How to Plant Yourself in an Environment that Enriches You

People can help improve our lives, but they can also stunt our progress. You might find yourself frustrated, continuously trying to engage in personal growth with no result. It could be time to look outward at the company we keep.

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It’s common to feel overwhelmed by difficult emotions, a sense of aloneness and separateness, or dissatisfaction with a current relationship. Being caught in unhealthy patterns that you might have recently developed or have had for a long time might make it difficult to know how to integrate the shifts you want to make into your life.
However, it’s possible to get yourself back on track and begin to make those shifts. And while it takes a combination of internal changes like commitment, encouragement, energy, and inspiration, you can look externally and create a shift in the community around you. Shifting to a different community of people who want to live healthily, encourage and inspire other people, and live alongside a different set of values makes it easier for you to do the same.

We’re under this delusion of separateness that we are islands walking around, and everyone else is separate from us when the reality is we’re all interconnected.

A Mindfulness Practice to Generate Change From the Inside Out

1. Look at your community of people you most interact with. Ask yourself this question for each person. Does this person inspire? Give me energy. Did they remind me to live the change I want to see in my life? If they do, reach out to them and thank them for being those people in your life.

2. Don’t be afraid to reach out. If you find that you need more people living in that way, that can help remind you to live in that way; encourage you, support you, inspire you, and then go out and find those people. 

3. Brainstorm. Where can I find a mentor? Where can I find other peers who want to live this way? So, write that down on a piece of paper, begin to brainstorm where you can find those people and make contact with them. 

4. Implement those changes and begin to shift direction. You might want to make a change toward caring more about your body and mind. Or you might want to have more love in your relationships with others or dial down your self-criticism and learn to love yourself more. Maybe you want to be more focused and more productive in what you’re doing. With newfound inspiration from your community, it’s going to be your secret sauce to getting the motivation to make that shift stick.

Adapted from the Life Shift program run by Elisha Goldstein founder of the Mindful Living Collective, and Aaron Kahlow.

Part One