Willingness to Heal vs. Willfulness to Stay Stuck
February 7th, 2017 by admin
Have you ever wanted something really badly, but couldn’t seem to make yourself take the steps to get it?
You cannot have what you are not willing to become.
For instance, maybe you don’t realize it, but you’d prefer feeling in control by eating what you want when you want, over making important dietary changes; or maybe the urge to avoid uncomfortable feelings with certain coping mechanisms, like downing a whole bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups when you’re coming off of a hard day and looking for some respite, often feels like the easiest thing to do.
I have struggled with this myself at times, and plenty of my clients have or do, as well. I’ve seen people in the worst agony with their bodies, knowing what needs to be changed, yet refusing to let go of old patterns, affinities and aversions.
By the way, if you’re a client, and you think I’m talking about you, I probably am. It’s ok. You’re not the only one! This is human nature 101. Plus, you’re pretty much always on my mind. 😉
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s have a quick chat about willfulness vs. willingness.
Willfulness is the act of digging our heels in and refusing to see things from another perspective–as if the vantage point you’re looking from is the only one. Often, the perspective or line of thinking that we are stuck in feels very real, and it also feels strangely addictive. Have you ever tried to break out of a negative rut in your thinking and noticed that it feels way easier to stay in the negative thought pattern than to switch over to thinking more positively?
That is, until you actually make the switch–once you’re over the hump, you start feeling good.
When you refuse to get over the hump and instead, stay in the negative line of thinking or behaviors (and suffering), that’s willfulness. The only way to shift into a more positive space is to soften your stance and tap into your willingness to make the shift.
Willingness is about allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. It’s about being ok with not having all of the answers or knowing what will come next. It’s about being up to try something different, in order to get different results. It’s choosing to recognize when and where you are clinging to old patterns that are keeping you stuck and allowing aversions to steer you away from something that will benefit you.
Willingness is in the house when we make the leap up to a new vantage point–one that has us vibrate at a higher frequency.
Think about a time when you were willful for a few moments. Maybe you found yourself arguing for the sake of arguing–because you wanted to be right at all costs. Get a sense of how that felt in your body. Now think about a time when you were willing and excited to try something new, even though you were a little scared. Can you feel the difference in the energy between the two? I bet it’s pretty remarkable.
So, when you find yourself feeling discouraged about making certain changes, or on the verge, in the midst of or in the aftermath of, say, a junk food free for all (or even just a few bites of a known trigger food) that you know will end with you stuck to the toilet, writhing in pain of some sort, taking off of work the next day, or just stuffed and feeling ashamed, I encourage you to check in.
Get quiet for a moment and ask yourself, “am I exhibiting willfulness right now (to stay stuck in my current patterns), or am I wiling to do something different than what my urges are telling me to do, in order to usher in a more positive and expansive experience of life?”
You can check in about this when you’re arguing with your spouse or a sibling, staying at work instead of going to get some exercise, binge watching your favorite show instead of prepping your food and snacks for the next day or week, procrastinating on a work or school project, zoning out on your Facebook feed instead of being fully present with your partner, spouse or kids, and the list goes on…
Remember that your experience is created from the inside-out, not the other way around. You may have a lot happening in your life, but it is ultimately your choice in how you experience what is going on around you. That’s pretty cool, because it means that we have a lot more control over our emotions and our experience than we may have previously thought.
It means there’s a way out of your suffering, and you don’t have to look anywhere but within to find it.
In order to have the physical and pyschological wealth you desire (and already have full access to, by the way), it is crucial to be willing to practice being aware of your thoughts and feelings in the moment and to objectively evaluate your willingness vs. willfulness when you are feeling hindered. So, what do you say? Are you willing drop the filters between you and your limitless vitality?
Here’s to wellness beyond the status quo!
P.S.–If you’re in Albuquerque, you can catch me LIVE and in the flesh this Sunday, February 12th, for a workshop on cultivating and expressing Self-Love through mindfulness, nutritional healing and mindful eating. See this invitation for details, and please RSVP. I hope to see you!