How can we make real changes in our lives?

Evidence suggests we individually and collectively overestimate our ability to change or set a low bar for “real change”. Changing partners, jobs, countries, religion, political party or diet are recognized as major “life stresses”, yet even such changes rarely alter our deep, behavioural patterns, which we may regard as our personal “software”.  In new relationships or even after years of therapy, old behavioural patterns commonly reappear; fads and heroes come and go; political promises from right and left fade.

At TCMC, we regard “real” change as something profound and lasting, which transforms our consciousness.  This requires courage, skill and perseverance since the entity that must be changed is your Self or “I”, which subtly resists change from the inside – it knows everything you know.  This mechanism operates even when you embark on a “healthy” or even “spiritual” project.  Everything must be on the table for investigation in order for Real Change to manifest.  Sacred Cows or Hallowed Values are often the hiding place of the Dark or Shadows within ourselves.

Mind-body-spirit teachers, both ancient and modern, suggest that in order to make lasting changes in our lives, we must have an on-going personal practice and preferably a “spiritual friend” who has trod the Path before us.  Our internet age of instant info, feedback and gratification makes commitment and perseverance difficult. The current cultural and internet notion of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a good example - the fear that if you commit to some practice, some new info or celebrity teacher may arise, which may cause you to doubt and question your commitment

In making real change, it comes down to Quantity or Quality.  Quantity is the foundation of popular culture – celebrity, bling and fads, which rapidly change.  Quality is the ability to recognize who or what in Life’s Supermarket is profound, lasting and healing.  In order to choose wisely, we must know both ourselves and others at a deep level, which takes skillful, ongoing personal practice.

Western medical and scientific research is increasingly substantiating the health benefits of Mindfulness Meditation, Qigong and Tai Chi Chuan.

Submitted by Andy James

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