When I was 24, I decided one day that I never wanted to smoke cigarettes again. I had been a social smoker—that is, I smoked when I drank—on and off for years.
I never smoked again.
For most of us (myself included), changing a behavior or habit typically doesn’t happen this quickly or easily. It usually happens slowly over a period of time and requires repetitive, deliberate practice.
I’ve seen over and over again, with both my clients and myself, that small, incremental changes practiced consistently are the stepping stones of true transformation and lasting change.
It took me a few years to change my relationship with sugar. Doing so required a commitment to follow through in a way I never had before. And, it required a wholehearted willingness to experiment with new ways of being with food, with my body, with my beliefs, with uncomfortable feelings, with uncertainty, with pleasure, and more.
Sure, I still eat too much sugar every now and then. But, because my transformation occurred from doing the deeper, inner work, rather than just the surface strategies, I have complete faith that I’ll never regress to the sugar-coated cookie monster I once was.
Faith, Not Fear
I also know that because my transformation was rooted in faith rather than fear, that sustaining it doesn’t require me to be 100-percent perfect with my actions. I trust, that with the wisdom I gathered along my journey, I have the resources I need to swiftly reel myself back in, with compassion and non-judgment, should I ever stray too far.
A Slow Unfolding
Sometimes, change can happen so slowly that we mistakenly believe we’re not making any progress at all. So we get discouraged, frustrated and angry. We want to throw in the towel.
My transformation with sugar didn’t take place over night or occur like a lightning bolt, but rather it was like a small, steady drip that subtly carved a new pathway in my mind. It was a slow unfolding to a new way of being.
Perhaps spiritual teacher, philosopher and author Vernon Howard said it best:
“Do not be impatient with your seemingly slow progress. Do not try to run faster than you presently can. If you are studying, reflecting and trying, you are making progress whether you are aware of it or not. A traveler walking the road in the darkness of night is still going forward. Someday, some way, everything will break open, like the natural unfolding of a rosebud.”
To Your Unfolding,