The Conscious Process of Positive Change: Part 3 Understanding, Resolution, Action

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The Conscious Process of Positive Change Part 3: Understanding, Resolution, Action

“Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.”
–  Stephen Covey

Nothing is so wonderful as those “aha” moments when understanding dawns upon you and suddenly bewilderment and confusion disappear into a moment of clarity and insight.

There is a sense of relief at the resolution of whatever problem you were contemplating; an almost startled awakening to an understanding that is new and complete unto itself. It is a body-mind experience that can overtake all of your awareness in that moment. It is the Einstein moment of  “getting it”.

You can create the conditions for this kind of understanding. Just follow the yellow brick road that starts with awareness and acceptance.

According to the tenants of Non-Violent Communication, understand is a need that all humans have. We want and need to understand why things happen to us, how the world works, why we’re here in the first place.

There is no greater satisfaction as a teacher and coach when my client has one of those powerful realizations. In ChiWalking, Running Living our goal is to bring you to a place of understanding how Chi moves in your body and how small, mindful choices make such a huge difference in everything you do.

Understanding is the third natural step of the 5 step process of conscious change.


Awareness and acceptance, when given time and patience will ultimately lead to understanding. Trusting in the process comes with experience. You cannot rush it. Understanding cannot be forced, just as you cannot force a seed to sprout. You can plant it in a spot that gets plenty of sun, you can water it, then nature must take its course.

Same with understanding.

With my personal coaching clients, there is the most pain where there is confusion and lack of understanding. It’s not an acceptable part of our culture to say, “I don’t know.” The inner critic can be particularly hard on parts of ourselves that are lost and confused. So we skirt around confusion, skip over taking the time for awareness and acceptance, and jump to uninformed conclusions.

But the place of “I don’t know” has the vital seeds of positive change within it. It’s the compost and soil of real change. A bit smelly and not all that appealing in many ways, it’s dense with nourishment and potential.

When you try to force understanding, try to figure it out with only your mind, seek to understand yourself by looking to others, you miss out on the amazing revelation of a full, body-mind “aha” awakening to something new and profound.

When understanding does come from the slower, deeper process of awareness and acceptance, resolution and action are a walk in the park.  (I think a walk in the park is the solution to many problems.)

Resolution has gotten a bad name because we try to force ourselves to change through will power alone. As T’ai Chi and Newton show us, such force will create an equal and opposite reaction.

Resolution and action that stem from deep understanding have already overcome Newton’s law. Rather than will power forcing you to get up and exercise, conscious awareness of your body’s need for movement impels you to action, without force, but with a real desire and even joy.

The process of conscious change can be perceived as hard work by the Western mind that likes to jump to action as quickly as possible – a very yang quality. The process of conscious change has a lot of yin energy in the beginning: awareness and acceptance are predominately receptive qualities that seem ineffectual to people who perceive action as accomplishment.

Mindful change has wisdom at its roots and only becomes resolved and takes action when real understanding has been cultivated with awareness, acceptance and patience.

Optimize your life! Review Part 1 & Part 2 of The Conscious Process of Positive Change

Posted in Lifestyle

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