The Engagement Gap

August 1st, 2014

runningcouple“The real measure of our lives may ultimately be in the small choices we make in each and every moment.”  -Jim Loehr 

 

Recently, I decided to try out a new yoga teacher and was forced to notice just how much resistance I had to changing my routine. In fact it took me weeks to actually finally get to that new studio. The first time was the hardest, but every week afterwards, required a little inner cajoling to go back. Adding something new to our routine is harder than it seems on first glance, and getting ourselves to change how we do our days takes concerted effort. In part, interrupting our routine requires that we literally change how we think and considering that for most of us, 95% of our thoughts are the same ones we had yesterday and the day before that, this is no small thing.

There is a way in which our repetitive thinking patterns keep us perpetually behind both our shifting reality and even the personal changes we say we want to make.   Becoming more nimble in this change process internally is about creating new mental pathways of engaging. This is an active process requiring equal doses of intention and attention. By disrupting our habitual ways of thinking we create an opening to use these two most precious aspects of our time in new ways. This exciting beginning buzzes with potential and gives us a glimpse into the life we aspire to.

But this level of engagement also often feels like landing in a foreign country which is why it is so hard to sustain. The learning curve of becoming engaged with change is steep and requires a lot more energy than our old habits, which most of us can attest to with failed diet plans, addictions we can’t get over and even unhealthy relationship patterns that won’t let go. Change loves company- in fact it needs it. The most successful long-term shifts happen when we are part of a community which not only provides the connections to continue but also provides a space for us to publicly declare our intentions. Think AA or Weight Watchers…

We launched the Love Agent program to provide this same kind of community and support to create the positive changes most of us need in our love life. We have more than 100 Love Agents signed up, but only a few engaged with completing the missions. So, I ask myself- what has to happen inside of us to believe we can make something different, better even? Where do we conjure up the energy and motivation to do something we have never done before?  How do we break free from the repetitious and often negative thinking that keeps us stuck in our relationships and habits? Maybe it is just in asking the questions and being willing, even for a moment at time, to hold the uncomfortable dissonance between how things are and how we want them to be.

And, in fact, that is the featured mission for this week. Simply articulate the one aspect of your relationship that you imagine could be better and look for the repetitive thought that holds you back. Where is your engagement gap?

Sign up to be a Love Agent here and earn double points this month by figuring out what keeps you from the life and love you really want.

 

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