“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”
Have you ever felt gung-ho about an exciting new direction in your life – only to find your partner, child, co-worker or friend didn’t share the same enthusiasm? Maybe your spouse is complaining you’re now away at night school or your kids don’t like those greener meals you’re whipping up. Being the first in your tribe to change can be challenging. As a pioneer in your own family, you have to overcome initial resistance to the status quo that’s been established for years. We humans get used to the way things are. Yet those who dare to rock the boat are in a position of tremendous power, and can have a positive impact that ripples out to loved ones.
When I am thinking about what to give my husband for Valentine’s Day or my mom for her birthday, I’m reminded that one of the greatest gifts is helping them live a healthier, happier life. That becomes a gift that continues to blossom every single day. Sometimes, though, the most magnificent gift to your loved ones is change that starts with yourself.
I once heard this analogy illustrated through a meadow. Imagine a wild, open tapestry of grasses, flowers, birds, and bugs living in a dynamic ecosystem. One flower in that meadow begins to evolve, become brighter or more fragrant. To sustain that change, all the other plants and animals in the wild space have to adapt. A single change in a single species causes a chain reaction to the bees and hummingbirds that drink its nectar, the other plants growing around it, as well as the animals that rely on it for food. The other option is the flower reverts back to the way it used to be. Each person creating change in their life, however positive, faces this same force of nature that works to prevent a shift from happening in the first place. But there are many tools to help you succeed in transforming your “meadow” into something even more beautiful.
Here are some tips to help ignite change in your life and overcome the initial resistance to any new health endeavor:
1) Be the example. Instead of trying to make others change, live by example. You may notice when you try to oversell others on your well-intentioned ideas, they often get turned off. But when you lead by example, they get curious. You shed those extra pounds or start wearing a happy glow and others suddenly want to know what you’re doing. Our actions are always more persuasive than our words.
2) Focus on positive change. Sometimes it’s easier to criticize people’s bad habits. Try instead to point out positive changes, even tiny ones. Say your friends, who live off fast food and soda, ask for a cup of your Prime Tea one day. Encourage them! Focus on that one constructive step, instead of saying ‘if only you could do more.’ Even if someone has 99 bad qualities and one good one, appreciate that one positive trait and it will multiply. Everyone has something worthy of appreciation — their loyalty, laughter or simply the beautiful hue of their eyes.
3) Find support where you can. Go for the path of least resistance. If you can’t find support within your family, seek out a like-minded friend or group. Even one cheerleader can make all the difference when you’re forming a new habit. That’s why I’m starting The Prime Club, so you can share this transformational detox with other people going through the same program. Plus, your own personal coach and I will be rooting for you at every step!
Keep blossoming and soon your meadow will be awash in vibrant new colors.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary