It’s easy to find yourself a bit stuck in life, and it can be difficult to break repeated patterns. Vince Frost, author of Design Your Life, interviews Gabriela Rosa, clinician, author and internationally recognized naturopath, on changing habits and creating the life that you want to lead – it’s easier than you might think.
How important is it to ‘be present’?
It’s vital. People come into my clinic with anxiety, depression or feeling like the world is against them and what it really comes down to is two things: the first is that nothing is as bad as we make it out to be in our minds. Secondly, not being present allows our minds to create things that aren’t there and alter our reality.
Being present keeps you focused and immediately stops your mind creating horror stories. For example, doing something as simple as feeling the sensation of your feet brings you back into your body and helps you become more present in the moment.
Things that are good for you seem harder to do, and bad things seem more attractive. What do you make of this?
Here’s the thing: human beings become slaves to habits and unless we make those habits good ones, there’s going to be demise in some shape or form. I truly believe that’s why we struggle – our habits are not life supporting of health promoting, so we bypass logic in that day-to-day action.
As children we have impulses; then we start to learn that actions cause reactions, and we start to mould our actions based on our beliefs and attitudes. Some people, through education, parenting or other means, start to develop habits that aren’t beneficial because they’ve never been encouraged otherwise. In the long term, it depends on that person to make changes – as soon as we can differentiate between right and wrong, that’s when we have the ability to choose what we’re going to focus on. Changing habits can take a few attempts or it can take a lifetime – you just have to be truly committed to making it happen.
Do you believe it’s possible to ‘design your life’?
There’s a quote along the lines of “When the student is ready, the teacher appears”, and the teacher can come in many forms – a book, person, an event. It comes down to being ready. If we make the commitment to design our lives and actually live the life that we truly envision in our minds that we will live, the only thing that separates the person who will do it from the person who will still be talking about it in 10 years’ time is Eric Thomas’ quote, “When you want to succeed as badly as you want to breathe, then you will be successful”. It’s the only thing that differentiates the two.
Anything in life that you want – to design a better life, to be healthier, to have better relationships – you have to really want it. That’s what I’m helping people to do, find that inner strength and desire to transition from where they are to where they want to be.
How many people think it’s possible to actively ‘design your life’ versus thinking that life just happens?
We can control only one thing in our lives – how we choose to think about things. Everything else is completely out of your control. We all go through pleasant or unpleasant situations in life, but it all depends on how you choose to think about it.
The second we focus out attention on how things aren’t how we want them to be, guess what? That’s the time we become victims to our reality, as opposed to making our own reality. I truly believe with every fibre in my being that I am the decider of my destiny, irrespective of what happens in my life, it’s up to me to navigate towards the outcome that I want. I think Zig Ziglar said it best, “It’s not what we get in life by achieving our goals, it’s who we become by achieving our goals”.
Adapted FROM DESIGN YOUR LIFE BY VINCE FROST (Penguin Lantern £20)