I see that I did not make my point.
Well, that was sort of her response. I might have paraphrased. It was a long text. And you don’t need to know when my big sister is disappointed in me.
I listened to the CD again--I even searched for and found the missing set of CDs my sister gave me as a gift, a 12-week meditation program called, Mental Mastery: Create an Extraordinary Life, by Joey Klein, part one of four (in a 6 disc set!), of the Transformation Series. The cellophane remains in tact but I will get there. I discussed with my sister the pros and cons of Mr. Klein’s approach.
My sister has followed the program and found it extremely helpful in lowering her anxiety. Side note: Practically every woman--and many of the men--in my family have an anxiety disorder. We also have thyroid disease, which may or may not be connected. And while some people get a note in their medical files that heart disease or breast cancer runs in the family our red flag is suicide. So, yeah. Ignore mental health at your peril, missy.
My sister explained that if I continue to feel as if “there is a stone in my heart”--my words--every time I imagine adopting healthier eating habits and abstaining from alcohol, then, clearly, I will not change these behaviors. She said it is easier to change a behavior if I first change the emotion attached to it, which is the point of the CD. I figure that means connecting wine with the hang-over and clean eating with that cute dress I have hanging in my closet, the one with the tags still on it.
Only, the whole thing seems like a chicken-or-egg proposition. Why is it easier to change the emotion attached to a behavior rather than change the behavior attached to an emotion? I get that if I don’t find the joy in eating my veggies, I probably won’t keep eating them. But it seems just as “easy” to start eating my veggies and try to attach joy to the act as it does to attach ... oh, forget it. None of this makes any sense. It’s all starting to sound like a math word problem. If Evie leaves Penn Station on a train to Boston two hours before Howard takes a train traveling 20 mph slower ....
According to big sis, this is where meditation comes in because, in a meditative state, we are more in tune with the subconscious. The brain, it turns out, does not sense that much of a difference between something real and something imagined. To our brains, thoughts are things. Therefore, meditation and visualization can help me attach joy to the act of eating my veggies. I love veggies and, eating them, I feel my blood pressure drop, my waist shrink, rainbows and unicorns, omm. Rinse and repeat. Once my brain has locked into the imagined connection in the virtual sense--how much I love veggies and enjoy their benefits--I will actually start attaching those good feelings to the real-life version of eating veggies. Happy, happy, joy, joy!
For my transformation, my sister suggests hypnosis. She understands that I am a highly suggestible human being and that I need a little hand holding when it comes to this meditation stuff. Hypnosis would allow me to just relax and follow instructions, something I’m pretty good at, actually.
I’ve made my appointment and I’m looking forward to my possible transformation. Because February is breathing down my neck like a mother and I’m feeling shaky about the whole lasting change part of this experiment.
Happy, happy? Joy, joy?
This is my year of change. I hope you join me.
Please feel free to comment below.