Hello my name is Heidi and I love playing around with words. For example, if you wrote EVIL on a piece of paper and hold it up in front of a mirror, what do you see? Add a D so it reads DEVIL and look at it again. Interesting perspective right?
I find word meanings just as fascinating. For example if you look at the Oxford Dictionary meanings of the two words – creation and recreation you see the following;
* Creation – the action or process of bringing something into existence
* Recreation – activity done for enjoyment when one is not working OR the action or process of creating something again
If we take a closer look at the origins of the word ‘recreation’ we find it came from late Middle English (also in the sense ‘mental or spiritual consolation’): via Old French from Latin recreatio(n- ), from recreare ‘create again, renew’.
If I go back to my original intention of writing my story, it was about sharing my weight loss journey. I had struggled with my weight from the time I was in my early teens. My weight challenges had shaped my identity, the role I had played within relationships and pretty much my entire world. I was carrying the beliefs that had been instilled in me from childhood, which was that life is a struggle. To lose weight and keep it off is a struggle. You have to struggle to achieve anything in life. To change things externally and internally is a struggle. It’s all one big continual struggle. So you may as well just protect yourself by putting up and shutting up with what you have and learn to live with it.
When we are faced with the choice between continuing to live with the same beliefs, thoughts and behaviours (the identity) that we have had up until now versus grabbing the opportunity to recreate our lives, why can we put up such a struggle to hold onto what we know, even when we are not happy with the way we feel?
If recreation actually means doing something enjoyable which is not work, why then do we often carry the belief around with us that recreating ourselves is difficult and something that requires us to struggle? Isn’t it really the ensuing struggle, the direction of our energy by looking at what we might lose by recreating parts of our identity that is the battle, not the recreation its self?
What powers us as humans is the energy that we absorb in and transmit out as we go about meeting our needs for Significance, Certainty, Variety, Love/Connection, Growth and Contribution. The feelings, thoughts and actions we experience as a result of meeting or not meeting these needs are simply energy. Feelings are not matter that actually exists they are just internal movements of energy, yet we have been taught to be afraid of these. Without energy, we cease to exist. It’s the continual seeking of this energy to ensure our survival that fuels our habitual behaviour.
I see now that carrying my weight for all those years was simply a way of protecting and insulating myself from exposure to experiences of feeling like my energy was being stripped from me against my will. I had found my childhood sense of powerlessness the most soul destroying experience, so protecting myself had unconsciously become my fuel. I was determined to never become powerless again. But here’s the paradox of unconscious behaviour – I was seeking a relief (a sense of power) in the very thing that was making me miserable (consuming food for protection).
The EasyWay programmes which have been created for various habitual behaviours offers a great analogy for bringing about change, either from a perspective of a sense of ease or a sense of struggle. Imagine that you are locked within a room that has a door with a keypad. You have only ever seen a door with a handle so you have no recognition that inputting a code into the keypad will open the door immediately. So you struggle by pushing and pulling at every part of the door and walls you can, but you cannot free yourself from the room. You can yell, kick and struggle for someone outside the door to let you out but there is no access from their side of the door, the only way out is for you to input the correct code from your side. Those outside have no idea there is a keypad inside the room because it never occurs to you to describe it to them. However, written on the outside of the door is the code for the keypad. The question you need to ask them to free yourself from the room is ‘what’s the code to input into the keypad’? Like all transformation, it’s about asking the right question at the right time to the right person. That person is you.
There are two elements to enable you to free yourself from habitual behaviour, thoughts or emotions which are locked inside of you without a struggle. This is the struggle free way to say boo to the ghosts.
* Firstly, get really excited and enthusiastic about how this recreation activity has already positively changed your life. It’s a fun game, something enjoyable to play and no struggle is necessary. We’ve just been told all our lives that to do something like lose weight, exercise, change behaviour etc is hard, so we enter these challenges thinking that we have to struggle which only really sets us up to not enjoy the experience.
* Secondly, the keypad code is simply a prompt to explore your own answer to the questions ‘what needs am I meeting and what benefit(s) does this reoccurring behaviour, thought or emotion of mine bring to my life? The answer to this question will no doubt have many layers to peel back as it reveals itself and you get to laugh out loud at every single answer as the next absurdity pops out. It’s no longer an exhausting game of whack-a-mole instead it’s a game of Cluedo where you are always the winner.
As human’s we will only ever invest our energy in things, people or actions which meet our needs in some way. Even when these seem completely counter-intuitive, self sabotaging and make no sense to either ourselves or others, we are either meeting the needs of our ghosts or of our little voice.
The answer to my needs/benefits question about why I was carrying excess weight was simply to protect myself. My ghosts and subsequently my physical body had decided that it was safest for me to insulate myself and to be not seen, because that way I was protected from being on the receiving end of unjustified attacks, criticisms or judgements from others. In reality, I attracted far more attacks, criticisms and judgements from others by being overweight. The only person I was really protecting myself from was myself. Others are going to do whatever they are going to do for their own reasons, they have their own ghosts.
All our habitual behaviour, thoughts and emotions are there to meet the needs of our created identity. Once we are armed with the knowledge of how these things have benefited us in the past then we can move onto the fun part of recreation. We don’t struggle to hold onto something when we realise that we don’t need it anymore. In fact, we can drop it in an instant. That’s how you say boo to your ghosts.
Habitual behaviours, thoughts and emotions are not things you are labelled with for life. Believing that you must carry these for life as it’s ‘who you are’ is one of the biggest lies ever perpetuated.
It is beliefs like this which can make you powerless and there is one thing that every single human has and that’s powerfulness beyond belief. We are literally creating and recreating our live with every breath we take.
Next #9 – Betrayals of the Holy Grail