In 1992, cargo from a shipping container traveling from Hong Kong to the United States fell overboard and released 28,000 rubber duckies into the ocean. In the following years, they started washing up on shores all over the world and scientists discovered thousands had been caught in circular pattern of currents called the Gyre. The rubber duckies kept circling in these powerful currents, year after year, and these virtually weightless objects eventually broke free, little by little, escaping the strong current.
We too get stuck in strong currents, habits, emotional patterns and ways of thinking that keep us moving in circles. We feel swept up in something, yet we like it because it satisfies our craving for consistency. If those rubber duckies can escape, we can too. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been stuck in the same cycle – you can break free.
First, ask yourself "what are you doing to get the same results that you don’t want, over and over again?" Where are you not living as vibrantly as you know in your gut you could? It could be a behavior that you’re repeating, a way of thinking you’ve adopted or an emotional pattern you’re allowing. I can't give you a magic answer, but one thing I do know is that you have to get fed up with the results you’re getting.
It takes three years for the duckies to make a full circle in the current, and even after twenty years there are over a thousand still out there right now; all of them making the same long trip they’ve made many times before. We don’t make changes based on what we know; we make changes based on what we feel. People who are overweight, for instance, know they should eat less and move more but sometimes lack the motivation to make a change. A very common story I’ve heard from people who have achieved a huge weight loss is that one day they saw a picture of themselves. In that moment a switch flipped. They didn’t recognize themselves in what they saw and it broke their heart to the extent that they could no longer allow that reality.
Look at what your current behaviors and beliefs are doing to your life, and allow yourself to be broken hear ted at the result it s causing. Get fed up. As we reach the edge of the current we hold back with stories about how, since the alternative could be worse, so it’s not worth the chance. Remember that if you don’t like the results you’re getting right now then you have nothing to lose.
You know how when you’re driving and you start to do something you realize might be a bad idea, but it’s actually safer to accelerate instead of hesitating? That’s what the edge of your current feels like. Maybe you're unsure, or afraid, but you’re there now and it's time to make a move. If you’re already living in a way that doesn’t work for you, then the only thing that should really scare you is the idea of not doing something about it. It's time to accelerate. That old way of being is an engrained habit, so to kick it you need a weapon. Identify exactly what you have been doing and then create a clear sentence that declares its opposite. That is your new mantra. Your new identity. A weapon of peace.
Why is it easier to remember song lyrics than facts for a test? Because song lyrics are repeated in a state of non-resistance. Put out into the world a statement about who you believe you are, not who you hope to be. Don't be surprised if it's hard for longer than you'd like. That’s where our new mission statement comes in handy. Repeat it to yourself and your old habit will cower in its presence. Eventually the old thoughts become a collection of vintage emotions that are no longer relevant.
Create your new mantra in your mind, right now. We all have a moment when we can break through. So sit up, close your eyes, take a breath, look this destructive pattern right in the eye and remind yourself that you built it and you can destroy it. Look fear in the eye and don’t bother saying anything, because it disappears the second you call it out. Then look change in the eye and wink. You are a part of the few that will break free. You have too much to give to miss out on the rest of the ocean. You were meant to float to the ends of the earth, because you are brave enough to trust that you will wash up on exactly the shore you were meant to.
Roni Elissabeth, E-RYT 500hr, is owner of Bella Prana Yoga & Meditation in Tampa, FL, a meditation coach, inspirational speaker, and published writer, known for her hip-hop and faith infused yoga classes. Roni spent two years in full-time ministry and has done mission work in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and worked with HIV/AIDS and Malaria patients in Africa.