By: Lara Licharowicz
Remember those resolutions you made WAY back in January? Yup, those. Some you’ve checked off the list – congrats! Others, well, maybe not so much.
Don’t worry! It’s not your fault. Your body is hard-wired to maintain the status quo in an effort to keep you safe. Your physiology has actually been working against you! However, there are ways to help your body digest the changes you wish to make, so it’s easier to make those resolutions become a reality.
And, it’s not too late to see results before you don your paper party hat and toast to a new you in 2012!
See, our bodies sometimes take longer then we would like to get used to change, but we can speed up the process with a little love. Here’s a story to explain. Recently, I took a trip to Brazil and fell head over heels in love with a little street dog I found in Abadiânia. Of course I had to bring him home to NYC! So, little Chulo, the street dog, moves into my high-rise apartment on the Upper East Side with all the amenities, including a huge bowl of food. Having lived like a scavenger, I thought he would have immediately lapped up that food! My poor puppy was so freaked out; it took him hours to relax enough to eat. Even his basic doggie need for food was halted until he felt safe. For two days, he was tentative about everything except cuddling. By watching him adapt to his new surroundings, I started to recognize just how scary change can be and just how well cuddling works to help calm the nervous system.
Humans are programmed the same. Changes to our perspectives, our inner environment, are just as freaky as changes to our external surroundings. Our bodies actually have a mild stress response – fight, flight, or freeze – if we so much as think about making a change for which we might not be ready.
Lucky for us, we can cuddle ourselves through the change process by doing some comforting exercises, which help our nervous systems prepare for the changes we want to manifest in our lives. Doing these exercises helped me lose weight, leave a job and start a business, increase my income, and attract a more fulfilling relationship.
Here’s one of my favorite exercises. Right before bed, lay in what I call the infinity pose (see picture below) with your ankles, arms, and wrists crossed, while you envision the change occurring in your life.
Try this pose and start imaging your resolution coming true. Think about what you would SEE, HEAR, and FEEL with your senses as it is happening. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, SEE yourself looking in a closet full of size-6 dresses. If you want a career change, SEE yourself walking through the front door at your dream job.
Think about what you would HEAR people saying: “Wow, you look fabulous in that dress”; “Gosh, it must be so cool to actually make money doing something you love”. Also, think about what you would be saying to yourself: “I look good”; “I feel so blessed”.
Finally, reflect on how imagining this change happening right here, right now makes you FEEL. Happy, at peace, confident?
This pose cues your brain to resume bilateral function. When you go into a stress response, your more dominant side of the brain takes over to conserve energy for fight or flight. When you do this posture and at the same time think about how your life is changing, you are actually training your brain and central nervous system to maintain a restorative state, as opposed to a stressed state, which is the “normal” reaction when you think about change. With this exercise, you get your nervous system on your side, making it easier to take action and make that change happen.
This exercise generally helps your body digest the stress that change can produce, but if you felt any tension while doing it, don’t worry! This response is great information for you. The tension means there is some part of you that is not comfortable with making this change. This is awesome information to know so you can investigate why and do more exercises for it, ultimately making digesting this change easier in the future. There are plenty of exercises and modalities to work with this tension. If you haven’t been able to make that change, you are not a failure; your nervous system just needs a little more love.
If you’re ready to fulfill all your 2011 resolutions before the clock strikes midnight in a couple months, register NOW for my Fall Group Class.
In each class there will be:
- A group energy exercise warm-up to prepare our nervous systems to be fully receptive to making change and shifting patterns
- Partner work to determine which beliefs are holding us back and to clear blocks that are keeping us from achieving our goals
- A group discussion to share experiences and understand how to incorporate these consciousness shifts into our daily lives
- A short “Feelization” meditation that will help us begin to see, feel, taste, hear, and smell how our new beliefs will actually begin happening in our lives
Thursdays – December 1, 8, 15, January 5, 12
7:30 – 9:00 pm ET
Generations Fitness: 22 East 75th Street, NYC (B/w 2nd and 3rd Aves)
$200 ($40/class session)
Group Discount Available! Sign up with a friend and you both receive a $25 rebate after the first class.
Can’t make it to class? Don’t live in NYC? Take it online! Click here to learn more
Visit me at http://laravita.com/ for a complete list of my services and the science behind my method.
May all your resolutions come true!
If little Chulo can do it, we can too!