One yoga move at a time
Be the change
Many years ago, I hit a really stressful time in my life as I responded to the events going on around me. The thing is we can change our behaviour or exhaust ourselves trying to change others. You do have another choice, you can be the change you want see. So what does that mean? When life flips upside down it's pretty normal to reach for whatever worked last time, to respond to the stimulus (what arouses energy & activity). For some it might be a type of substance like alcohol, chocolate, food or illicit drugs, something that eases the suffering, takes us away from whatever we are trying to avoid or escape. I had a few options up my sleeve, however, I started with seeking out some good advice. I ended up consulting with a naturopath, also a personal trainer & yoga instructor. I began a daily practice of asana (yoga movements), meditation, altered my diet & committed to changing my behaviour by avoiding use of any previous repertoire, to escape & avoid stressors in a way that would be detrimental to my health, it was by no means easy. When we are trying to change a behaviour the challenge is motivation, having a reason to change, then having something that continues to reinforce or strengthen that behaviour change, making it more likely to occur in the future.
So I stared with understanding what motivated me, what did I want from this behaviour change & why. As I learned more, I knew I had to have something to look forward, to make the hardworking worthwhile. So I started with simple treats, rewards if you like to call it that; I treated myself to new yoga gear. I eventually gave myself a yoga teaching program in gorgeous Bali, where I immersed myself in weeks of delicious food, daily yoga philosophy, asana & meditation. There was a shift in my thought processes, I bounced out of bed earlier each day & began to see the environment around me through a different lens, as if I'd just turned on the windscreen whipers for the first time. I've heard some behaviour analyst criticising mindfulness practices as not something scientific, not measuring up to the principles of ABA. As I've always been, a little different, a little on the outside of what is deemed 'how we do it' in most professions, I like to think outside the square when it comes to changing behaviours, to find what works for the individual. So whether it is mindfulness or it is an activity, an event or something different, this isn't about what I think, it's about what works. The practice of mindfulness, whether it is meditation, asana practice, yoga Nidra (deep meditation) or just being able to be more present in the moment, achieving positive & effective outcomes, including better sleep, improving emotional regulation, changing behaviours is often about providing an alternative behaviour to responses to stimuli associated with a previous event. With daily practice, mindfulness has provided opportunities to remove myself from stressful situations, to regulate emotion, to breathe into the discomfort of challenging events & it started with recognising something needed to change & that change started with me. #bethechange #thinkingoutsidethebox #creativeaba #youcandothis