Habitual patterns are a fact of life. Sometimes they serve us, sometimes, they don’t.
In his book “The Power of Habit”, Charles Duhigg writes that every habit begins with a three-part psychological process called a “habit loop”. This loop commences with a trigger that switches the automatic button on the brain so that a specific behavior is unleashed. Following the trigger is the routine, (also knows as the behavior itself). After the routine comes the reward – a little something that delights the brain so it anchors itself to the habit loop.
Neuroscientists have discovered that habitual behaviors reside in a part of the brain called the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia is a key player in the development of emotions, patterns, and memories.
In contrast, the prefrontal cortex is responsible for our decision making abilities. As habitual patterns embed themselves, the prefrontal cortex takes a hike.
“In fact, the brain starts working less and less,” says Duhigg. “The brain can almost completely shut down”. This works in our favor when we don’t have to consciously think about driving our car, riding our bike, or brushing our teeth. Not so good when we’re hooked on sugar, drinking too much, or prone to procrastination. Habits have the potential to bind us to behaviors that really suck. Habits keep us stuck.
So how do we bust loose? Consciousness my friend…consciousness. When we reach the Threshold of Change, we wake up.
Threshold begins with the awareness that something has to change. It’s followed by the acceptance that the “something” is reflected in your bathroom mirror (read: YOU!). And it’s ignited by the deep inner knowing that it must begin now. We cannot force threshold. Forced threshold amounts to an empty promise with the finite umph of willpower. When willpower fizzles, so does commitment and alas, the return of the same old, same old- only this time with the added burden of guilt.
Most of us identify with the rigidity of the intellect. But the intellect is limited and fearful of change which makes for inflexible thoughts, emotions, opinions, skepticism, and beliefs. We often feel a crippling sense of paralysis when our hearts yearn for expansion. The heart – the infinite reservoir of possibility – has a consciousness of its own that is well beyond cognitive comprehension. When we deny our heart, we deny ourselves.
How many times have you spoken to someone who is aware of the need for change and knows it’s their responsibility…but nothing ever happens. You see, the Threshold of Change is a complete three-part process – “something must change, it must be me, and it must be now”. “Now” is the key to our hearts. When “now” is missing, “change” becomes nothing more than lip service. No heart, no change.
Threshold is visceral. Threshold is powerful. We know it’s arrived when we’re either sick of ourselves or hungry for expansion. Threshold plus heart expands consciousness and opens our minds to transformative strategies – such as 30-day challenges to break free from old programming. And that my friends, is what this week’s Unplug Podcast is all about.
This week I speak with two unique people on parallel paths of transformation. Laurie McConnell is a solo entrepreneur from Sechelt, BC. Her struggles with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low HDL, difficulty sleeping, mid-day fatigue, excess weight, and sugar addiction brought her to the point of threshold where she was sick of herself and eager for change.
Len Goldsmith is a small business owner and regular Unplug podcast listener from the Gold Coast of Australia. Len is devoted to growth and hungry for expansion. Threshold is a frequent occurrence in this Aussie’s life.
The beauty of threshold is that there is no good or bad, right or wrong. To some it comes easily (yours truly), for others it’s a slower process, and for many, it never arrives. Threshold warrants gratitude because it leads us to a more authentic version of who we’re meant to be.
Len and Laurie have never met, live in completely different world hemisphere’s, have given up alcohol, and both committed to a 30 day vegan health challenge in the same month of the same year on their own volition. I couldn’t not pay attention. Coincidence? Perhaps, but how cool that I’m the link between these two everyday paradigm busters with stories of transformation that I can share with all of you this week.
This week we discuss:
• What about yourself is holding you back.
• The best way to interact with others is to be a good listener.
• With our thoughts we make the world.
• How most people fear change.
• How we are simultaneously one with everything – and alone.
• Be the river not the rock.
• How the journey of transformation begins with a single step (the decision!).
• The exponential growth of vegan choices.
• Building a case for doing things for yourself.
• Creating non-negotiables in life for habit installation.
• There is only feedback, not failure.
Challenging ourselves snaps us out of denial and into conscious awareness. Make it fun and it will last. Make it meaningful and embody a better you.
Len and Laurie are everyday paradigm busters who share their stories of struggle and triumph. Be prepared to be inspired!
The Threshold of Change
THIS WEEK’S INSPIRED INVITATION:
What habit are you willing to let go of for the next 30 days? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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