The dynamic interaction between becoming your truest self while evolving to your highest potential can be facilitated by a gritty no-holds-barred look at habit formation (and reversal), personal measures of life satisfaction, and how you want to spend your undetermined amount of time before you die. As North Americans, we often unconsciously buy into the belief that in order to be ‘good, important or successful’ we need to be so busy and exhausted that our whole lives become a reactive, high pressure blur. Our addiction to the titillating highs associated with hyper-arousal of the human nervous system can keep us enslaved to behaviour patterns that might be deemed insane by an outside observer.
Going through the process of giving birth to a future self that embodies our values, dreams and goals, necessitates that we become courageous enough to face the death of parts of our identity, to feel deeply and to brave the expression of our fullest potential.
It is well established that humans cultivate habits in order to function more seamlessly in life. The automaticity of a routine saves us an immeasurable amount of energy, and efficiency is key in promoting longevity. The conundrum is that a habit established at one stage of our lives might have literally and figuratively saved us, while that same pattern at a later stage might act like a fatal poison. Yet, the automaticity of such a habit means that the damned thing just persists despite our desperation for things to change.
So, practically speaking, what can we do? We begin by understanding the habit loops cultivated in the brain so we can spend energy on consciously rerouting patterns towards healthier and more satisfying behaviours. This means that we have to understand the cues that drive our automatic reactions as well as the reward we get from a particular action (even if the “reward” is self-sabotage). We can then cognitively restructure ourselves using existing behaviour chains.
Next, it is essential to explore measures of personal life satisfaction, namely: to what extent do we feel that our lives are reflective of meaning, purpose, and personal growth and evolution. Moreover, what are the challenges that we face as individuals in cultivating healthy boundaries, a robust emotional intelligence, and strong self-esteem. By claiming our own instabilities, we inherently cultivate the capacity to tolerate feeling. As we build this tolerance over time, we also stabilize our ability to digest all the facets of our lives.
All of this processing requires that we focus our energy, awareness and time on the things that really matter. At a minimum, it is essential that we set up routines that take care of mundane details so that we’re not redundantly wasting time every day on minutia that exists simply because we have too many choices. The greatest, and most profound commodity that we have in this life is our time. It is not money, it is not things. How we spend that time, who we spend it with, what we talk about, the work we choose, how we execute that work, and the way that we function in relationships will contribute to our capacity to move on with grace when this life ends.
Join me in this 2-hour yin yoga workshop that will explore the practicalities of habit formation and reversal, personal self-esteem and identity, life satisfaction, and the process required to live a life that is reflective of your highest values.
Tracey Soghrati BSc. BSc.N, RN, RYT