It's pretty drippy and cold still here in Oregon. But the spring plants are doing their thing, making beautiful and fragrant flowers to
enliven our still dark and overcast days.
What is a virtuous cycle?
Just what it sounds like! Merriam-Websters describes it as: a chain of events in which one desirable occurrence leads to another which further promotes the first occurrence and so on resulting in a continuous process of improvement.
I heard this expression from my Naturopath and realized this perfectly explains what I do with clients whom I coach with the Habits of Happiness.
At first we're interrupting some not so virtuous cycles that you may have fallen into, or been born into such as:
only seeing the negative in every situation
feeling like life is out to get you
not feeling worthy, which shows up as usually picking the option that does you the least good
not speaking up for your own welfare
How could these tendencies be reversed?
looking for the gift while still seeing the negative
knowing you are the architect of your life, even with challenging circumstances
knowing you are here for a purpose and have as much right as everyone else to your life and pursuit of happiness
finding solutions that work the best for everyone, including you
happiness changes your hormonal profile which can lead to better health outcomes.
Do you have Habits of Doom rather than Habits of Happiness?
We all do, (or did!) It's the brain's 'negativity bias.' Evolution favored the hyper alert, the suspicious, the one looking for the hidden danger in every gift. There was a very famous example of people NOT looking the gift horse in the mouth with pretty bad consequences for them.
So to work against our evolutionary tendency towards negativity, we have to develop other habits. Habits that bring us more pleasure and are therefore self reinforcing.
I made this graphic to help illustrate:
You have a pain and so you try some stretching. And Hooray! you have less pain. This inspires you to do even more and regular stretching and Ta-Da! you have even less pain until hopefully it's gone altogether.
But there's another cycle we all know too well.
It's the virtuous cycle interrupted. We start to feel better and think we can knock off for a day, or a week. Life gets busy, the kids (boss, spouse, house, car) take up our extra time and money. And soon we're back to where we started. The 'status quo' has a great gravitational pull. This should all sound familiar. Because we all do it. You may be very successful all around, but there may be just one area where you just can't seem to get traction. We all have something. And, you don't have to put up with it.
It's just easier to not take care of ourselves first though. I get that. All the reasons I listed above are versions of "you're not important, or worthy, enough" and we were all enculturated with it to some degree growing up; either our family or our dominant culture is invested in 'keeping us in our place'. We were trained to not stand out, not have our own opinions, to fit in no matter the cost to ourselves of squishing ourselves into the 'box' provided for us. And we can do it, we can deny ourselves, until we can't anymore. We wake up one day and know we can't do it anymore and we start looking for the way out. The way back to ourselves.
You can change your trajectory, and break the hypnosis of what has come before. All the habits in the Habits of Happiness course I teach are great; and one of the greatest agents of change is EFT. EFT let's you re-wire your brain, change your habitual thoughts, see where your old 'programming' is not serving you any more, and break the un-virtuous cycle you may have been stuck in.
To learn some more you can
read all about EFT at my website, CalmHealthEase.com. And
investigate the Science of tapping videos and
visit my You tube page for more videos.
If you haven't downloaded my free video series, 3 Steps to Start Releasing Stress, you can do so on the homepage.
If you'd like to start building your own Virtuous Cycle right away you can always email me so we can set aside a short time for a chat about what's bugging you and how I might help.
I'll be out of the office the last two weeks in April, so contact me before the 18th or catch me in May.
I hope you enjoy many virtues in the days to come!