How to help yourself make that change you want to make
“Changing a diet can be a profound thing, and it is at the same time one of the easiest and the hardest of things to change. In theory, it is easy to drastically alter one’s health by simply eating differently. All you have to do is put something different in the mouth and diet change is done.
However, diet change is one of the hardest things to accomplish because people have emotional attachment to eating certain things, or emotional patterns of eating.
Thus, while the diet itself is easy to change, the person’s Heart is not. Clearly, problems of the Heart-mind can be deeply entrenched and can profoundly affect health on all levels.”
~Dr. Henry McCann, in the Foreword to Sabine Wilms’ translation of Twelve Characters: A Transmission of Wang Fengyi’s Teachings
I want to talk about change today because most of the people I work with in my acupuncture practice come to me because they want something to be different in their life and in their health. This usually means that some changes need to be made.
Change can be really overwhelming, which is why I always work with people to identify reasonable changes that feel both do-able to them and in alignment with the highest goals of their heart.
For some people, change begins with something as simple as keeping a gratitude list every day for one week. This helps you understand what it is you love in life, and where you are really doing well. Once you have a handle on this information, you can decide what it is that you really want to do more of, and what qualities (ease, strength, compassion, patience, for example) you want to bring into your life.
If there are more than 1 or 2 things you want to move towards, this process of deciding will involve real discernment and prioritizing one or two decisions rather than trying to gulp down a huge bowl of soup all at once.
When our hearts are open and ready to shine (even if they feel incredibly tender and only feel a little bit ready to be a light in the world), we can move forward with a sincere desire to do something different. To try out a new way of being that might be uncomfortable (often because it’s unfamiliar or because it’s not in alignment with what we perceive other people think we “should” be doing), but which also feels in service to the life we want to live.
When approaching a problem or challenge in our lives, sincerity matters. Your desire to really dig deep into the desires of your heart matters. By taking a look at the life you want to live and how you are reflecting that life in the choices you make, you can be honest with yourself about what you need to do next.
The quote above is from a book I’ve been reading about a Daoist and Confucian sage named Wang Fengyi who helped bring about an understanding of the role of the emotions in healing.
When you put your heart into your healing process, amazing transformations can occur.