I believe that to make real change in your life, you need to take a big first step. Often that means breaking a cycle – something that has been holding you back. Life moves too quickly and one day, you may find yourself stuck.
Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.
Do all things happen for a reason? If you are present and aware, everything can be re-framed and viewed from a choice perspective. At that time, I was not present or aware, but years later I realized that it was serendipity that I was working at that time on contract business projects with one of the early movers in the field of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). NLP (founded in the early 70s) formed the basis of current therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which posits that a person’s thoughts determine feelings and behavior. Frequent and consistent negative thinking affects mood, sense of self, and self worth, which results in variations of prolonged sadness, anger, and depression. Then, those emotions, when carried for years, will result in physical outcomes and a variety of illness.
If all a person does is dwell in negativity, you will become that. It’s a negative cycle that needs to be broken – has to be broken to facilitate real life change and a happier life.
Being a practical person, I liked the science behind NLP and began studies and a brief internship trying to absorb as much as I could from my unofficial mentor. To conquer my own anxiety, I incorporated concepts of NLP and CBT into some Eastern practices like tonglen and other forms of meditation including visualization, HRM (heart rhythm meditation) to control blood pressure, and other anti-triggering methods. It took years before I could sit in a dark theater and watch a movie with friends or not startle into a panic attack at any sudden noise. I learned to control the immediate physical responses of GAD with a few mind games, but what I wanted was beyond temporary fixes. I wanted a more resilient life—my authentic life—one that was not constantly impeded by anxiety.
Everything takes time—so much more than we expect, but if we keep going and try not to look down too much, that negative attitude changes. Mine did and it led me to an unexpected place. In my case, it was an extended journey that started more than 5 years ago but culminated in something I had wanted to do for many years—I bought a farm in Costa Rica. The process of that project, the people I engaged with, the positive energy that flowed was unexpected and life-changing.
So, I am continuing that journey. I used to own an public relations event business planning week-long journeys for international journalists to the US. Now, I have revived that business but with a twist—combining my passions and past experience with my future goals. My mission is to pass on my experiences, and the experience of others, through inspiration, retreats, speaking events, and making connections with others desiring change.
Read more about how we work together through our Retreats for Change.