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The Multidimensionality of Change

Kerry Jehanne-Guadalupe

 

Have you ever intended to change a behavior and then completely forgotten that you desired to do so? Did you ever have a New Year's resolution that you carried from one year to the next without resolving? Did you ever intend to eat well and then eat the entire chocolate cake?

 

I used to say to myself, "I am only going to have a bite of chocolate. Just one piece. I am making a conscious choice to eat chocolate in moderation.” Then, after I finished the entire bar, I asked myself, "What happened to my choice? How did it slip away with such ease? How I am here with an entire chocolate bar in my belly after I made a New Year's resolution to enjoy it in moderation?" Choosing between chocolate and vanilla was easy for me. Choosing not to have the chocolate, or just a few bites, especially after the tunnel vision kicked in and all I saw was chocolate, was the challenge. Like all resolutions that slipped away with ease, how to remain conscious and connected to my goal became the vital question.

 

If someone shares that they want to exercise more in 2023 and can't seem to get to the gym, I wouldn't respond by saying, "Set a stronger intent. Choose it and just do it. This is simply mind-over-matter." When one cannot access and act upon a choice / an intent / a resolution, I prefer the conversation to start with, "let's explore where we may be stuck, where we may be conditioned to repeat subconscious patterns, where ancestral patterns or the collective consciousness may be influencing us, and so forth. Let's explore! Let's make our intent accessible to us. Let's be gentle with ourselves as we figure this out."

 

When I feel stuck in making a change or sticking with my goals, it reminds me to look deeper and ask questions such as does my unconscious mind believe it is unsafe to make a particular change? What is the causal point of the difficulty I am attempting to overcome? When I have experienced difficulty in moving forward, overcoming a behavior, changing a thought pattern, or manifesting specific work opportunities, my journey became a rich exploration of the multidimensionality of my existence.

 

In working with myself and others, much of the journey in overcoming old habits and creating change has been to find and transform the causal point of the habit. Within our human complexity, that causal point can be rather mysterious. For example, is the challenge an ancestral trait coming down the generations of my family? Did I leave a fragment of my soul somewhere in space and time? Is the difficulty to make a particular change because of subconscious beliefs or programs of self-sabotage? Are past, unresolved traumas playing a role in preventing real and lasting change? Is a past life impacting this one?

 

Such questions not only provide a path to resolution but can also provide compassion when things don't change with grace and ease. There can be some insidious reasons why we sabotage our intents or stumble while trying to create change. Navigating the complexity of change with compassion, understanding, and grace feels extra essential in such moments. Examining with compassion, all the influences that might be impacting our ability to change, can also act as a healing balm to reduce or even eliminate shame, heartache, and despair when changes prove difficult to make. We are complex, fascinating, multidimensional beings. How do we work with this complexity regarding sticking with New Year's resolutions? How do we continue to foster the ability and capacity to choose thoughts, emotions, behaviors and the lives we wish to create? How do we migrate from unconscious patterns to conscious choices?

 

For me, along with setting resolutions for the New Year, I set intents to look at where I might be restricted in creating change and to be with whatever is with curiosity and compassion as I work towards my goals.

 

Along with asking myself, WHAT changes do I want to make in my life, I also ask WHY do I want this change and HOW do I gain access to the changes I wish to make?

 

It works best for me if my 'why' is very clear. I have experienced that the answer to the why can carry lots of transformative energy as long as the why is for me and not for someone else. For example, I have met people who try to stop smoking or drinking for someone else. In most cases, that did not provide the power and energy for lasting change as it did not come from their will or desire but someone else's. Also, their impetus to change dwindled or even abruptly vanished when the person they were trying to change for disappointed them. They no longer saw the point in even trying.

 

It is also essential that, at certain times, the why is not just for me, but from me and not from society. For example, is the beginning of a calendar year the best time for me to embark upon change? Am I following my soul's path or a culture that says January is the time to make resolutions? When the 'why' is for someone else (i.e., quit drinking for someone) or from an outside influence (i.e., societal pressures to be a certain way), the staying power to make the change or accomplish the goal can sometimes lack the charge one needs to transform and succeed.

