Saturday, April 21, 2007

Lightening my inertia to change.

Every decision I make has one of two effects: It will bring me closer to my goals. OR It will take me further from my goals. Every decision I make will result in one of two reactions: I will increase my Power level. OR I will decrease my Power level.

Inertia is my resistance to change. For example, I have set a target to lose 10 lbs. My resistance to that loss increases everytime I do something that takes me further from my goal. In a day, I have a multitude of opportunities to step closer to my goal. I also have an equal number of opportunities to step away from it. As Newton's Third Law of Motion states, For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Whatever decision I make will take me in a direction that increases or decreases my inertia, which according to my buddy Newton's First Law of Motion means, my inertia will increase the greater the mass of my unhealthy choices.

Makes sense -- remember, Avoidance strengthens fear. Avoidance is not a form of inertia, it is my inertia on the rise.

In Stephen Covey's, The 8th Habit, he states, "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and our happiness."

Everyday when I come home from work, I have the opportunity to make a choice to support my goal to lose weight, or to move myself further from it. My choices have habitually not taken me closer. Those moments just after I walk into the house are my period of least resistance. Without concious choice, I inevitably do the opposite of my desired outcome.

When I walk into the house I am generally tired, have low energy and little resolve to stick to my healthy, supportive eating regimen. One little bite in the wrong direction will take me over the precipice of 'pigging out' on unhealthy foods.

My awareness of the danger zone that time of day represents means I need to take action that will keep me in a forward movement towards achieving my goal of losing weight.

Awareness + Action = Achievement
Inertia is my mindset that says, oh why bother. I'm tired. I'm hungry. I'm grumpy. I'll just give myself a break today and start again tomorrow.
The mass of my unhealthy self-talk is greatest at that time of day when my resistance to maintaining healthy forward movement is greatest.
Inertia = the resistance an object has to a change in its state of motion.

If I consider my thinking to be a 'mass', my thinking weighs heavily upon my ability to change my state of being.

That applies to more than just losing weight. When I was first released from an abusive relationship four years ago, my thinking was a huge weight upon my forward motion. I had to change my state of being by moving my thinking away from him, and onto me. I had great resistance. Inertia, the desire to 'do nothing' which I had adopted while in that relationship, was a heavy substance clinging to every fibre of my body. I felt like I was walking through quicksand, drowning beneath the weight of my sorrow.

To change my state of being, I had to continually, constantly keep moving forward, away from my negative self-talk, into my positive state of being so that I could decrease my resistance to change.

I had to make choices that reflected the life I wanted by turning away from the life I didn't want -- being an abused woman.

One of the actions I took as a Power-Up when I was feeling low, was to remind myself of something I did in the past that I was proud of.

This simple step made an enormous difference in my ability to work against the mass of my sorrow so that I could move into joy. Rather than remind myself of how stupid, ugly, naive, etc. I was to have stayed in that relationship, I chose to focus on something I was proud of myself so that I could lessen the load of my negative thoughts about myself and replace them with positive ones. My negative thoughts were the mass I fought against, blocking me from moving from despair into joy. My positive thoughts were lighter, more affirming, less cumbersome to wield around. I used them to change my state.

While I know that there is no physical weight to positive or negative thoughts, negative thinking feels denser, heavier, more weighty than positive thinking. Negative thinking increases the mass of negativity through which I must move to create a positive state of being. The greater the mass of my negative thinking, the greater the inertia and thus, the more energy I will have to expend to create a change of state.

Think about two bricks on a table. They look identical. But one is solid gold, the other styrofoam. How do you determine which is gold without picking them up? You move both sideways. The one with less mass will be more easy to move sideways.

Are there things in your life, things you've done, accomplished, that you are proud of? They are like the gold. They are the weighty substance that form the foundation of your joy. You want to identify the gold, and stay away from that which has no substance, no value in your life, negative thinking.

When trying to create change, focus on the positive aspects of your life so that you fill the space of negativity with light. Light weighs more than darkness (at least in my mind it does!). Light can be moved through with grace. Darkness needs careful, deliberate motion. In the dark we hit objects, stub our toes and fall down. Stay in the light of your being and lessen your inertia to creating change so that every step you take propels you closer to your goals.

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