Awakening Goddess: Empowering the Goddess Within

As above, so below, as within, so without - every thing that we desire, and every thing that we fear, exists within us. This blog explores nourishing our dreams, committing to our highest values, and healing ourselves from the inside out: awakening and empowering the Goddess within our bodies, hearts, and lives.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Empowering Habits: 4 Simple Techniques to Consciously Change Your Life

It’s a super New Moon in Taurus, with Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto all retrograde – what better time than now to work on breaking harmful habits and creating helpful ones?

In this post I will lay out for you four simple, effective techniques that have helped me completely change my life over the last five or six years, and I call them: Gross Yourself Out, Psych Yourself Up, Redirect the Flow, and Make It Special.

Gross Yourself Out

This first technique is for breaking harmful habits, from physical addictions like smoking, junk food, and alcoholism, to nervous ticks like chewing your finger nails.  You can even use it to change harmful thinking patterns.

When I was a kid, I would literally gag if my mom made me bite into a chunk of tomato, or dip my tongue into a sauce with visible mushrooms.  I was so convinced that tomatoes and mushrooms were disgusting and that I did NOT want them, I developed nausea and gagging to the point just thinking about eating them made the bile rise. My mother was not impressed, and she would make me sit at the table until everyone else finished eating, and kept serving me the same plate until my dad made me scrape it in the trash.  I would hoard sweets and junk food in my room and pig out after they went to sleep.

By my mid-twenties, I was so addicted to sugar I compulsively ate any “treats” put in front of me, and compulsively bought and ate candy every single time I went to the store, even when I was stuffed, even if the candy didn’t taste good.

At 34, my blood sugar was consistently too high, and I was developing type 2 diabetes.  I decided that I would change how I ate instead of relying on prescriptions and having to prick my poor fingers every day.  I’d already completely changed my diet once (I went vegan at 30,) so I knew I could do it.  Ten years ago I never believed I’d be able to give up cheese, but I did.  I could give up sugar. (You can read about how it went here.)

Ha!  Turns out sugar is a whole other creature.  Some studies indicate that sugar is more addictive than heroin and cocaine. 

Most experts agree that quitting sugar slowly is best, but in my case, I couldn’t.  The only success I had was in quitting cold turkey, and not just by deciding I wouldn’t eat it anymore. I had to make a plan, and stick to it.  I had to stop thinking of sugary foods and treats and rewards and things that would make me feel better.  I had to gross myself out.  

So I watched documentaries like Fed Up and Fat, Sick, And Nearly Dead 1 & 2 on Netflix once or twice a week for a few weeks, and researched online, and read about the effects sugar has on our bodies in books like The Kind Diet, Forks Over Knives, and Ani’s Raw Food Essentials.  Every time I saw a refined sugary food, I made myself think “eww gross,” and made grossed out faces, complete with nausea and actual shuddering. 

At first, I was just acting, and trying to make the “eww” in my head louder than the “omg YUM.”  However, the more I learned about the yucky effects sugar had on my body, and the more I practiced acting and thinking like sugar was gross, the more gross it became to me, until just like with the tomatoes and mushrooms when I was a kid, sugary crap foods became disgusting garbage I didn’t want anywhere near my mouth.

When you have a really good reason to quit that is personal to you, you can use it as your motivation. Facing diabetes was a strong enough reason for me to quit sugar.  My first pregnancy was a strong enough reason to quit smoking.  Two weeks of food poisoning initially set me on my vegan path, and after it was already established, learning about the suffering of animals in large scale meat production, plus what eating too much meat does to the human body, plus what eating too much meat as a society does to the planet were enough motivations to keep me on the plant-based path.

So what’s your motivation?  Why do YOU want to quit whatever it is?  If it’s just to make someone else stop badgering you, that might not be good enough.  But try grossing yourself out, regardless.  The more you practice, the easier it will get.

One more thing – It’s more complicated, since it’s an abstract habit, but I basically tweaked grossing myself out to help me quit judging myself and others.  I conditioned myself to reject words like “should,” “wrong,” and “bad,” for example.  I feel the “ugh” feeling when I think or hear those words, and the ugh feeling causes me to pause and evaluate, and then I can practice NonViolent Communication to reframe my thoughts, which is a whole other blog post…or perhaps a whole book.  I mention it here to broaden the boundaries of what this technique is good for, in case the thing you need to quit is more abstract than sugar or cigarettes.

To Gross Yourself Out:

  • ·         Research all the negative effects of your bad habit.  Keep it fresh in your mind, especially in the first few weeks until the habit is well-broken.
  • ·         Consciously make a face and a “eww” sound, even shudder a bit, every time you see the subject of your bad habit, or see another person performing this habit you are breaking (but don’t let them see or hear it, because this is about changing how you feel, not shaming them.)  Feel that “eww yuck” in your tummy, on purpose, frequently, until it comes naturally.


·         Every time you catch yourself thinking or speaking longingly about the harmful thing you are quitting, consciously repeat to yourself the worst things about it and about what it does to you several times.  Basically, drown out the nostalgic thoughts with the grossed out thoughts until the feelings of nostalgic longing dry up and die.

Psych Yourself Up

What if the habit you need to break is a habit of non-action, like procrastination?  Or maybe you are working on breaking a harmful habit but are having a hard time because you need to fill the void with a helpful habit.  Maybe you have wanted to start a helpful habit for years, but can’t seem to get it going, or you have a pile of unfinished projects and shelves of unread books sitting about, collecting dust, adding to your stress by glaring at you accusingly the way only inanimate objects can.

The opposite of Grossing Yourself Out is Psyching Yourself Up, and it is equally simple.  I’ve used it to get myself to like mushrooms.  A food that once made me gag, now I can Psych Myself Up to enthusiastically eat.

I Psych Myself Up to go to the gym by Making It Special: gym time is special ME time, I (a single mother) get to be alone while I work out, I only listen to audiobooks when at the gym, going to the gym makes me feel great, the gym has massage chairs.  Every time I go to the gym I think about all these things and put a big smile on my face, making the voice in my head sound like a cheerleader, shouting “yeah!  You’re awesome! The gym is awesome!  Go! Go!”

I Psyched Myself Up to write this blog post.  I love to write. I wanted to write. I write in my head constantly.  But I procrastinated for months.  MONTHS.  There was always something I needed to do, and then something else, and then I’d get sick or a friend had a personal crisis and needed me to hold space, and then, and then…until finally, today, I Redirected the Flow, Made it Special, and Psyched Myself Up and now we have a blog post that originally was just going to be about Grossing Myself Out.

What do you need to Psych Yourself Up to do?

Psych Yourself Up:

  • ·         List all the reasons this habit is good, great, fantastic, OMG THE BEST THING EVER!!!
  • ·         Hear them in your head in a psyched-up cheerleader voice, or the voice of Joy from Inside Out.
  • ·         Smile and nod as you think these things – even better, smile and nod while saying them out loud and using excited body language, like pumping your fist in the air, standing in victory pose, jumping up and down. 

      Basically, act like you are SO EXCITED and even grateful for this new habit.  The sillier you act, the more you laugh, the better you feel.  The better you feel, the more energy and motivation you will have for performing the act and setting it as a habit.

      The better you feel, the easier life feels.  The better you feel, the better you do.  Get good at Psyching Yourself Up.  The better you are at making yourself feel good, the more empowered you are and the less power others have over you.

Redirect the Flow

Some of our habits are so old, or so often performed, it’s like we go on autopilot.  We can lose hours getting lost in social media, games, TV shows, books, and anything else we use to cope with stress or distract ourselves from life.

Our energy runs in a loop, and the circuit gets stronger over time.  We don’t even notice we’re stuck until someone points it out to us, or we discover it ourselves, having realized that we’ve been meaning to do something “tomorrow” for months or even years.

Redirecting the Flow means changing the direction our energy flows to break us free from operating on autopilot.  Little changes in where we do things and the order in which we do things are all it takes to shut off the autopilot function long enough to restructure our habits.

The habit I wanted to break was spending hours upon hours checking Facebook and email on my phone.  I checked my phone first thing every morning before I even got out of bed to pee, and it was the last thing I looked at each night before bed.  I compulsively reached for it constantly throughout the day, and frequently caught myself putting it down only to immediately pick it back up.  I did not want to be one of those people who sat around other people, all playing on their phones.  Remember when phones helped us “reach out and touch someone?” Ha!

To break this habit, I changed things up tangibly by keeping my phone in another room when I was home, and keeping it in my purse or car when I was out, rather than my pocket.  I changed things temporally by consciously and consistently choosing to think about my dreams first thing upon waking, then planning my day in my mind before looking at my phone.

Redirect the Flow:

  • ·         Change where you do stuff – reorganize the space your work, live, or sleep in; change where you keep things in your car, bag, or office; go to the park or a new gym or a new restaurant, etc.
  • ·         Change the order you do stuff in - consider putting signs to yourself around to help you remember, or using the alarm or another app on your phone to remind you to do something different at a certain time.


Redirecting the Flow helped me change the patterns of my days, but I still had the problem of spending way too much time on my phone.  First I tried limiting how much time I used it, pulling an arbitrary number that sounded reasonable from my bum and making it a RULE…which I immediately broke because I’m a rebel at heart.

Deciding I was only allowed to use my phone for an hour was ineffective because it didn’t address the boredom, loneliness, or anxiety that fueled the unwanted habit.  So this particular habit needed two techniques to bring it to its much-needed end.  Instead of making a rule, I needed to Make it Special.

Make it Special

A “Special” usually means something you can only get at a certain place for a certain time, like a lunch special at your favorite café, or a special sale at your favorite store.  Something limited being called a “Special” makes it feel like a rare opportunity, something of value.  So instead of setting limits on the habits you enjoy, you can make special time for them, increasing their value and your enjoyment of them.  And that opens up more time for you to enjoy more “Specials.”

In my case, making special time to check Facebook and email twice a day lead me to unfollowing a lot of people who posted things that upset me, so my newsfeed really did become more special.  Now I mostly see things that inspire me, make me smile, make me laugh, and I get to share those things with my friends and family.  I can spend thirty minutes here and thirty minutes there without getting sucked into upsetting news stories, political debates, and other crap that drains my emotional and mental reserves, leaving me feeling crappy, bored, and anxiously scrolling for something to make me feel better.

Do you have a pile of unfinished projects, shelves full of books you’ve been meaning to read, and/or lists of new habits you’ve been wanting to start, like meditation, art journaling, daily walks, or other activities to improve your quality of life?

Make it Special:

  • ·         Think in terms of what makes this habit Special, rare, valuable.
  • ·         Is this habit best as a treat for yourself, or as a regular part of your self-care? Schedule accordingly.
  • ·         Pick a time, a day, and a duration, and SCHEDULE IT IN.
  • ·         DO IT - Just when you planned to, just as long as you planned to, so you have time to work in more Specials.
  • ·         If it’s something new you want to make a habit of, and you are having a hard time feeling motivated, try adding the Psych Yourself Up technique.


Experts say it takes twenty one days minimum to make a new habit stick.  They also say it's best to work on one habit at a time, maybe up to three.

Being a rebel, I tend to go all in.  When I want to make a change, I envision what my life is like now that the change is made, and I put reminders to myself in the form of signs, notes, visions boards, symbolic representations, scheduled reminders and alarms, and I live it, see how I like it, and adjust accordingly.

What habits are you ready to change?  How can you support yourself through these changes, and what support can you get from your friends, family, and the world around you?

Give one of these techniques a try and let me know how it goes in the comments!  (Yeah! You're awesome! Go! Go!)

Last modified on
Ashley Rae published her first book, a memoir, in 2012, and has been a professional psychic, healer, and teacher since 2003. Ashley's goal in life is to help you empower the divine spark within yourself so that you can love yourself freely, make your life awesome, and make this world a more beautiful, compassionate place. Visit her website to check out her other blog, find out her schedule, book an appointment and register for her classes.


Additional information