Life has a way of smacking you between the eyes every now and then. One day you are doing alright, plugging away and striving for something called balance and then wham! something happens and all that balance instantaneously dissipates. There you are falling out of garudasana when just a second ago you had it nailed! If we take a step back, a lot of times we can begin to see consistent themes to our balance issues. And here’s the kicker: these themes usually have their root way back in time, that is, the seed to what I call legacy issues. But there is hope. I truly believe you can change your life, and thus change your legacy and experience a much more powerfully balanced life moving forward.

So what does a powerfully balanced life experience mean? Well, when you actually see where your motivation comes from, you’ll begin to determine the origin of the source of your power, or lack of it. Changing your life means disengaging from certain psychological pathways that make you have knee jerk reactions in life. Pema Chödrön calls this “shenpa.” She encourages us to disengage from patterns of attachment that lead to feeling hooked to non-productive reactions that consistently lead to becoming a train wreck of nerves and emotion. This engagement robs us of the power to change our lives. Once we see that, BAM! the work begins.

Become conscious of destructive reaction patterns

This is the first step to changing your life. Usually our reaction patterns involve other people, but they can also be thought patterns in our mind. Loops of internal conversations are self-defeating and cloud our perception of our true self, our true worth and our true power — which is the true source for change. It’s important to see this connection because when you look at how to change your life so you can change your legacy, you must look at how this perception of yourself came to be.

Identify your legacy issues

Certain patterns were set when we were very young. Patterns determined by the environment of our upbringing; and more specifically, by those responsible for nurturing us into adulthood. We make an assumption that we are who we are and that’s just how it is. I beg to differ. There is power in understanding that we are not a product of our emotional environment. Most people define themselves by their emotions and when their emotional template was set by others, then guess what? — that person is defined by someone else’s emotional makeup, as well as their limitations.

I want to encourage anyone who is struggling with emotional reactions that limit their life. Look back to when you first felt disappointment. Where you first felt shame. When you first felt you were less than someone else. When you began to feel invisible, like your existence didn’t matter. Follow the trail. Journal your discoveries, as they will become the map to your release from destructive-thought patterns. Begin to disengage from these “lies” you tell yourself, the ones you let define you, limit you.

Define your new way of being

Focus on the desire to be free from emotional patterns that limit you. Give yourself permission to define your emotional landscape differently than how you were raised. If you are feeling stuck in life, then take responsibility for maintaining the limiting-thought patterns that bind you and give them the boot.

Stoke up the fire of desire to change your life. Do this by first defining your new way of being. As an example, say: “I was raised feeling like I had no worth, powerless to impact my world. No one valued what I had to say and thus, I became someone who stayed in the background, never allowing my full potential to manifest.” To shift this legacy, proclaim the wording and belief behind your new way of being as: “I am worthy, powerful and joyful.” Begin to live from this as your new foundation.

The shifts will you make mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually powerfully engage your ability to change your life. Be committed to asserting your new way of being deep within your mind, heart and spirit every day. Soon you will notice a shift. Stay awake and aware of shenpa because old patterns are difficult to break, but not impossible. Some days you’ll take two steps forward and one back. Stay diligent. Slowly through conscious awareness your new way of being will replace that which you don’t need anymore. Define your life as you want to live it. Go after your dreams with the fence from your past removed. See how the power to change your life can change your legacy! Then watch and see what begins to happen.

Go ahead, I dare ya!

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[Photo by Lillou Merlin – CC BY]