Freeing Ourselves From a Downward Spiral
By Brad Swift
- NOTICE THE SPIRAL YOU'RE IN
As is so often true, awareness is the first step to intervention. Much of the power of a downward spiral comes from our continuing to be unaware of the direction of our life. Like a whirlpool, a downward spiral's power picks up strength and speed the longer we're in it; so it follows that the sooner we become aware we are trapped in a downward spiral, the easier it will be to change the direction of our life. It's often helpful to remember a downward spiral reversed becomes a spiral of fulfillment.
- ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE FULLY PRESENT TO YOUR LIFE
When you first notice you're in a downward spiral, the tendency is to quickly react in an effort to free yourself. This initial reaction is often based in fear and may only exacerbate the spiral. Instead, take time to notice what is happening from a detached position. Witness your life by stepping outside of it for awhile. One simple way to do this is to imagine you are in a movie theater reviewing the "Story of My Life" movie. Watch and observe.
- CONSCIOUSLY RELEASE THE THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS
As you begin to "Dismantle" the downward spiral, be sure you release and let go of the disempowering thoughts and emotions. You might envision a large bottomless trash can in front of you into which you toss each thought and each emotion attached to the thought or you can write it all down then burn the paper, thus releasing their hold on you.
- RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO INDULGE
Don't get sucked into the drama of the movie. There's no point to watching the movie over and over. This will only suck you further down the spiral. Observe and Move On.
- COMMIT TO CHANGING DIRECTIONS
Make a conscious choice to change the direction of your spiral. You may write down your choice as a declaration or share it with a friend, loved one or your coach. Draw a line in the sand.
- KNOW THE MAKE UP OF A DOWNWARD SPIRAL
Knowing the basic elements that are the composition of a downward spiral will make it easier to change its directions. Downward spirals are composed of "molecules of meaning" which can be further broken down to fear, and lack based thoughts and emotions.
This includes such things as doubt, worry, shoulding on yourself, jealousy, anger, fear, frustration, etc. All of these come together to effect who you think you are (i.e. loser, failure, unlovable, etc.) which then determines the actions you take and what you say out loud to yourself. All of which then determines what you have, as in the results with which you measure your life.
- USE THE LAW OF ATTRACTION TO CHANGE THE SPIRAL'S DIRECTION
The Law of Attraction states that "like attracts like." So just like fear and lack based thoughts will attract more similiar thoughts, the same is true of love and abundance based thoughts. By changing your thoughts and your emotions you change the direction of the downward spiral.
- PRACTICE PATIENCE AND PERSISTANCE
Remember you didn't get into the downward spiral overnight, so don't expect reversing direction to take place in an instance. Just as it takes time to stop a car and put it into reverse, it will take time before you'll see the evidence that your downward spiral has become a spiral of fulfillment. In the mean time continue to affirm and trust that it is so.
- BEGIN TO GATHER EVIDENCE FOR THE TURNAROUND
As you continue the turnaround process begin to look for physical evidence that the process is working. Start with the mindset that the evidence is there already and your job is to find it like a detector, rather than wondering whether there is any or not.
- DEBRIEF, DECLARE THE ACOMPLISHMENT, AND CELEBRATE
At some point you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the turnaround is complete. Before moving on take a few minutes to acknowledge what you've learned from the experience, declare to yourself the accomplishment and celebrate it. You've made major progress along your purposeful path. "Celebrate, Celebrate. Dance to the Music."
Dr. W. Bradford Swift is Founder of the Life On Purpose Institute
, and author of Life On Purpose: 6 Passages to an Inspired Life
. The Institute's vision is: a world on purpose, with people living lives of purposeful, passionate and playful service, of mindful abundance balanced with simplicity, and spiritual serenity.
The Institute's Life On Purpose - Home Study Course is a proven, systematic, spiritually based and practical process that helps you clarify your life purpose. Furthermore, this home study course provides the tools for you to design your life to be a true and authentic reflection of that purpose. So then you can get on with the joy of living according to your life purpose! This is our top recommendation for individuals wanting to live a truly fulfilled life.