The Magic of Consistency

What is consistent in your life; is your life.
~ Abdul Rauf

Consistency and perseverance have their own quiet power. Wanting change to happen over-night can undermine our efforts and find us giving up before we start. Real change requires some patience and a recognition that the journey from one state of being to another takes a steady determination to keep putting one foot in front of the other – as much as we might like to teleport ourselves instantly into a new skill or way of being, transformation is rarely instant.

When we practice learning a new skill, our brains create a neural pathway. The more we practice, the stronger the neural pathway becomes until we find that the skill has become established and what once felt unnatural, has with time become a part of us. Think of learning to ride a bike and you will get the picture.

And it is not just about physical skills; what is so fascinating is that we also create neural pathways in our modes of thinking. So, for instance, if we constantly tell ourselves we are worthless, this becomes physically engrained in our brain. Our negative self-image becomes strengthened and this in turn impacts on our perception of life; those neural pathways determine our reality.

Once we grasp this, we start to appreciate the power of our thinking in shaping our experience of the world; we can begin to understand that building new, positive neural pathways is actually what magic is all about. When magical intention fails, it is helpful to look at which negative neural pathways block our new intentions and then make steps to replace these with more productive ones.

This process takes practice and the willingness to be consistent. Old negative patterns have been given an immense stamina by our continually focusing on them and because of this, it takes an equal amount of focus and willpower to break their spell. We can often feel overwhelmed by their control over us – we have practiced them so much that they feel a ‘natural’ part of us. In truth, they are learned behaviours, many of which we have spent years developing and nurturing.

The first step is self-awareness; to take an honest but compassionate inventory of our most destructive habits and thoughts. Once we do this, we can start to get a feel for how we would truly like our lives to be, and then make a list of what thoughts or skills we would need to develop to bring this into being. From this point on, it is all about those baby steps, committing ourselves to a consistent daily practice of those skills and thoughts. It won’t feel easy or natural at first but that is OK. You will definitely fall back into the old familiar negative patterns too, but that is also OK. When this happens, be kind, remember you are human; reassure yourself that these things take time and patience.

Think of yourself as a pioneer in the unchartered territory of your own brain. You are blazing a new trail. You have already walked all those familiar well-worn paths but now you are taking a new route. To begin with, it will feel like stumbling through the undergrowth but the more you walk it, the clearer your passage will be. You are also expanding your inner map in the process, enabling you to see more clearly the best routes to take and the ones to avoid. Do not berate yourself for all those unhelpful thoughts that have taken over your perception but choose to see them as experiences that have taught you much but no longer serve you.

Patience, consistency and perseverance don’t sound like the sexiest of words but these approaches will be your greatest allies and in the long-term will bring a joy and ease that will be worth the hard work. Not only that, once you have created new positive neural pathways by nurturing them daily, they will start to take on their own momentum and you will begin to witness magical changes in your life.

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