How Do You Create Lasting Sustainable Change

Dawn Gaden Counseling Brighton, MI

Dr. Dawn Gaden is an Addiction Medicine Physician in Brighton, MI. Dr. Gaden evaluates patients using many different procedures, in order to determine what treatments must be carried out in order to properly assess their symptoms. Addiction Medicine Physicians provide medical care in addition to consultation for each patient... more

Change is not easy. In fact many people will continue to stay in old, destructive, unfulfilling patterns because it's familiar. Change is scary, unpredictable, and foreign. We are creatures of habit. But what if you feel ready, willing and able to begin down the path of happiness, true joy for your life, where do you begin? The beginning starts with 1% a day of daily action steps towards that new goal. But what's the goal? You have to decide what your working towards. Let's say it's happiness (that's the most popular). What does happiness look like to you? Create the vision in your mind of what life looks like if you were happy. Most likely you will come up with all those things in the external world, within your environment that we attach our happiness to. So once you have this vision, then decide how you want to feel. Besides happy, maybe it's joyful, excited, passionate. Decide on 3-4 core feelings that will lead you in everything you do. (For more work on Core Desired Feelings check out work by Danielle LaPorte). 

Now using meditation, sit in a quite place, breathe, and see your vision, feel what it feels like. Evoke the feeling that you want. Really feel it. That is your new compass. The feeling will guide you in everything you do. It will attract more of the same in your life. So the picture is backwards from what we're used to thinking. We were taught to have things, be successful, climb the ladder, then you will feel happy, or successful. But if you have read enough on happiness, you will see that is not the case at all. We continue to long for that thing to bring us joy. So we must decide, yes DECIDE, to feel our core feelings and then act from that place in order to bring to us those things that align with the feelings. 

Don't expect this to work over night. It is a journey, a practice, it's the beauty of life - the adventure. Picture the lotus flower, it blooms from the mud. Our struggles when we are in the mud, is where we develop the strength and courage to be who we choose. And then we bloom into our greatness. We need our struggles in order to grow. We don't have to see challenges as bad or wrong, it just is. Developing the mantra "I accept all that is, I flow with life" allows you the freedom to be kind to yourself, care for yourself and keep taking that next step forward toward lasting change. You deserve it, don't you think?