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DANCE STEPS FOR CHANGE

You have at least one area of your life that you want to be better in. Sometimes it's difficult to know where to begin. Here's a fun exercise to do in pursuit of improving one area of your life.

I call this exercise "Dancing For Change." I'm not a very proficient dancer, but I know there are a set number of steps to different dances, like the Foxtrot.

You live your daily life in a series of dances, each with it's own sequence of dance steps. For instance, I'll bet each morning when you wake up, you do a very predictable number of things such as sit up, get out of bed, go to the bathroom, wash your hands, get out your tooth brush and so on. Very predictable right? Ever try to change this morning ritual? It can be quite disruptive.

In the case of personal growth and change, we often want to be "quite disruptive" to a specific behavior, thought or feeling we no longer want around.

Here's an example of how you can do this. I danced this particular dance up to about 12 years ago. My wife says I am "directionally challenged." That is to say I could get lost in my own back yard. Directional instinct, born in many, seems to be missing in me. Years ago I use to go through an awful emotional process when I was out driving and became lost. I wanted this torturous experience to stop. I named this dance the "Directional Dyslexia" dance. Here were the steps in that old dance tune.

  1. A sudden feeling that I was no longer heading the right direction.

  2. I would see some sort of road sign that confirmed my fear.

  3. Physical sensation of tightening in my chest began.

  4. Next physical sensation of face blushing.

  5. Thoughts beginning to pour in such as, "Why can't you get this right! Here you go again! You're going to be late! 

  6. My wife, who's an excellent navigator, would, at times, make a kind suggestion.

  7. I would verbally reprimand her.

  8. The thought of asking for directions was dismissed immediately.

  9. The longer I remained lost, the more constricted my breath was.

  10. I would take an extraordinary amount of time getting to where I needed to be.

  11. My energy and attitude upon arrival at our destination was quite poor.

So, those were the steps. Wow, quite a dance routine, eh? Keep in mind, all I needed to do was disrupt the dance for effective change to occur. Changing just one step in a dance can throw it completely off. I thought to myself, "Just do ONE thing differently." I can almost hear all you women out there saying, "Just stop and ask for directions!" (smile)

The deal was to "catch" myself in the dance as early as possible and choose one alternate dance step, one of my own choosing. Here was my menu of alternative dance steps and still the ones I use to this day.

  1. Take a deep breath

  2. Think, "I'm on an adventure!"

  3. Think, "I'm taking the 'long-cut!"

  4. Think, "What new thing will I see on this alternate path?"

  5. Smile - Laugh at the situation

  6. YES - Stop quickly and ask for directions if we're in a time-crunch.

  7. Let my wife drive or ask her for guidance.

Being directionally challenged has not changed, but my dance around getting lost is completely different than it use to be. Getting lost can actually be enjoyable. Who would have thought that could be possible!

What dance will you change today?


Dave Turo-Shields (email)
Veteran Psychotherapist, Trainer & Life Coach

www.CounselingPros.com
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"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power."

  ~ Alan Cohen

 

Announcement

Depression Support Group

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Second Notice To Subscribers- Next week I will post a new web page on my site which will open the group to anyone who visits.
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There has been a strong  demand for professionally facilitated depression support groups.  

I am excited to announce, first to my subscribers, that I will be starting a depression support group that any of you can participate in.

In the next four weeks I will set a time and start date for a teleconference depression support group, which you can be a part of simply by picking up your phone and dialing a number.  All you do is call in to a number I provide, enter a code and you are in with me and the group.

The group will meet one time each week for one hour and fifteen minutes.  There's a 12-group session commitment and the cost is minimal.  If interested call me and reserve a space.  I will limit the group to 8 members to insure everyone's needs are met.

The format of the group will consist of my presenting a depression recovery tool, followed by teaching you each how to individually implement in your lives. 

Your friend and professional advisor,

Dave Turo-Shields
317-865-1674

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