Making friends with the part of our nature we consider “compulsive” is a powerful and smart thing to do.
It is the most gorgeous clear and sunny day here, finally…. just took a long walk up my beloved orchard-town hills here in Harvard, Massachusetts and nothing makes me feel more happy and peaceful than that.
I love routine and have for a long time. But it wasn’t always that way- for a long time I avoided routines mostly because I was a little afraid of them. Routines reminded me of being controlled, of having to be “perfect” or of having to do things “the right way”. Routines seemed boring, dull and a bit rigid. I liked my image as a creative spirit who liked putting my own spin on things.
Can’t You Have Both?
These days my life is enhanced by my somewhat compulsive routines. The favorite moments in my day exist because I have intentionally protected them.
My clients tend to resist routines, for the same reasons I used to.
But what I now realize is that you cannot give up a compulsive habit like over-eating, or bingeing, or other things that we want relief from, unless you indulge in some other compulsions to fill up the space.
It’s true! I remember when I used to smoke tons of cigarettes (yes me the poster child for clean and healthy habits was a filthy dirty smoker who LOVED it and who started at age 11- nice…). When I quit cigarettes, I noticed there were all these moments of time now lacking something. Little spaces that used to be punctuated with a cigarette were now empty. It was strange.
Overeating also takes up tons of space. There is the obsessing about eating, the planning what to buy, the trying to figure out when to eat and how much of it to eat, or how to make up for what you ate last night. There are all the food plans to think about and compare, the calories to count, the carbs to consider. Overeating is a very busy pastime. It’s like a full time job, and although I am sorta kidding around, we know there is a fair amount of truth here.
So what I have figured out is that you must make friends with your compulsive nature. My compulsive side is very good at getting me what I want, and feeling really good while getting it.
I made friends with Compulsion when I started walking regularly many years ago by marking it on my calendar- a nicely satisfying little habit that I continue with today. It’s like a daily gold star, and I am only slightly embarrassed to admit I WANT those!
I made friends with Compulsion when I learned to eat really well by ensuring that each meal and snack had certain elements in them at certain times of day. So every day I feel really healthy, nourished and good about what goes into my compulsive little mouth!
I made friends with Compulsion yet again, when I learned to meditate- that relaxing habit has paid off big-time in wellbeing and an extra dose of calm that was not always evident in my former life.
You too will want to make friends with Compulsion. When you do, you will begin to add daily practices and routines that anchor you and provide you with vast reserves of wellbeing. It’s true- Having these places sprinkled through your day, can really get you where you want to go more comfortably than when you hang out with Willy-Nilly- who is a bit chaotic and really knows how to spin you out of control and comfort.
Go grab a pen- come on, just get one!
Write down some things that you keep meaning to add to your life. Maybe it’s more fruits and vegetable, or drinking more water to keep your parched little cells happier (and younger). Maybe it’s some sort of daily workout that could only take 15 minutes, but that would really help you sweat out any extra tension and stress.
It could be a new habit of taking quiet-time each day to meditate, or write a gratitude list, or say a prayer, or simply sit in quietude to replenish your body and your spirit.
When you make friends with Compulsion, you get into that groove that lets you then fall in love with Compulsion pretty fast!
That old habit you couldn’t figure out how to get started with is now the highlight of your day. You couldn’t imagine skipping it anymore than you would skip brushing your teeth.
Have youmade friends with Compulsion? This can truly be the easiest move for those of us who already are compulsive in unhealthy ways- just reroute the energy into something good.
I appreciate your allowing me to indulge my love of being just a little bit silly, but you get my drift. You can’t just change a major piece in your life without putting something else in. The “something else” ideally will feel really good to you. Repetition to the point of where you are then attached and connected to the new habit is really worth your while.
Need a little extra support? That’s a good thing..breaking out of isolation is another way to really accelerate the results you want. You can get a full month of full-on individual mentoring, intuitive counseling and answers to everything you’re wondering about while we build a customized routine for you with beautiful daily rituals to support you (compulsively) for the longhaul. I’m calling it the Intuitive Energy Prescription and it’s a whole lotta everything to get you clear and focused and inspired into beautiful actions that are just-right for you. Let me “prescribe” something beautiful for you.
I want that for you!
Sending you big love, from my heart to yours..
Melanie McGhee says
I am a big fan of routines. I never thought of the similarity between routines and compulsions, though. That's interesting to contemplate. Recently, I've been changing up my routines and adding additional walking in my day and it's taking me a while to get there. I'm not compulsive about my walking yet 🙂
I particularly like the image of rerouting my energy! It makes me think of the sweet gorgeous energy that flows through me and rerouting it to give it space to be even more resplendent! Thanks Lisa!
I'm so excited to have JUST signed up for your intuitive energy prescription – even before reading this blog post. It feels like you totally know just where I am right now. I'm excited to see where this goes! X
Hey Jennifer! Somehow I missed your comment and as you know I LOVED our Energy Prescription time and love having you now as a regular client.
Thank you for the validation…and having been through this process, I’d say you have great reasons to be excited…good things coming for you.
Love , Lisa