My dear friends,
Recently, I was having a conversation with one of my colleagues about the topic of ‘cycle breaking’. I hadn’t actually heard the term before, but as someone who researches and studies psychology, my colleague described to me the concept that a cycle breaker is someone who is able to identity toxic patterns and cycles that have been passed down by family, and conscientiously decides to create new patterns.
As someone who has been in therapy most of my life unraveling my own family dysfunction and difficulty, this made so much sense to me. I’ve often discussed in my own therapy sessions the concept of healing with the intention of being the last person in my lineage to carry certain family traumas.
Our families, or the people we spend our growing up years surrounded by, are the first ones to truly influence us, mold us, and shape us. In our formative times, we pick can up on toxic traits and dysfunctional patterns as a way of coping, surviving, and being cared for.
I know that every person has their own set of difficulties to unravel and heal, however, this week, I wanted to share five ways I’m hoping to break my own family cycles, with the desire that they inspire you on your journey as well.
- Committing to therapy and personal development as a lifelong commitment. Therapy has helped me to identify and break down blocks and patterns that keep me stuck in familial loops. Investing in myself, my mental health, and my family’s well-being will always be a priority to me.
- Learning how to set healthy boundaries. Knowing what you will and will not tolerate in your life is the first step, and communicating what you need in a kind way is just as important. The art of boundary setting requires mindful, skillful communication and respect. Also remember that boundaries are a two-way street, respect the boundaries that others set as well.
- Not taking other people’s actions personally. It’s important to remember that other peoples words and deeds say nothing about who you are and everything about who they are. The more I remember to not take things personally, the less reactive, judgmental, and angry I feel.
- Taking a pause before reacting in stressful situations. There’s so much I’d wish I could take back from times that I’ve reacted too quickly and said or did something I didn’t mean. There is so much power in the pause, and with that power, comes confidence and healing.
- Being kind and loving to myself, and releasing perfectionism and the need to people please. I know that I’m my best self when I care for myself fully and completely. When I show up to life from this healed and happy place, that’s when I notice powerful familial shifts.
What are some ways you’ve noticed yourself being a cycle breaker? Let me know in the comments!
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Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org