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Feb 23

Transformation

Does it ever seem that there are certain things you wish you could change but can’t? Certainly when we’ve been given a diagnosis of ADHD or another disorder, or when we’ve struggled with something for a long time and can’t see any progress, we can fall into despair.

There’s something wrong with me, you may think. No matter what I do I can’t make a difference.

But perhaps that very thought is the problem. Because it’s not based on fact. It’s just an opinion. The truth is, you can’t always believe your own thoughts.

Science shows that everything is always changing. Even an inanimate object, like a piece of iron, which certainly seems solid, is in a state of flux.

Old cells in our bodies are constantly being discarded, and new ones are forming.

One of the things that is inherent to life itself is our capacity to change. But first we have to change the way we think.
1. Where are you right now?
2. Where do you want to be?
3. What’s standing in your way?

*Accept where you are right now. Try not to listen to your own stories insisting that because of your past, your biology, or your intelligence, you can’t change your situation.

*Pay attention to the moments of your life mindfully, in an open and caring way. Practice being kind to yourself, rather than critical. The more you do this, you will become better at it. Ironically the more you can be there for yourself without demanding that you change, you will change.

*Your brain will rewire as you deepen this practice. As you let go of your stories about your inability to do the things you want to do, things will naturally begin to shift.

*This doesn’t mean that you will stop making an effort, or that you won’t acknowledge your mistakes. You’ll continue to do your best, and, when you don’t live up to your own expectations, you’ll forgive yourself and start again.

Dr. Richard Davidson’s research
at the University of Wisconsin shows that it is possible for us to intentionally re-shape our brains in ways that are helpful to us. But it takes persistence. And compassion.

Try this: The next time you do something that makes you feel embarrassed or ashamed, speak to yourself as though you were a loving parent talking to his or her child: “I know how much this upsets you, darling. I’m sorry you’re suffering. I’m here for you.”

Even if no one ever said these things to you in the past, you can say them now—and you can change your brain and your life.

“The first step on the journey of faith is to recognize that everything is moving onward to something else, inside us and outside…. We see that a self-image we’ve been holding doesn’t need to define us forever, the next step is not the last step, what life was is not what it is now, and certainly not what it might yet be.”

-Sharon Salzberg