You realize you have a pattern of behavior that’s no longer working for you. You’re ready and willing to change it... but where to start?
Begin with awareness. Awareness creates change.
For example, you realize you say yes whenever you are asked to help with or do something. You don’t even think about it, you say yes, and figure out how to incorporate it into your already full schedule, later. As a result, you don’t have time for the things you want to do in your life, and you feel resentful. Now, you’re ready to stop saying yes, and start saying no. Congratulations! Begin with awareness.
Awareness starts within. Meditation cultivates awareness. Breath meditation, in particular, slows the breath, which slows the mind so that you can take those pauses to become increasingly aware. I recommend the One Simple Breath. Practice it for 5 minutes in the morning when you wake up, then 5 minutes in the evening before you fall asleep. Begin to notice what happens in those pauses. Pauses in the breath, and pauses in your mind.
Next, notice when you’re asked to do something. Take a breath (pause), and notice your thoughts and how you feel. Giving yourself the pause, and having awareness of your thoughts, creates moments where you can avoid impulsively saying yes, and actually consider what you want.
Start with this awareness practice. Over time, the information you receive in the pauses will inform you of what you want to say yes or no to. You get to choose, and your choice gives you even more information. You create a feedback loop within yourself so that your choices and decisions align with who you are, what you want and your core beliefs. Through this, you no longer react impulsively, you respond intentionally, with love and respect for yourself.