 

And yet, the impetus to change for someone else or from society can be exactly what one may need. By stating two opposing thoughts, I do not feel I am contradicting myself but honoring the complexity of being human.

 

The link between "you," "I," and "us" is exceptionally relevant in transformation, as the change of one person can benefit many. Also, the change of many - the evolution of our collective consciousness – can be a powerful catalyst for us as individuals. On the other side of the same coin, I wonder if the collective consciousness can hold us back regarding change. For example, it is commonly known that the success rate for New Year's resolutions is less than 50%. If less than half of the people who set New Year's resolutions succeed, it is important to consider how being in alignment with the collective consciousness might hinder our growth. Perhaps it is time to seed the collective consciousness with a higher success rate – or perhaps question if setting intents collectively on January 1st is ideal. Again, stating two opposing ideas (the collective consciousness can help us grow and might also hinder our growth) does not feel like a contradiction but an examination of our intricate and interconnected existence as it relates to change.

 

How we create change is just as important to me as the why. Willpower is a significant component of change that can be used in different capacities. Willpower can be viewed as having a degree of awareness of what is needed, bonded with an ability to engage in an action that can lead to a desirable outcome, including restraining oneself from impulses and fruitfully overriding a challenge. Two words are combined in the term willpower, reflecting the merging of a willingness filled with awareness and the power to perform, representative of an ability.

 

How I wield my will is essential in creating change. Sometimes I can use my willpower in a mind-over-matter way. When mind-over-matter isn't sufficient, when I see that I am struggling to change, I adjust the use of my willpower. For example, when ancestral patterns are alive and well, or when the subconscious mind is running the show, I use my will to gather the strength to be with what is, especially for changes that feel out of reach. I use my will to look for and transform the cause. Using my will, not for mind-over-matter, but to access the cause of the issue, has been, at times, the best use of willpower for me.

 

Some would argue that fostering willpower is the ultimate goal and that willpower is about self-discipline influencing one's drive and choices. Yet, how we wield our will is important. For example, how I gain access to the ability to be, feel, think, and relate as I genuinely desire might be to work in the unconscious mind. I have found that when a belief changes, the use of mind-over-matter willpower is negligible because the shift follows the new belief. When mind-over-matter is not enough, exploring a different use of willpower provides a pathway to success. Thus, willpower has multiple purposes.

 

Sometimes habits are stronger than one's self-discipline. This can be viewed as "Habit-power" over "Willpower." In my experience, one may feel more empowered by the recognition that willpower is not absent within the presence of an inability to make the choices that one may desire. The degree of willpower needed to journey into uncomfortable experiences is sometimes much greater than the will required for mind-over-matter changes. An act of conscious willingness to be with what is, is extraordinary!

 

Great empowerment arrives when access to change has been acquired.

 

In reflection, a few life experiences related to change and transformation come to mind. When I was nine years old, I was put on a diet. The desire to lose weight did not come from me but from those around me who thought I was unlovable because I was overweight. Regardless of all the pressure to lose weight, no one asked why I was overweight. I have found that looking at the cause of weight gain typically provides a path to weight loss. For me, my struggles with food and weight were multifaceted. After sexual trauma early on in life, having extra weight on my body made me feel safe. My unconscious mind often sabotaged diets because it believed I was not safe without the excess weight. Additionally, food was effective in suppressing emotions until it felt safe for me to feel them. Moreover, I had this underlying belief that I was disgusting, that my body was awful, and therefore I ate to the point that I felt gross in my body, rather than eating for wellness. After decades of failed diets, the real change happened as I healed the pain and the corresponding beliefs that caused the weight gain to begin with. In fact, the more healing work I did, the weight fell off with ease as it no longer had a purpose.

