I felt compelled to write a blog about the stages of change and I was lacking inspiration so I decided to go spend time with the herd. I left with my pad and pen and my iPad and joined the herd. I had an agenda and an intention and was expecting others to deliver.
As I was with the herd, I started saying to myself: "Ok. Look for messages". Sophie came to greet me and she had her nose in my hair, my face, my hands and was looking for something and when she saw I had nothing good she moved to join some of the horses at the hay feeder.
Duke came to check me out and walked away more interested at managing the herd.
Miss Daisy came to me slowly. She was so peaceful and gentle and I chatted with her a while as I was feeling the warmth of her shiny golden coat and her breath was soft, her eyes were soft and it made me realize how fortunate I was to have them and was grateful for the moment. One would think I would stay in that moment but I was quickly distracted looking for message answering to my purpose of being there ... getting inspiration about changes.
I watched Duke moving Beau and Chinook for no apparent reason I could capture and then the word boundaries came to my mind and I said to myself ... nope it is about stages of change not boundaries and I dismissed what I was observing.
Beau moved towards Cleo and as they were courting Duke came to me and stood in front of me. I moved and acknowledge Duke and stroke his coat had a few words with him and scratched his back but was looking at Beau and Cleo. I decided to take the iPad out and video tape them. I had a hard time seeing in the lens as the sun was bright and also I noticed Duke was more in the picture then the two other horses. And Duke brought his face right in my lens and I turned off iPad.
A thought came to mind ... why are you looking elsewhere, searching when you have what you need right in front of you? You have what you need! And as soon as i acknowledged this thought, Duke walked away.
I thought well dang! I was here about changes and I didn't get anything to inspire me about change. I was curious about the meaning of Duke's message and knew I needed to ponder on that as I've learned these don't come to me without a lesson.
It is only this afternoon as I was writing about this that the answer came to me and it is totally an introduction about change.
The message to me is stop looking elsewhere for answers, for ideas, for direction for more knowledge. Stop being busy and learn to use what you already have. You are missing out on so much you have right now that you are not enjoying what you worked so hard to achieve.
So I need to make changes about that ... see where I am going with this? So in coaching someone I need to understand where they are at?
The first stage of change is PRE-CONTEMPLATION; that basically is when someone may be unaware of change or somone thinking about the pros of changing and the effects of their behaviour on others and they may still be evaluating the benefits of changing.
At this stage there isn't much I can do and most often people in this stage do not reach out for help.
The next stage of change is CONTEMPLATION. This is where people are realizing more and more the need to change and the benefits of changing. They are often thinking about the person the can be if they change their behaviour and at time they work at reducing the cons of changing their behaviour.
Some are curious and are motivated to learn more about embracing a change and will look for ways to see how difficult or easy it would be to make changes. This may be a client will first come to a life coach.
For me, Duke's message got me in contemplation.
The third stage of change is PREPARATION: This is where small steps are made to include the "healthy behaviour" in one's life. This is usually the stage people seek out help and they want friends, family and/or a LIfe Coach.
I will need to chat with friends about the realization I have made and prepare myself for some changes. I'm my own life coach so I will use what I know but I will also need to be accountable for the healthy behaviour I want to adopt which is: Be more present, enjoy what I already have, find comfort in what I have, truly live and breath it and stop looking for answers elsewhere ... I have it all here and mostly in ME.
The first stage of change is PRE-CONTEMPLATION; that basically is when someone may be unaware of change or someone thinking about the pros of changing and the effects of their behaviour on others and they may still be evaluating the benefits of changing.
I will need to work really hard at that because I do the unhealthy without realizing I do it. I know that I have a sensation in my body and I get more restless. In recognizing that I need to step back and take a time out. Be in the moment and refocus on the here and now. So that is my plan. In with any change, one needs a plan to move forward reaching towards the goal.
The last stage of change is MAINTENANCE: This is where one needs to be aware of not slipping back into the unhealthy behaviour. It may take the form of creating a support network, or have options of healthy activities to revert to.
Let's say I feel the urge to get busy and search out, I will need to go see the herd and just breath with them, or just do breathing exercises and bring back my focus on the here and now, or meditate or go for a walk in nature or do yoga .. so now I have created a list of options to revert to if I get the nudge to be busy and feel restless.
I am grateful for Duke's message which has actually helped me write this post about changes.
If I am not aware, I do not have a desire and feel the pros do not outweigh the cons, I will not change.
I have lost Bliss, Spirit and Buddy ... and loosing what we have can happen quickly. My motivation is now to make a change to enjoy what I already have and to look inside me for creativity and inspiration so I can move forward honouring my own values and reach my goals and dreams and enjoy the process instead of just having my eyes on the goal.
To add to this, sometimes we need to let go of the agenda especially when we expect other to deliver to us … we only have control over what we can and want to do. I believe that at the very beginning I may have had messages from Sophie, Duke, Miss Daisy but I was so focused on my agenda, I missed out on the gifts they had to offer me. One more reason to change. How many times did I miss from others and something because I wasn't present in the moment?
What stage are you at to adopt healthy behaviours? Recognize the stages. Do you need support?
I'm here for you.