Sunday, January 18, 2015

Making changes in our lives and culture

A few years ago, my daytime employer provided something called the Pacific Institute Training for many of its employees.  It was done by a fellow from Seattle, but one of the big selling points to get people to sign up was that every year Pete Carroll would have this training brought to his football players at USC.

One of the philosophies I most remember about it was that your brain gets trained as to what is normal and expected in your life.  When things are out of the normal, your brain starts telling you that something is off kilter and you need to get things back to normal.  If makes you uncomfortable with it.  So, if you want to make changes in your life, you need to start thinking of the changes as a new normal.  You need to have a routine where you set goals and do self-talk as if these goals have already happened.  Your brain will start to believe this is your normal and, if this isn't happening, it will let you know that something needs to change to get to your normal.  You won't feel comfortable any more in your current normal.  You get a push to figure out what you need to do to make the changes you need to.

You then start doing things to get to the normal that you've convinced yourself you should have.  Several people I work with took this to heart and did the work and got the education they needed to get themselves promotions.  I have seen it in our lives where we saw our food wasn't what it used to be and wasn't what it should be.  We started raising chickens and growing veggies in our suburban yard, and we gradually  came to the belief that we belonged somewhere else.  We spent three years looking for where we felt we belonged - where our normal should be.  We're still haven't gotten to the point where we're settled in, and are always talking about adding cows or sheep or pigs, particularly when we're having a tough time finding the quality of food we're looking for without driving all over.

There were other parts of the training, and it must have made an impression on me, because I still remember them clearly years later.  Some of the things I've seen from the Seahawks seems like they come from that type of philosophy, and they have done extremely well in taking people who are convinced they should be successful, even in the face of people telling them they shouldn't be, and doing the work needed to make themselves that way, no matter what everyone else thinks or says about them.

I still hold on to this when I am discouraged, especially when I get out of the grocery store and read the ingredients on some of the "food" items there.  How can we change the momentum of the food industry in the face of the massive corporations that run it with the main interests in profits and convenience, rather than quality?  I feel the tide turning slowly.  One woman I work with just WENT OFF about genetically modified food this last week because of food issues she started dealing with over the last year.  She is convinced they are the cause of it.  Maybe the corporations are turning the tide themselves by producing and selling things that are harmful to more and more people.  We need to continue that change.

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