 

When I entered the workforce, I found a series of employers that treated me like a slave. They wanted to pay me very little in exchange for enormous work. They wanted me to dedicate my life to their projects without proper compensation. I even had one potential employer offer me room and board in exchange for being their farm manager. The average salary on that type of farm was $53,000 per year, and their offer was a rundown cabin and some food in exchange. I sensed this pattern did not originate from this lifetime but an imprint of slavery from a past/parallel existence impacting this one. Releasing the energetic imprint of slavery was key to creating new kinds of work experiences. The use of “energy medicine” was extremely helpful in this process. Within the field of complementary and alternative therapies, energy medicine is a holistic method that can bring us restoration and balance via the therapeutic use of the vital energy which flows through the human body.

 

In the realm of relationships, throughout my teenage years and into my thirties, I manifested unhealthy relationships with men. Why did I even enter abusive relationships? That was how I defined love. The definition of love I assembled from my childhood experiences was from me simply following a pattern of relationship dynamics that were in place in my family and ancestral line. When relationship norms are established in a family, one can perpetuate the norms, regardless of whether the patterns are healthy, unless conscious action is taken. I am not baffled when someone stays in an abusive relationship. I would never ask, "How can they stay?" as that question denies the influence of one's upbringing, the power of the subconscious mind, and the complexity of our human experience. For me, the real change came when I accessed the pattern of abusive relationships with men and facilitated restorative shifts, which brought about a profoundly different experience.

 

Physical health, employment, and relationships are significant areas of life that many of us look to improve. I would add that the ability to make change is, in itself, a significant area of life.

 

A few insights come to mind in creating meaningful and lasting change. First, I must be honest with myself to amplify my ability to change. Admitting that I am powerless is profoundly empowering. In being honest with myself, instead of in denial that "I can do this, tomorrow will be different; I've got this one" (after months, or even years of not obtaining it), I set myself up for gaining access to the choices that feel out of my reach. The importance of self-discipline is relevant here. Not in the traditional sense of one's ability to control thoughts and emotions, and overcome temptations, but it takes self-discipline to not slip into denial. Hence, the discipline in admitting when I have felt powerless has been very empowering.

 

As mentioned above, the correct use of my will is essential in creating change in my life. For example, when mind-over-matter does not work for me, one avenue is to get to the heart of the matter. I use my will to gather the strength to be with what is. I don't wish to willfully barge into my heart but to gather the will to be with anything uncomfortable. Though it has not always been easy, it has been profoundly transformative for me to access change by feeling my way through the vibrational essence of the issue/pattern. I enter the chambers of my heart and dismantle the pattern by processing the emotions of past experiences. I enter my heart to feel the fear and let it process until the anger arises. Then it is time to be with the anger and feel the rage until it morphs into grief. Then I feel the grief until it transforms into compassion, and through compassion, I experience joy and transformation. When I let things shift in my heart, my mind shifts, and my behavior shifts, and the mind-over-matter kind of willpower is barely needed.

 

Lastly, one of the main things that have helped me create change in my life are healing modalities such as breath work and EFT. One of my favorites is Light Language. I love it because, as practitioners, we work with people to help them access the source of entanglements, be it past life imprints, ancestral patterns, soul fragments, or subconscious beliefs, and then help them facilitate the restorative shifts necessary for optimal physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Light Language has been a blessing in my life in helping me to gain access to lasting change.

 

Though I feel blessed to have overcome some challenges in my life, I know I have much change and evolution yet to experience. I feel like I am on a path of everlasting evolution. An essential intent I have made in my life is to continue amplifying my ability to make changes. I intend to continue to increase accessibility to change and the power to create newness.  

 

As we embark upon 2023, may this new year bring in

the newness we wish to create.

 

If needed, may we harness patience and compassion

if the changes we wish to cultivate do not come with grace and ease.

 

May we remember that regardless of any changes we wish to make,

that we are perfect and complete as we are.



 

 

 

 

 

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