There is so much change happening right now in our communities, our nations, our world and of course in our individual lives. But because of the inherent resistance to change that we have, within families, within ourselves, and even within society, it causes so much angst and stress. There is a principle many of you are all familiar with called homeostasis. It is a concept often spoken about in relation to the human body which has many systems operating at all times to maintain balance. As an example, we have three buffering systems in the body working (or overworking) to keep us alkaline, even when we abuse our bodies with highly acidic diets. So homeostasis can be a very good thing.
Interpersonally however, homeostasis can pull us back from our own evolution because it works to keep things "as they are" even if they aren't very good. Homeostasis does not distinguish between what you would call change for the better and change for the worse. It simply resists ALL change.
One of my favorite motivational books is by George Leonard, "The Life We Are Given". In this book he says that when we embark on a new path, our life will change, and we will have to deal with homeostasis. As homeostats are reset, there may be a certain amount of anxiety, pain and upset. He says that we may face physical or psychological symptoms, and we might unknowingly sabotage our own best efforts.
He tells us that "you might get resistance from your family, friends, and coworkers. Ultimately, you'll have to decide if you really want to spend the time and effort it takes to get on and stay on the path."
If you do, he provides FIVE TIPS to help:
1. Be aware of the way homeostasis works. Expect resistance and backlash. Don't panic and give up at the first sign of trouble. He cautions us to bear in mind that a whole system has to change when any part of it changes. So, although you may have in the past struggled to get up at 7:30 am to drag yourself to work by 9:00, and now you are up at 6:00 am to make some green juice and go for a long walk, and arrive at work bright and cheery, your coworkers may resist the change. Likewise, although you think it would make everyone happy, your family may resist you coming home full of vigor and energy, and preparing a huge salad, rather than the you that came home exhausted, complaining and ordering a pizza.
2. Be willing to negotiate with your resistance to change. When you do meet resistance, Leonard says not to back off, nor bull your way through. He says "better to play the edge of discontent, the inevitable consort of transformation."
3. Develop a support system. You can do it alone, but it helps to have people with whom you can share the joys and struggles with. Leonard says "the best support system would involve people who have gone through or are going through a similar process, people who can tell their own stories of change and listen to yours, people who will brace you up when you start to backslide and encourage you when you don't."
4. Follow a regular practice. Build a stable base during the instability of change.
5. Dedicate yourself to lifelong learning.
You can have the life you dream of. Never forget that, and remember that you deserve love, joy, health and happiness as do all beings. Love and Aloha, Liana