The secret to closing the gap between the life you have and the life you want

I was eating breakfast Sunday morning before teaching my yoga class and began channel surfing. I paused to hear a man named Gary Zukav counsel a woman with an alcohol addiction.  He told her that the gap between the life she had and the life she wanted could be closed by a series of responsible choices.

That phrase "responsible choices" has hung with me this week.  Maybe because I also heard that thought from a second source.

I'm reading Norman Doidge's book, The Brain That Changes Itself.  In the chapter on OCD it talks about effective treatments engaging new behaviors rather than spending time trying to undo the new ones.  Doidge highlights that "Neurons that fire together wire together; and neurons that fire apart wire apart." Each time a person with OCD breaks the cycle and chooses something different than the obsessive behavior pattern, they begin to rewire their brain.

This isn't about "not" doing the obsessive behavior.  It is about choosing something positive instead.  For example, rather than checking and rechecking to see if doors are locked, check once with total focused attention, then the next time the nagging feeling hits, choose to do something pleasurable reading a book, listening to music...something that gives joy.

We tend to think of change as big steps, but realistically the only way to get there is incrementally.  Each time you choose something different, your brain builds structure to support you.  Each day you work out. Each time you pray or meditate. Each time you skip dessert. Each time you choose to stick with something you already have rather than buying something new.

The secret to closing the gap between the life you have and the life you want is a series of "responsible choices." The thing is that the choices have to focus on positive things.  There is no momentum in choosing to "not" do the negative ones. 

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall