Because humans are such notorious copy-cats, one of the dilemmas that many people have once they decide to head towards the 6-10/proactive/conscious, Life Puzzle-making side of life is how do I do it? If I'm not going to keep copying--something I've been doing since I was a young child--how do I know how to do the new way?
In reflecting back on my own journey as I walked away from the fast-food, mile a minute, do what everyone else is doing, rat race--I too can say I had that question. It felt awkward to eat healthy foods, to turn off the television and turn on exercise, to sit in the "anxiety of being different" and not let those emotions convince me to go back and be the reactive/unconscious/status quo person I'd been in the past. I did a lot of reading, exploring and internal questioning--and little by little I discovered that the world doesn't end when you step out of status quo. In fact, what I discovered is that there's quite a few others who deep down inside also want to break out of reactive/unconscious/status quo and are happy to find someone else who is doing it. I met a lot of new people who were relieved to be able to talk with someone else about the challenges of designing new, healthier, balanced ways of living.
At this point though, what I try to encourage people to do is to use the Life Puzzle 'wheel' as a morning exercise to help them get themselves centered for the day. First thing in the morning, before getting out of bed--take just 5 minutes to go through each of the 16 core areas and do a quick check in with each piece:
Nutrition--what will I eat today--where will I be for breakfast, lunch, dinner--and how can I use this knowledge to take steps to ensure that I eat healthy today?
Exercise: is this a day for exercise--and if that little voice says "I don't want to exercise"...override it immediately and determine what you're doing for exercise. That's how exercise becomes a life-long experience.
Feelings--what am I feeling today? Is this going to be a challenging day? A happy day--what's in store that will trigger emotions--and then center yourself and say, I can be at peace.
Thinking: what will you need to learn or use your thinking for today. Will you think out side the box or follow along?
Communication--what is your Self-talk doing today--positive/proactive or negative/reactive. Get a handle on it before you get out of bed!
Relationships--who will you encounter today and how will you respond.... literally think of who will cross your path today and how you'll respond.
Sexuality--well, you can figure that one out...
Family/parenting--how will you be a model for helping your kids build their Life Puzzle?
Community/environment--who will you interface with today to build a healthier community; what steps can you take today to honor the environment (ex. remember to take your own coffee mug to the coffee house--save paper)
Work--what will you add to your work today? Can you be more proactive on some decision that needs your attention vs. wishing it would goa way?
Play--what will you do for play today?
Financial responsibility--are you in charge--what bills need to be paid? Be conscious of how money will flow out of your life and into your life today. Be willing to confront money issues that are needing your attention instead of avoiding them.
Special challenge--are you dealing with your weight, depression or some other personal challenge. Will you acknowledge it and know that you will get through this challenge?
Spirituality--what can you do today to practice love?
Finding meaning--recognizing that you're only on this planet for a short time--what will you efforts today do to add meaning to your life--and those you encounter.
By getting in the habit of reviewing all the pieces of your Life Puzzle--you start the day with the knowledge that you are conscious/aware of waking up and taking on the day from the standpoint of being in charge of your life/SELF. Little by little it breaks you out of old patterns. You'll be in the middle of your day and someone will say, "Let's go see a movie tonight"--but you've already determined its a day for the gym--and you say, "Thanks--I have other things I've got to get done". Or your kids come home from school, make a mess in the family room--and because you checked in early that morning with thoughts about 'modeling Life Puzzle making" for the kids--instead of the old blow-up, you choose to stay calm, get centered and then go in and talk with them quietly about cleaning up the room and working together as a family to keep the house straight.
How do you do it? One day at a time, one piece of awareness builds to another--and one day, living consciously as a whole person is as easy as the old rat-race, mile a minute, maintain status quo was!
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