Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Inside Secret Eating - Locating Motivation
"It's true that one has to want to change, but hot desire & intense motivation can be found, or placed in the conscious, subconscious & unconscious areas of the mind. So, there is no shortage of resources."....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht
Most of us are not tuned into the different areas of our mind, nor are we truly tuned into our body. We may think we are, but thinking & actually doing are two different things. In order to tune in, we need to be actively practicing tools such as heightened awareness & mental biofeedback or body scanning. These tools connect us directly with body sensations & the emotions/thoughts that are related to them. The tools are quite easy to learn, but besides learning, they need to be enforced & of course, that takes time & desire to become a better caretaker of one's assets. As I tell those who work with me, "either you do or you don't. Your outcomes will reflect your inner choosing.."
When I presented this knowledge hook to Aida, she was very positive & hopeful that this time around things could be different for her. She loved the idea of having inner motivators, as well as a mature/adult Self that was ever present. As she commented, "While this is more complicated than I thought, I can now understand why I haven't been able to succeed. I simply wasn't taking care of business, nor was I working well with my assets."
Aida's job was to begin to uncover her old & current patterns that came from modeling her earliest teachers, including the teachers up through today. These would also include her community & cultural norms. As Aida has a very strong personality, I expected some conflicts along the way & I wasn't wrong. While it's never easy to take our models off the top shelf & to examine them closely, it seems to be more difficult when the individual has bought them or owns them in their soul. This was the case with Aida. The parenting or modeling she received came from a loving, but intense extended Italian family.
Changing these norms was going to take some very special Interactive Self-Hypnotic applications, but Aida was up for the challenge, as her physician had truly frightened her about her liklihood of developing diabetes, heart disease or stroke.
MENTAL BIOFEEDBACK OR BODY SCANNING
No matter what you want to achieve, it is vital to manage body tension. The stress chemicals that are produced from tension, not only store fat, but are related to many disease states, including the altering of immune function. Aida held a very high level of body tension, a good portion of this being unconscious or subconscious. In other words, she simply wasn't aware of how tense her deep muscles were. True, she complained of neck & back strain, but had attributed that to the many hours she sat at her computer & the weight that her body carried around. Once she learned to be a close observer of her body communications, she realized that she woke up at a high level of tension.
Looking at other areas of life, she couldn't help but notice that when she was with her family of origin, her body became even more tense, dispite the fact that she & her family got along very well. However, she was quick to agree that her family, while happy, leaned towards tense living & probably this is where she picked it up. What Aida described is an example of subconscious modeling; the body responding to the tension carried by another individual or multiplied by a group of individuals.
Aida's job was to lower her body tension norms & then to program her mind to notice increasing tensions, so she could release them "in the moment." I asked her to work with a program I've written called Mental Biofeedback or Body Scanning. It would take her about thirty days to re-program her body for a lower level of "normal stress." She also worked with a program called Becoming Aware that assisted her in recognizing body sensations, along with the emotions & thoughts that were connected. Within a few weeks, Aida was much more relaxed & less reactive to her stressors. She was now ready to enter her models or patterns & to construct changes.
Once relaxed, it is much easier to enter a chosen focus. For Aida this meant entering & cleaning up old models or patterns. She was becoming aware of the connections between her thoughts & emotions & how they played out in her body. Now, she needed to begin to pay attention to the details of what was currently happening & noticing what seemed to be getting in tthe way.
Aida ran into a few problems with areas that she didn't want to see or to clean up. Many of these had to do with old family patterns or models that were very ingrained from the time she was a child, for example, the weekend family get togethers, the continuous eating & the huge main meal. Of course, she could now see the connection to her own continuous eating & complete lack of discipline, all of which presented as a huge block. It was now time for her mature/adult Self to bring in the motivators, many of which were very frightening because if Aida didn't change, these negative motivators would most likely play themselves out in current reality.
I asked Aida to work directly with her emotional children for these were the parts of her personality that wanted to hang on to the old patterns. Her child-Self needed to be brought into the new disciplines & rewarded every step of the way. The rewards in Aida's case would come from ongoing positive inner affirmations that helped to raise her self-image & self-esteem. She needed to motivate, change & reward on "baby-steps." For example, each time she thought about the weekend family ritual, she reframed it in her own mind, playing out the scene as she needed it to be, as if she were the writer-director & producer.
In the theater of her mind she felt her mature/adult moving through the scene & interacting with the family & her new inner choices. Each time she said no to something or chose to follow her new script, she hugged her inner children with a tremendous flow of love. In the background, she played some of her favorite music. Then, she future-paced an inner motivation that she had designed earlier. Many of these were available to her. Sometimes she asked her inner child to choose the motivational reward. This became a very popular mind-game & worked as it's own inner motivation.
No inner arguing or discussion was allowed. Everything was decided & activated ahead of time. As Aida tells it, "The first weekend felt like I was wearing new shoes, but I was able to walk the walk without to much angst. My inner children knew that they could eat healthy food, but they had to watch their portion sizes & had to follow the new rules. It's rather funny, but they seemed to like having rules. I never expected that."
NEXT BLOG - Working with Emotional States