Mechanical behaviors are old ways of doing things that once worked, or appeared to have worked, in situations that were stressful or in situations that were actual or perceived as potentially endangering your survival.
It works something like this. As a child your parents told you that you could not have the cherry Lifesavers' that you so desperately wanted one day in the supermarket. To your immature mind, this was totally unfair. In fact, this situation seemed like the end of the world to you. So you pouted, cried and had a temper tantrum. You bothered your parents enough that they recanted and bought you the candy.
Now, as an adult, if the person with whom you are in a relationship says no to something you want, it is entirely possible that your response to the situation will be very similar to the response you had in that supermarket all those years ago.
Noticing Mechanical Behaviors Dissolves Them
How does noticing mechanical behaviors dissolve them? Anything that you allow to be exactly the way it is or that you observe, nonjudgmentally, will complete itself in that moment and disappear. In other words, the nonjudgmental observation of any behavior will allow that behavior to disappear and you no longer have to mechanically, habitually be run by the childish version of you.
This is such a simple concept that it is very difficult to understand. The basic principle is that you can be the way you are in any given moment only in that moment. So if you happen to be sitting now, then in this moment you cannot possibly be also standing.
Most people have the misguided idea that things could be different than they are in their life in any given moment. People think, "No, I am sitting but I could be standing right now." But in truth, when you are sitting you can only be sitting. You can think it could be different but it can only be the way it is at that moment.
There is a law in physics that states: no two things can occupy the same space at the same time. In truth you can only be doing what you are doing and your life can only show up exactly as it is in any given moment.
Again, anything that you allow to be exactly the way it is or that you observe, nonjudgmentally, will complete itself in that moment and disappear.
Work On Bad Habits To Change Them?
Most people try to change or fix their bad habits. People are not just being the way they are, but instead, resisting the way they are and trying to achieve an idea of how they think they should be. The first principle that Instantaneous Transformation is based on is that anything that you resist persists and grows stronger. So if you are in disagreement with any aspect of your life, those things that you are in resistance to or disagreement with persist and grow stronger.
Working on your bad habits to change or fix them or working on yourself to be better is a form of resisting what is. And if the first principle of transformation is true, then the more you try to change or fix these habits, the more entrenched they become.
Dissolving Unwanted Behaviors
To dissolve unwanted behaviors, you need to interact with your own life as though you are an anthropologist studying a tribe or culture. What an anthropologist does is to suspend judgment, to look at the culture as not right or wrong or good or bad, but simply observe how they operate and function.
Within our own lives, most of us do not simply observe how we function. Rather we judge ourselves, comparing how we are to how we think we ought to be based on cultural standards (or the resistance to those standards).
We are all addicted to fixing what we perceive as our weaknesses and faults rather than observing ourselves neutrally. Transformation is not about fixing yourself to be a better you. It is about being the way you are.
If you simply see how you are without judging, manipulating or trying to fix what is seen, this will facilitate the completion of these unwanted behaviors. How? Well, neutrally observing something doesn't add energy to it -- for or against -- and everything in this universe needs energy to survive. If you don't energize your habits, they will naturally dwindle and shrivel up, all on their own.
How We Should Be...
Most of our ideas about how we ought to be or what a better version of ourselves would look like come from our childhood. When we were children, we decided what it was to be a man or woman from the people around us. Not only did we learn from our families and parents but also from children who were older than us. At the very best, our ideas of who and how we should be and what is right and wrong with us were formulated by earlier versions of ourselves who were less expansive than who we are today.
Since our minds are mechanical and automatically have thoughts that follow other thoughts and so on, any conversation you have about yourself and how you should be better or different than you are is coming from your past. There is an opportunity now to look and see what is really true for you, in this moment, not what is based in what you have been taught and in your resistance to what you have been taught either. It is possible to look and see what it is that you want in your life.
Discovering What You Truly Want
What is needed is an active engagement with what is going on in your life right now. For most of us, however, there is inertia, almost as if certain aspects of our lives are covered in molasses. There are years of disappointment that make it appear that it is not worth it to try, that it is not worth it to go for it.
