Updated: May 14

When is the best time for a change?

Hint- yes, your intuition has this right!

The trust is - when you start noticing the need to change, this is usually the most natural moment for the change to start. This is the most potent opportunity: when the motivation is at its highest, as you see many reasons for it to go through as well as the rather negative consequences of not taking action. We can use the frustration so that it positively serves us and find solutions. Because one thing is to notice the need for change, and another one is to be in a position to change. We can thankfully change our attitudes, ways of perceiving something, even some thinking patterns (although this usually takes longer). We are in the power of our reactions, over the amount of energy we dedicate to the issue and the decision of either constructively changing what's in our hands, or changing rather our outlook on it.

CAN I EVEN CHANGE?

Another interesting aspect of change is the very first step we could take. It often really IS in our power. there can be many reasons that are holding us from this action. In most cases, the problem might be that after this first critical step, there will be probably many reactions that are out of our control. And this is precisely what withholds us. We are afraid of the unknown or of the worst-case scenario. Another reason is that we tend to focus too much on the outcome, on the very opposite of the current situation, on erasing the problem, the "all too ideal scenario". This is unfortunately also very limiting in consequence, as it freezes our actions. We see the beautiful vision, but not the concrete steps and although we can name the next immediate step, we cannot perceive the whole path.


Sounds familiar? Have you tried to implement some change in your life but always either gave up even before starting or was too afraid of the potential effects of it as too revolutionary for the current status quo? This has a lot of possible explanations and I'm sure you could easily identify them yourself. Maybe "the timing wasn't right" or maybe the place, or you were missing this final push or the confirmation that this is the good way to go. Or you'd feel better if someone somehow decided instead of you, or helped you in some way?


I perfectly know it. And I've been there myself. Many, many times. Chickening out before this final decision, signature, click, allowing the universe to show later whether it was a good or bad choice. I also took many completely spontaneous decisions in my life, where I've put everything on one card. And it worked. Or it didn't. And I've learned from both experiences.


COMING BACK AGAIN AND AGAIN

There are some "inner calls for change" that keep on appearing when our mind is calm. When we don't focus our attention on anything in particular. Some kind of voices from your intuition. And very often they keep on repeating the same message, an impulse for change that you feel would provide you so much more clarity, authenticity or happiness, but somehow it just keeps staying there under the surface of the real life. Being constantly pushed to the background by other, "more alarming" events of life or busy thoughts. Until the next time when you get reminded of this idea you had by seeing someone realizing it, living the life you wanted for yourself, showing you that YES, it is possible. and probably not easy. But without this adjustment in your life, this first step towards change, it is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN

You are your sabotaging force.

Not the "unfair universe" it. You know it. Not your childhood, not people who hurt you. You are the only necessary element for the change to start happening.


Yes, but HOW TO START?

Throughout my life, I've tested many tools and methods. On myself as well as with my clients. I had witnessed some amazing transformations. And I feel that I also keep on evolving myself, as a person and therapist. Our ways are unique and what worked for me would not necessarily have the same effect on you. There are, however, some necessary steps that you'll need to take on your journey if you want the change to provide long-lasting effects on your life.


66 DAYS FOR CHANGE (click to learn more about the online program)

My idea is to offer you an online program with daily exercises inspired by positive psychology, Buddhism, and yoga. And these will not be physical exercises, rather visual pdfs with many interesting steps to follow through. I don't want it to be yet another challenge. I believe in the power of commitment. That's why the therapeutic process takes time. And that's why to welcome a stable change and not only a trend, you need to carefully analyze and adapt several elements of your lifestyle, create new habits and routines and keep showing up day-by-day with no judgment but open heart and mind.


Are you feeling you might be interested in following this process with my help?


Let me then explain more in detail how I see this journey and which areas it will touch. You must know that in all I do, I am deeply inspired by Buddhist and yogic philosophies. But not only theoretically. The most inspiring element has always been for me how to "translate" these spiritual development concepts into daily life and use it in a more practical way to deal with whatever comes on my way. And how, through my behavior could I come closer to expressing my life's purpose. I know that some words like "mission and vision of life" or "true self" may sound vague and disconnected from the real-life, but very often in my psychotherapy practice that's precisely what's missing in people's lives- a lack of clarity of mind, passion, a vision of what gives them the real satisfaction and happiness. And that's what we are going to focus on in this program.

1:1 SESSION

It will be necessary for us to connect along your journey. And you will be the one deciding at which point would you need this additional directions precision and support. I prepared an outline of action points, but you will be responsible for its implementation. There will be room for adjustment, depending on what field your need for change touches upon. I aim to equip you with a personalized tool for this change to materialize. Day-by-day. For 66 days. Step-by-step. Side-by-side. 66 exercises, delivered to you daily to finally bring this change to life. A very real, daily action, not only a thinking process.


YES, I AM INTERESTED! (click to sign up to receive the update about the program)

Everyday demands of high-speed urban lives make it more and more difficult for many of us to constantly having to adapt to the demands of the environment. Many stressful events result in physiological changes and observation of this relation as the root of diseases is the focus of psychosomatic medicine that links mind with the body. Sometimes, the body knows best, and before our mind realizes that there has been a disbalance. Every one of us has an individual internal capacity to handle stress, that Daniel Siegel called “a window of tolerance”.


Physiologically, our reactions to stress are controlled by a major neuroendocrine system: hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. It regulates many other body processes, including digestion, the immune system, mood and emotions, sexuality, and energy storage. The HPA axis integrates physical and psychosocial influences in order to allow our organism to adapt effectively to its environment, use resources, and optimize survival.



