“When does the person fix the problem? Doesn’t she have to address her addictive behavior?”

By Ann Weiser Cornell on February 23, 2017 in Blog, Tips
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Focusing Tip #548


“Even after a process that feels deep and profound, don’t I need to make a plan and decide to change?”


A Reader writes:

I watched a demo where you were working with a person addicted to eating sweets whenever she was stressed. By the end of the session the person was being gentle and tender with a hurt inner part of her. It was a beautiful and touching process but I wanted to ask you, When does the person fix the problem? Doesn’t she have to address her addictive behavior?

Dear Reader:

I’m glad you were there to witness that process. You could probably feel in your own body that something important had changed for that person. I have the honor of conducting many sessions like that, where the body sense has changed by the end of the session to relaxed, released, open… and there’s a profound sense of inner connection and new possibility.

Even so, the question often comes: Don’t I now have to do something? Resolve to change? Make a plan to be different?

The simple answer is no, you don’t.

Certainly there will be new behavior that will follow a session like that. What was hard will become more easy. What was impossible begins to be possible. Barbara McGavin and I have often seen this kind of change in our Untangling work (formerly called Treasure Maps to the Soul).

But you don’t have to decide or resolve to be different.

In fact to try to do so would be a step backward.

Why? Because this kind of process is already a change… so change doesn’t have to be decided on. The very terms in which we understand the problem are now open. There may no longer be an addiction to sweets. We don’t know yet.

We need to just live forward and see. And if there is something more that needs attention (because very tangled issues don’t typically change completely in one session), we will come back to it with a compassionate and curious attention to how it is now.

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Ann Weiser CornellView all posts by Ann Weiser Cornell

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