What it takes to get through the inertia is to get engaged with totality. If you are going at 100 percent, if you are engaged in your life totally, your truth becomes apparent, but not as an intellectual exercise. It is more as an "of course".
A lot of the resistance we experience in initiating anything new is based on an idea of our own inadequacies put together by an earlier version of ourselves, a much earlier version. Again, since the mind is a recording machine of previous conversations regarding events of our lives, it holds onto old concepts as if they are still fresh and new.
When we were very young, our motor skills and coordination were nowhere near what they are as adults, yet a lot of our beliefs and conversations about what we are capable of and what we can or cannot do come from decisions that were formed long before puberty. Ideas that we have of our own desirability, attractiveness, and worth were put in place long before the current version of us came to be.
This being the case, apparently there is nothing you can do except continue to have the same conversations you have had in your life in the past. Ahh, but there is something called transformation. Transformation is discovering how to access and live in the moment. If you get into this current moment and notice old mechanical behaviors as they show up, the noticing of the behavior, the noticing of your own considerations about who you are and what you are capable of will dissolve them and will allow you the freedom to discover and be yourself.
Enthusiasm = Life
What you need, to generate the energy to pull yourself into your life and into the moment, is enthusiasm. Many of us don't have that enthusiasm to start with. We are swayed by our thoughts that repeat our inadequacies so that we don't even bother trying. It is said that the longest journeys starts with a single step. You have got to begin.
How does one become enthusiastic? Well, most people are looking for something that is worthy of pouring their heart, soul, and passion into. Fear not. You don't have to look far. Glance around. Where are you in this moment? It doesn't matter. You can start to generate the enthusiasm you naturally have for living now, in this moment. In fact, that is the only time there is. You don't have to wait for the circumstance to line up to a more favorable position. You have the perfect circumstances for transformation, right now.
Look around your house, your apartment, where you are. There are things that you have been avoiding completing forever. See what they are and do them. Too tall an order? OK, start with one. Any one.
Completion of projects, in fact completion of any kind, returns energy to you. Wash the dishes, make your bed, make that call, run that errand. Start. Starting anything gives you power. Notice when your thoughts say I can't do it, I will never be able to get this done, I am not good enough -- and do it anyway. That is the beginning. That is the beginning of reclaiming your life.
Feel your energy rush back into you. Feel yourself come alive. It doesn't have to be a monumental project. Start with a burned out light bulb or dusty area you have been skirting around for weeks.
Life Is An Adventure
Life is an exciting adventure. If it doesn't appear that way to you, then there is something that you are occupied with, other than your life. Probably your thoughts about your life. See if you can notice that your thoughts are just thoughts and are not reality.
The two of us are firm believers in the "fake-it until you make-it school of life". If you can't find enthusiasm for your circumstances in your life right now, fake it! Faking it will lend you the ability to go with totality and before you know it, you won't be faking it anymore.
Published with permission of the authors.
© Ariel & Shya Kane. All Rights Reserved.
Working on Yourself Doesn't Work: The 3 Simple Ideas That Will Instantaneously Transform Your Life
by Ariel & Shya Kane.
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to go through your life without stress or self-doubt? To have a real sense of inner peace and fulfillment? Now you can. Just as they do in their world-renowned workshops, Ariel and Shya Kane teach a refreshingly natural approach to living that is easy to do yet dramatically transformative.
About The Authors
ARIEL & SHYA KANE, internationally acclaimed consultants, have been providing coaching and seminars for a range of clients from individuals to Fortune 500 Corporations since 1984. The Kanes are the pioneers of Instantaneous Transformation, which has helped thousands to dramatically increase productivity and satisfaction. Shya has a degree in Anthropology from NYU. Prior to teaming up with Shya, Ariel acted professionally in television, films, and on stage for 8 years. Visit their website at www.TransformationMadeEasy.com.