Monday, November 16, 2009

Give Yourself an Upgrade

By Amy Phillips-Gary

How long has it been since you've given yourself an upgrade?

In these times and conditions dominated by downsizing and scaling back, it may have been quite some time since you've upgraded yourself or your life.

A national food chain recently ran an advertisement on tv that showed co-workers riding an elevator up to their offices in the morning. One woman held in her hands a breakfast sandwich and coffee while speaking with a colleague with a very very tiny and disproportionately small waist because he's been “tightening his belt.”

The problem with the constant belt-tightening and scaling back that many of us are doing is that it often results in an overall feeling of constriction. Not only are you limiting the amount of money you spend, you could also box yourself into a very tense and tight place largely because of the fear and expectations of lack and scarcity that can accompany a downsizing mindset.

Let me be clear here...

As I encourage you to upgrade yourself and your life, I'm not advocating that you max out your credit cards or bombard yourself with material objects.

The kind of upgrade that I'm recommending starts on the inside with a shift in attitude, perception and expectation and it almost always extends to your outside body, career, health, finances, relationships and life.

When you upgrade your computer or laptop, sometimes you go out and purchase a brand new model that is shinier and features more options. Upgrades also happen inside the computer. Perhaps a larger RAM is installed in your existing machine. Maybe some new programs are downloaded. Often old files are deleted or placed on a memory stick or some other kind of external storage device.

The effects of a computer upgrade are usually quicker and more efficient operations and/or expanded options and features.

There are so many ways that you can upgrade yourself and your life. If you feel overwhelmed or at a loss when you consider what to upgrade, try this exercise...

Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can be uninterrupted. Place paper and a pen near where you are sitting or reclining. Move your attention to within yourself. Focus mostly on your breathing. If you know how to meditate, you can use meditation techniques to help.

Clear your mind from the busy-ness of your day and slow yourself down. Once you are relaxed and your mind is relatively clear, ask your future self to communicate with you. Just invite your future self into your awareness. This future self is ultimately wiser and more experienced than you are now because she or he has already made it through the current challenges you might face.

Ask your future self to share with you a few of the expansions in yourself and your life 1 year from today. You can write these down on your paper to remember them. Now ask your future self what has changed about you and your life in 5 years and then 10 years.

If feelings of resistance, doubt or fear come up, make note of those, but continue to listen to your future self. This exercise can help you become clearer about the areas of your life that you might begin to upgrade in the near future.

Your encounter with your future self isn't meant to cement your actual future in stone. This is merely a sparking point to put into motion potential and desired change.

Your life is up to you to create and it is always changing. When you allow for an upgrade and then take inspired action, you nourish growth and expansion.

Look at the notes you took during the “conversation” with your future self. Are you particularly drawn to any of the areas listed? If so, choose one area in which you will begin to upgrade. Start to consider what an upgrade to your health, your financial state, your relationships, your physical living and working space or other areas might look like.

From this vision of the upgrade you chose, you can begin to open up to changes in your habits, your responses and your activities that will move you closer to actually living your vision.

Take your time and be gentle with yourself as you make changes. Each time you encounter inner resistance to the upgrade you want, return to your vision and to the eager or hopeful feelings that accompany it.


*The future self exercise was adapted from Co-Active Coaching by Laura Whitworth, Karen Kimsey-House, Henry Kimsey-House and Phillip Sandahl.

*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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