Friday, November 20, 2009

Find Your Edge and Upgrade You

By Amy Phillips-Gary

All week long I've been writing about upgrading your life and yourself in various ways. Upgrading your home, physical fitness and diet were specific areas covered. As I finish up this weekly theme, I want to include an important side note...

Nothing is wrong with you or your life!

Often, talk about making an improvement is accompanied by an implied (or overtly stated) assumption that the aspect of you or your life that is intended for change is somehow deficient or even bad.

Yes, there are certainly habits and tendencies that do not support you and the way you want to live. But when you attempt to motivate yourself from a negative approach or assumption, any improvement experienced usually doesn't last-- or it is tinged with fear or self-castigation.

This is no upgrade.

A truly sustaining and expansive upgrade stems from the reminder that you are perfect as you are...imperfections and all. You can affirm to yourself that you are inherently good and capable AND that you'd like to create an even better life and a more enhanced you.

From this place of essentially coming to peace with where you are and being clear about where you want to go, you can make that upgrade and even feel happy and fulfilled along the way.

Find your edge.

We've all got an edge. This is the symbolic boundary beyond which we are uncomfortable or perhaps we even blatantly refuse to go. It is the invisible-- yet seemingly iron-clad-- line that keeps us stuck where we are.

I encourage you to find your inner edge and then explore beyond it.

You may be accustomed to biting back what you really want to say to a close family member, for example. Perhaps you just want to keep the peace and over the years you've become really adept at doing this. The trouble is, sometimes your self-induced silence means that you feel hurt or disrespected.

Maybe speaking out and potentially “making waves” is a really scary prospect for you. In your mind, who knows what would happen: “Will this person I care about leave me?” “What if he or she hurts me even more if I talk about how I truly feel?” “It's just not safe to speak up!”

This is an edge.

When you are alone, think about a time when you met up with your edge. Clues could include: a contraction in your stomach, stiffening shoulders and back, headaches that seem to come on suddenly or a tendency to leave the moment by becoming distracted or unfocused.

As you meet up with your edge, get curious about the situation that was (or still is) going on. Was a particular person involved? Was a certain setting or specific words said? Gather this information and try to identify what the most loaded trigger is for you.

Ask yourself how you might replay the situation if you had no edge.

Explore in your mind what might happen, for instance, if you were honest with this family member about how you feel when he or she says those words to you. Include as unbiased a list of possible options as you can formulate. How does it feel in your body to finally speak up?

Communicating with integrity and openness does not necessarily mean that you are combative or that you will instigate an argument, by the way. There are many ways to talk about how you are feeling and what you want that can actually promote connection.

The point to this exercise is to gently move yourself past your edge-- whatever that might be.

In the safety of your inner self, demonstrate that you do have the choice to step past that self-created boundary and then try a new way of communicating, acting and being.

This is an upgrade upon which you can build and grow and flourish.

*Personal Growth Planet blog is taking part in National Blog Posting Month ( Every weekday in November, you'll find daily blogs linked by weekly themes.

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