“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” The Tao te Ching
Finally! Step 3.
I won’t say this is the most important part of Transformation. It’s not. Walking forward without Awareness and Acceptance just doesn’t work very well when what we’re looking for is deep change — Step 1 and Step 2 must be included in the picture. I mean, I’ve done a lot of reactive first steps. Reactive first steps are usually based in resistance or attachment. I blindly jump forward because I DON’T WANT what I have, or I leap because I am ATTACHED to what I think I should have. Reactive steps often lead to regret. Reactivity can also lead to confusion, fear, and even more procrastination than may have been there before. Eventually, shame can even take a foothold. Here’s an example of reactive action from my own life:
I have been a Messy Person for most of my adult life. I have also been ashamed of being a Messy Person for most of my adult life. On more occasions than I can count, I have, in a fit of REACTIVITY, thrown away full sets of serving dishes, piles of clothes, and other items rather than washing, sorting and putting them away. How much money do you think I’ve spent replacing these things? I have no earthly idea. Honestly. And the bummer is that I always went back to being a Messy Person. I was reacting to shame rather than acting based on my value system.
Let me say this: change and transformation require action. That should be a no-brainer, but for a lot of folks, myself included, thinking about change and transformation can become a lifelong hobby. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent THINKING ABOUT becoming tidier. There are at least two problems with this. First, thinking about something doesn’t change anything. Change requires that I put my boots on and move. Second (and equally as important) thinking about Change and TRANSFORMATION can often lead me into the story of WHAT I DON’T WANT, which can lead me straight into taking that reactive step.
Action is necessary. Reactive action doesn’t work. Value-based Action is the only way to go if you’re looking for lasting change — if what you want is Transformation.
So….Instead of spending your time rolling around in your head about change and Transformation — try this: Sit down in a quiet space and breathe for a few minutes. Once you’ve settled your mind a little, ask yourself these questions (over and over again):
- What are my Core Values?
- How do I want to BE in the World? (Note: the question is not WHAT do I want to be?)
- What Feelings do I value and want more of in my life?
Make a list. Post that list in a place that you see often.
Now take a step based in those values. Then take another step based in those values. Then another and another and another. Moment by moment, step by step, you will Transform your Self. You will become a person who is fully aligned with the ethics, actions and feelings that you value. What could be better than that?
Transformation Step 3: Take the next Right Step
(PS — I’m going to fold a load of laundry)
The original article, published on November 10, 2018 at Medium.com, has been edited by the author, Tara Moorman, for publication on this website.
Dr. Allaire received his Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of Houston, as Valedictorian of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and his Medical Doctorate from Baylor College of Medicine, where he served as Chief Resident. He is the medical monitor for the Physician Counseling Committee of the Harris County Medical Society and the Medical Director of Serenity House Detox. Dr. Allaire specializes in medically assisted detox cases, treating patients in recovery from addiction or other mental health disorders, the medical assessment and monitoring of patients with addictive disorders, medical care related to eating disorders and the medical treatment of patients with mental health conditions.