Can You Change Without Changing?

“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.”
Nathaniel Branden

I get asked this question daily in my holistic nutrition practice. It is not that overt. It is asked or stated in myriad ways. Can I heal without giving up this certain food? Can I get rid of my respiratory issues without giving up smoking? Can I lose weight without moving my body? Can I eat the same foods I’ve been eating and still lose weight or feel better? When you break these questions down to their essence, they are all the same. Can I change without changing? It is a far easier question to answer.

Through years of personal research I can state unequivocally that you can NOT change without changing. Believe me, I have tried every way around this over time. I have tried bargaining with myself, going halfway, roughing up my self-esteem and topnotch avoidance. The only thing that works is changing up what is not aligned with your highest self.

We’re going on a bear hunt

One of my children’s favorite books is ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen. The family meets many obstacles along the way, and the repetitive line is “we can’t go over it, we can’t go under it, we’ve got to go through it!”

Those old choices and patterns develop for a variety of reasons, and generally it is your ego’s way of keeping you safe. However, they tend to create imbalances that can lead to disease. The more important questions behind the question then become what are you resisting, and why? Change is required to reach your goals. Lasting change will involve going deep within to heal. “You can’t go over it, you can’t go under it. You’ve got to go through it.”

time for change“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance”

Be curious. Notice those old patterns. Become aware of the words you are choosing to use in that monologue running in your head. I refused to journal for years. Now it is one of my favorite tools. It’s a powerful way to become aware and explore why we might be making certain choices.

Banish the judgements. Thank your ego voice for its work, and very clearly inform it that you’ve got it now. You are ready to step fully into the responsibility of self-care. There’s no room for beating yourself up on this journey. It’s all about love and compassion now. Accept yourself for the perfect person you are, even in this exact moment on your journey.

Own your choices. Take full responsibility. Nobody can make you change. Be very clear on the deepest reasons you are doing this work. Rely on this for inspiration during the darkest struggles and as reason to celebrate all the many little choices you make that are aligned with your highest self. It can be very uncomfortable to step away from what is familiar. When you practice loving kindness on yourself the change is easier. And remember, “you can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, you’ve got to go through it.”

Visit Barb at www.joyfuleats.com

About Barbara Heinen

Barbara Heinen, NC, is a holistic nutrition coach and owner of Joyful Eats LLC. She helps people birth their best lives using delicious nutrient-dense foods and nourishing lifestyle practices. She graduated with honors from Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts, and studied at the BioIndividual Nutrition Institute. She’s thrilled to share her life with her awesome husband, four fabulous kids and one rascally pup. Her adventures include world traveling, hiking and bicycling, and of course, cooking and sharing meals together with family and friends. Visit her at www.joyfuleats.com

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