For fun, because I really like having fun, I began a wee experiment on myself. I began my experiment by just asking; what if “it” (whatever I’m considering) wasn’t hard?
I have a ton of reasons and a boatload of experience that tells me how hard change can be. I have tried changing my eating and exercising and my mind set using the rules of others and lots and lots of effort. And I was right, it was hard.
Just allowing myself to entertain the idea that it might not be hard, shifted something inside of me. As I move throughout my day, I ask myself the question about choices I make. Is choosing a really good green salad over a piece of pizza hard? I actually allow myself a moment to imagine how I will feel eating the salad and how I will feel after eating the salad. Then I allow myself to imagine eating the pizza and then imagine how I will feel after I eat the pizza. And weirdly (!) I choose the salad, because that’s the ‘feeling’ I want to have. The same with exercise. I don’t call it exercise any more. Physical activity is just part of my day, like drinking water. So I ask myself, what kind of movement would feel good right now? I consider 2 to 3 types of activities. Then I imagine myself doing them and what I will feel like afterward. I almost always choose to go outside. It turns out I LOVE fresh air and moving around outside. Some days it is a run, some days it is a bike ride and lots of days it is a long walk. And miraculously, once I get out there, it quickly becomes easy – not hard (!) to move and keep moving.
This has led to asking ‘the question’ about everything. What if choosing happiness wasn’t hard? What if going to work, saving money, creating something new, deepening a relationship wasn’t hard? This has caused me to have a lot more creative ideas, because I have shifted out of automatic thought and behaviour patterns and have opened up to possibilities.
Do I always choose the ‘better’ option? No, I don’t. Because I am realizing that the ‘good/bad’ label we put on things is not necessarily what is right and true for me. Sometimes, pizza really is a great choice for me! The key point is the consideration, the entertaining of the choices, the leaving all options open-no judgments. Also, if I out and out tell myself I 'can't' have something, then my inner defiance hops right up to take over. The days that I have the pizza, because I really, really want pizza, I don’t want anything after that. I feel satisfied and end up feeling that I have honored what my inner self really wants. Some days my body wants rest and I don’t go outside. I may stretch instead or lay on the couch.
Simply allowing yourself to consider that change may not be hard opens you up to possibilities and opportunities that you didn’t notice when your main setting was on auto-pilot ‘change-is-hard.' I hope you give it a try. It may even lead you to enjoy change.