There are two modes to the stress response:


1/ The hypothalamus, via the pituitary, causes the adrenal cortex to release cortisol, which acts to release increased amounts of glucose from the liver’s glycogen stores. Cortisol release also causes retention of sodium and water by kidneys, increases blood volume and pressure, suppresses immunity, and reduces inflammation. Excessive levels are harmful as they can lead the body to use too much of its resources, damage tissues, and compromise immunity system.


2/ The adrenal sympathetic response is initiated by the hypothalamus. It causes the adrenal medulla to release epinephrine and norepinephrine. These two neurotransmitters increase blood flow to muscles and organs, allowing quick transportation of glucose to organs and muscles to allow the needed energy to fight or flee.



What controls this stress response?


We are equipped with an evolutionary physiological survival instinct called the fight or flight response coined by Walter Cannon. When faced with stressful situations our body releases hormones- epinephrine and norepinephrine to increase heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, metabolic rate, and blood flow to the muscles, gearing our bodies either to battle or to flee from the danger. Thankfully, our body is also inbred with the relaxation response (term by Herbert Benson) – an inducible physiologic state of quietude and ability to heal and rejuvenate itself. Both fight or flight response and relaxation responses are based on the mechanisms of the autonomic nervous system, respectively sympathetic and parasympathetic.


The autonomic nervous system maintains homeostasis by controlling heart rate, digestion, respiration, salivation, perspiration, sexual arousal, urination, and movement of blood flow to muscles and organs. Its two branches are sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. They are antagonistic in nature and can be compared to gas and brake pedals in a car. The sympathetic nervous system uses lots of energy to prepare us to focus on stressful stimuli, therefore we call it a catabolic system. It breaks down things to get more resources and puts on hold processes that are calming or not vital to our survival (like nourishment, reproduction, or elimination of wastes). It is vital to our functioning, but its chronic activation can leave the body exhausted and depleted. To counterbalance, we have a parasympathetic nervous system that is dominant when we are resting, sleeping, and digesting, therefore it’s called an anabolic system that concentrates on rebuilding the body’s resources. In a healthy human being, it is the default system.


Yoga as a regulation practice can help us exit the fight or flight mode. Mindfulness can potentially make us more conscious and receptible to the bodily signs and cues of stress so that we can react to it before the results get too harming. In an ancient classical yogic text called Taittiriya Upanishad, there was a mention of a concept named koshas (“sheaths”). According to this concept, our true nature is covered and surrounded by five layers of awareness through which our experience of the world is filtered. They are the physical sheath (annamaya kosha), the sheath of vital life force and energy (pranamaya kosha), the mental or psychological sheath (manomaya kosha), the sheath of wisdom and intellect (vijnanamaya kosha) and the bliss body (anandamaya kosha). Imbalances within the five sheaths create psychological and physical suffering that take us away from our true wellbeing.



In the view of Vedantic philosophy, we all carry an individual fragment (atman) of universal consciousness (brahman). In the model of kosha, this atman resides in our innermost core, covered by five illusions (mayas). Our unique perception of reality comes through our identification with these layers of illusions. Our over-identification with aspects of the sheaths separates us from the knowledge of our true nature. Yoga therapy uses this model as a diagnostic tool to view a person holistically to understand the root of suffering (physical, mental, or psychological). It enables yoga therapists to embrace a multifactorial assessment of a person’s needs and move beyond a one-dimensional approach to treatment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced some old fears in many of us. And our most basic needs have been under question. The stress is real and our lower mood is a natural reaction to it.



>>>>> ADDRESS YOUR FEARS

Fears are here for a reason and we need to allow them to be there. They are the messages from our body- it simply shows what's important to us.

But once it starts to spin around and becoming the only subject of our attention, that's when it no longer serves us. And that's also a sign that our coping strategies failed and didn't filter accordingly.

Exaggerated fears may mean a lack of grounding. When it touches us too deep than it rationally should. When it takes over the control of simple daily activities. Then people come to see me and say they had panic attacks. Or they first experience somatic symptoms of chest pain, breathing problems and first see a generalist who diagnoses anxiety.


>>>>>>> BECOME RESILIENT

Not ignorant, but resilient to the negative effects of anxiety. Resilience is simply the way you respond to the crisis. How you're reacting shows your level of resilience. One way out is to go IN. Either by psychotherapy or with self-supporting tools of relaxation and breathing exercises. Make sure you pay attention to your kidneys. Too much stress and lack of proper ways to regenerate energy may lead to kidney fatigue.


<<<<<< SOCIAL SUPPORT MATTERS

Enjoying time with your family or simply having quality time to spend the way you usually don't have. The more time you spend your time doing things you CAN influence, the happier and more resilient you become. When you're concerned about issues that are above your control, you sabotage your happiness.


<<<<<  CULTIVATE YOUR SLOW PACE DAILY

You get to intentionally design a life you want to live. Make sure you choose exactly what makes you expand and feel fully yourself and as much in control as you can. A key is to notice this space of stillness between all the outside busyness and inner chaos, a time when you can be a human being, instead of a human doing, with your full attention. My slow pace happens throughout the day. Slowing down when I eat, appreciating the nourishing meals, making sure I get the necessary balance of action and relax, monitoring sleeping patterns, making conscious choices of what I spend my energy on.


Reach out for 1:1 online session when you feel you need support


I work via Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, Messenger or phone. Whatever suits you best at this special time.

Maybe this is a good opportunity to finally reach out for help with some long-forgotten issues that are coming to the surface now?

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 © Ewa Kampelmann 2019