Developing a more Zen-like mindset may be the key to permanent change and a healthy lifestyle. Too often people view lifestyle change as some magical makeover that's going to yield grand results in a defined amount of time. Clinging to these fantasies, most people set out to lose weight or improve their health with gusto and an “all or nothing” mentality. But change is hard, and when too much change all at once cannot be sustained or obstacles arise, the fantasies are destroyed and the sense of failure that erupts often halts efforts altogether. For many, this scenario happens again and again through the years.
Yet, if we learn to approach change as a personal ongoing transformative process that has no end date, no lofty expectations and no metaphorical wagon to jump on or fall off, we could then more openly embrace the whole experience of change and focus on becoming mindful of all the nuances it exposes to us about ourselves. When we pay attention and lean into the most difficult and uncomfortable moments of change at the time they present themselves (instead of running from them, distracting ourselves, pointing fingers or giving up), it allows us to deeply explore our obstacles from various angles in a less judgmental way.
What we may begin to see unravel are habitual patterns of behavior, thought streams and current beliefs that counteract our efforts. We may awaken to understand the emotional and environmental triggers that lead us to act the way we do. This heightened awareness is the vehicle of change through the insights we gain by confronting mental blocks or the why and where we are stuck. Embracing this awareness leads to slight shifts in our views that can help direct us around our obstacles. This is not easy work! Diet and exercise may prove to be easier tasks. But, the tenacity to become aware and work through what life delivers in the present moment may be the only way positive and sustainable change, and true nurturing of oneself, can occur. Transformation begins with your mindset--one that embraces heightened awareness, continued growth, and acceptance for oneself.