Imagine you have a friend, and that they like going to the movies. And like all of us, when they are in that movie theatre/cinema, deeply in the trance of what they are viewing and listening to, there will be times when they laugh, times when they cry, times when they smile with recognition, times that they relax and times that they tense up. All this is normal. We know how to make our bodies change heart rate, blood pressure, chemistry and every other aspect imaginable whilst we watch a movie. We are experts.
Life coaches and gurus of various types will often advise you to “act as if” in order to manifest your deepest desires. There are all kinds of good reasons to “act as if” and one of them is that doing this draws other people into the game. We all learnt this at an early age: whether your fellow child went into doctor mode or cowboy or superhero or hairdresser/beauty consultant, the invitation and compulsion was there to play a corresponding role… and we carried right on as adults. Just put on a white coat, or a clerical collar, or a high-viz coat or carry a clipboard, or alternatively step out of a limo wearing Versace at the Oscars, and people will start to play along, even if they are not sure of the game yet.
Quite often, sometime deep into a session, a client who has come to me with a recurring behaviour or a set of feelings or some other part of their life weighing them down, will turn to me in a moment of bright-eyed discovery and say “Hey! I see now! This does not belong to me!”. It happened recently with someone who had felt burdened by something all his life and then discovered it was not his burden: it had come from one of his parents and he had never thought to set it down.
There is a classic thing that happens when a client comes to see a transformational coach or therapist like me. The question is posed to them, “So, tell me, what do you want? What do you really really want?” …and straight away there is an answer that starts with, “Well, I can tell you what I DON’T want. I DON’T want to be working in this dead-end job/living in the suburbs/ drinking six pints of cider every night etc.”
Right now in the US and around the world, marchers and protesters are telling us what they DON’T want (Trump) and back in 2016 the Brexiters also told us what they DIDN’T want (immigration and EU laws).
I am willing to bet that there is something you do regularly that you wish you didn’t. Something self-defeating perhaps, or something you do and then regret and then do again. And again.
Could be something as small as smoking or as big as repeated bad relationship choices, but there will be some kind of cycle involved and, probably, just when you thought you had it “beat”, kerr-pow there it is again, cropping up irresistibly.