a QWERTY kind of life
Change is difficult. Unwanted change can be painful and challenging. Recovery from addictions, hard or soft, is no exception. Anyone who has consciously made the effort to rid their lives of a behavior they deem destructive or no longer useful can attest to this. So why is it that when we come to the realization that we desire change it then becomes difficult to follow through?
Personally, I have chosen recently to stop drinking coffee or any other caffeinated beverages. It has been 18 days of complete abstinence for me, yet I know this territory very well. I have quit before for longer periods of time. The difference this time is, I have been seeking the support of others and remaining aware of my tendencies.
Thoughts create our urges and cravings. Sometimes the triggers are subtle, other times they are very predictable. I have just about every Starbucks in the greater Orlando area mapped out in my head. When I am driving, occasionally I will have the thought “hey, there is a Starbucks right around the corner.” This is the moment of choice. Do I react or do I create? Do I give in and damage my self-esteem or do I acknowledge my own power and move on? I have found the best way to choose the latter is to enroll others in my journey.
The frontal lobe of the brain is the cognitive center, and its function is to separate out thoughts and filter them in the way we direct. The midbrain is the impulsive, reactive center in the brain. The midbrain sends its messages 7 times faster than the cognitive brain operates. This is because the midbrain’s function is to preserve life. When we practice cognitive behavior, we are much better prepared to handle the impulsiveness of the midbrain. Increasing our awareness is a slow process that takes practice and willingness.
So how do we direct the frontal lobe to make choices that support us in where we say we want to go? This is the great challenge all of us face in life. What are the voices in my head? How many of them are there? And which ones do I listen to?
Life can be a lot like typing. We can hunt and peck our way through, hoping we create a document worth reading before we die. Or we can blindly stroke keys and end up with a mess of letters on a page that do not form any meaning at all. Or, lastly, we can train ourselves to memorize where the keys are and which fingers to use to hit the keys and really create a work of art in a much shorter period of time, allowing for greater amounts of creation during our lifetime.
The “qwerty” way of living life takes a little more upfront work in the form of practicing healthy patterns of living so that we can start to direct our life with more focus and determination. Have you noticed that the things in life you pay most attention to are the things that manifest in your reality? Positive and negative, this is how life works. God provides us with exactly what we place the majority of our intention on.
This is why it is so important to make sure you are sending out the message that you want to experience and not place your energy on what you do not wish to experience. Many of us tend to fall prey to the thinking that life is not on our side and that we are somehow at a disadvantage to others. So long as we play out that belief, it will appear true.
“The Universe is like a big Xerox machine.
It simply produces multiple copies of your thoughts”
Conversations with God, Book 1
When we decide to make a change in our life, circumstances will present in the form of “are you sure?” I have had many “are you sure” moments over the last 18 days of abstinence from caffeine. From the wonderful smell of the coffee tray coming down the aisle of the airplane I was on and mercilessly stopping right next to me for what seemed like 5 minutes. God, it smelled good! But I had support, people who knew what I had called forth in my life. And whether or not I didn’t take the coffee because I would have been embarrassed to admit I didn’t succeed or I simply chose not to, doesn’t matter. I remained resolved in my quest. One day at a time. One craving at a time. One “are you sure?” moment after the other.
The moments when a craving hits or an opportunity presents itself to relapse into past behaviors and we choose to rise above and recreate ourselves in a new way, we reinforce our new pattern. After doing this repeatedly, the new pattern becomes the norm and the “are you sure?” moments become less frequent.
So I choose to embrace these “are you sure?” moments and recognize them for what they are. They are the spiritual barbells of the universe, making us more powerful in our ability to create our lives in a more conscious way.
What are your experiences with “are you sure?” moments?
(Kevin McCormack, C.A.d ,is a certified addictions professional. He is a recovering addict with 26 years of sobriety. Kevin is a practicing auriculotherapist, life coach, and interventionist specializing in individual and family recovery and also co-facilitates spiritual recovery retreats for the CWG foundation with JR Westen. The next retreat will be September 19 – 22nd in San Jose, California. More information on retreats can be found here. You can visit his website for more information at www.Kevin-Spiritualmentor.com To connect with Kevin, please email him at Kevin@TheGlobalConversation.com)