Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Shift in Perspective

Martha Beck may have altered my whole mind set! In her book, The Four Day Win, which deals with weight loss, she challenges the readers to write a history of our weight without using any form of the verb “to be:” as in is, am, was, had, etc. Don’t say, “I am fat,” say “I carry extra weight;” or don’t say, “I was skinny,” say “I under ate.” I did this exercise, and it WAS hard! She said that switching from that passive identifying mode would let us see that our weight changes—so we can change it.

So I did the exercise. And yesterday, when I started to write in my Morning Pages, again, “I AM having a hard time waking up,” a little bell pinged in my head. Do I say “I AM…” or do I say, “I hit the snooze alarm several times today.”? The first says that I equal/am/become a person who will always experience difficulty waking up. “I hit the snooze,” says that today I made this choice, which implies that on another day I can choose to get up quickly. A subtle difference, yet so profound.

Martha’s advice for weight loss is advice for any area of our lives where we need change or improvement.

We’re told when making affirmations to make them present voice and positive, as in “I am…” So saying “I am having difficulty” is a negative affirmation that perpetuates itself. And we never even realize that we’re saying it. This explains why people say to examine how you talk to yourself and others in your daily language.

I know I’ve heard this before, in “As a man thinketh,” and “The Secret,” and all the positive thinking books, tapes and advice. But this time the light bulb went on, and I can SEE, I KNOW what it means.

This is more than slapping a positive coating on top of negativity. This is a major shift in life view. From passive to active. From helpless to powerful. From static to changeable. And I choose action, power, and change. Thank you, Martha Beck!

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