Lao Tzu said, “When I let go of who I am, I become who I might BE!”
Unhealthy behaviors can limit our potential and smother our goals, but we have the power to change our behaviors to nourish our dreams and desires. David Simon, MD, my beloved friend and mentor, spent much of his life helping his patients release non-nourishing behaviors. He shared with me many of the techniques and nuances of his approach so I could in turn help my students move forward in their lives with grace and ease. I have also studied the Hoffman Quadrinity Process, and have personally experienced deep fulfillment fusing these various teachings to successfully manifest MY dreams and desires. I teach a five-step process for identifying and changing non-nourishing behaviors:
- Let go of what no longer serves you.
- Gain clarity on what it is that you do want.
- Set your intentions and plant seeds.
- Lean in the direction of your dreams and desires.
- Manifest a magnificent life RIGHT NOW, and for many years to come.
Watch them unfold in our words and actions, reflect on them after-the-fact, and then make the decision to evolve them if they no longer serve us. While it sounds simple, it’s not always easy to identify the behaviors that don’t serve us. We first have to enact behaviors in real life to determine if they feel good, if they resonate, if they add value to our life.
When you find yourself saying something or doing something that doesn’t add value to your life, ask yourself these questions:
- How is holding onto this belief, thought, word, or behavior serving me?
- Does it make me happy?
- Do I feel good as it is occurring?
- Do I feel better afterwards?
- Have I left behind ojas? (Pronounced OH-JAS, which is Sanskrit for sweet vital nectar); or have I left behind ama? (Pronounced AH-MA, which is Sanskrit for toxic residue)
- And finally: What need was being fulfilled, and what was I trying to accomplish?
Identifying the need that is being filled by an unhealthy behavior or thought is important so that you can realize how to fulfill this need in a way that will ultimately be more nourishing and life-affirming.
After you have identified the conditioned behavior (and this can be a way of thinking, a pattern of speaking or acting, a limiting belief, or a perspective), and you have decided that your life will be better without it, you need to give yourself permission to do so.
To activate the process, write down how your life will be different and better once you make the shift. Taking time to journal your feelings and thoughts about the behaviors, and make a commitment to do something different – even the slightest shift is a big step – will help you better focus on your goals. Distill the non-nourishing behavior down to one word and perform a ritual to release it. You can write the word down on a piece of paper and burn it; or you can write it on a rock and throw it off a cliff or into a body of water. The idea is to get rid of it, and celebrate your release.
The process takes dedication, but you are worth the investment!
davidji is a certified Vedic Master and a teacher of stress management, emotional healing, and conscious choice-making. He is the author of the best-selling Secrets of Meditation: A Practical Guide to Inner Peace & Personal Transformation and the creator of the award-winning guided meditation CD Fill What is Empty; Empty What is Full. Visit davidji.com for free tools, tips, and techniques to take your practice to the next level and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.