and you are simply aware that you are doing it and you watch yourself, the way a scientist would observe his or her subject, the behavior will naturally change.
The alternatives are: trying to make something happen, judging yourself when you do engage in the behavior or denying that you are engaging in the behavior. Trying to make something happen is working against yourself and your natural behaviors, habits and patterns. This is unnatural and the effort may work for a short time, but it almost never lasts because it requires us to remember to do it and then to put out energy in the opposite direction than we are used to. In short, it requires too much work and humans want to take the path of least resistance. Resistance also occurs when you are judge yourself. When you are doing something and telling yourself how awful you are for doing it, you are affirming this to yourself over and over and strongly identifying with how awful you are for doing whatever it is that you are doing. You tell yourself over and over and you begin to believe that it defines who you are. Of course, denying that you do something won't work. Pretending that something does or doesn't happen allows it to fester and grow. That denial is a form of resistance, and what you resist persists.
On the other hand, what you embrace, you erase. If you can be completely honest with yourself and just notice when you are doing something that you wish you wouldn't do with objectivity then it just dissolves or transforms, fairly quickly all on it's own. You don't have to do anything or try in any way, it will just happen. There is nothing to lose in this approach and everything to gain.
This is just one part of the transformational process (albeit a crucial one). The rest of this wonderful formula can be found in the book ""Working On Your Relationship Doesn't Work" by Shya and Ariel Kane.

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