Change is the heart of life. Nothing extraordinary happens without it. If you want to live a life of dullness and monotony, you may be able to avoid change for a little while (life usually doesn’t let you get away with it very long).

But if you want to live a vibrant life full of love, joy, adventure and self-discovery— all the spectacular things that make you feel truly alive—learning to embrace and dance with change is essential part of your life toolkit.

So change is great, right?

Well… it’s usually a bit tough going (okay, a lot). Growing pains if you will. Change starts with feeling stuck, and stuck is an uncomfortable place to be. It’s so uncomfortable that most of us will subconsciously do everything in our power to ignore or distract ourselves from it.


We use our habits or a less friendly term, addictions, to tune out and avoid the present moment. Common favorites include: alcohol, food, sex, drugs, gossip, insufficient self-care, over or under exercising, watching tv, surfing the internet, and more. Since we’re so smart and can talk ourselves into anything we want to, we even come up with excellent rationales for our favorite addictions. For instance: “I really do need to check my email incessantly- it’s for work,” or “Red wine is healthy—it’s fine that I have to drink a glass or two immediately when I get home every night.”

Of course there will always be a piece of our rationale that is true. We’re not making it up 100%. It may be necessary for you to check your email and drinking a glass of red wine a day is healthy (so far as science knows). The point is not that whatever you’re doing is so terrible, but rather the reason that you’re doing it.

Your addictions may be seemingly harmless, or they may feel like little rewards that you deserve for working so hard.

But are they really working for you?

Are you actually getting your needs met by doing     fill in the blank    ?
Or is it just an easy, poor substitute for the thing your body/mind/spirit truly desires?
Most likely so.
Be curious and courageous enough to look under the surface and find the real story.

The real story often comes as a surprise—the thing that you’re tuning out from is the very same thing that will lead you where you want to go. That is, if you stay conscious and aware enough to let it. The thing you’re tuning out from is the juicy stuff– the brilliant clarity that’s going to help you grow, evolve, see opportunities in life and make killer choices. If you use a substance or a behavior to tune out, avoid or mask the juicy stuff, you’ll miss the gleaming yellow brick road that is your highest path.

Are you on board? The next time you go into autopilot and start to indulge your addiction, ask yourself two questions:

  1. What am I really looking for/do I need in this moment?

  2. What is the most healing choice I can make to meet my needs?

You may find that what you’re really looking for is to relieve stress, or to acknowledge an emotion you’ve been having all day. In which case the most healing choice might be a bath with lavender and epsom salts or to spend twenty minutes alone journaling or to have a good cry.

Due to circumstances, you may not always be able to get immediate gratification for the thing you most need or desire. This happens a lot. If you’re at an impasse and can’t accomplish what you need, ask yourself, “What can I do?” For example, say what you need most is a yoga class, but due to schedule restrictions you can’t make it happen until the end of the week. How about spending twenty minutes breathing deeply and doing some stretches or rolling on a foam roller? The bottom line is that there is always something that we can do to feed our needs. Be real with yourself, discover what your needs are and then find ways to fulfill them.

With a bit of mindfulnesss, creativity and love for ourselves we can gracefully move away from the addiction that keep us stuck in exchange for what our heart most desires. It’s the most worthy cause there is—you.