Episode 40: The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Change with Ariane de Bonvoisin

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Is there anything you need to change about you? Why cant you?

Author Ariane de Bonvoison shares her vast wealth of knowledge on tips to change what bad habits you need to change to become the best you and maintain your inner and outer beauty. What are the main reasons you don't quit smoking? Ariane tells Beauty Now how to finish the changes that we all start. Are you still smoking, drinking and eating a little too much? The simple eye opener that will help you to start now is shared by this enlightened author. Deepak Chopra endorses her book and says," Since change is the only constant in life, it helps to have an expert navigate through the ups and downs of life. Listen in for free.

Transcript

Teri Hausman: I am Teri Struck, host of “Beauty Now” a weekly podcast on all things beauty. We do lasers, lips, lipo, hair loss, vaginal rejuvenation, nips, tucks, nutrition, and more. We have the top experts.

Today we have Ariane de Bonvoisin. I hope I am saying that right. She is an author of “The First 30 Days: Your Guide to any Change”. And I truly believe that beauty is from the inside out, too. And Ariel is going to help us with change, what we would like to change about ourselves and what do we want to love about ourselves.

Ariane de Bonvoisin: We are all going to get our fair share of changes that life throws at us. Some of us are going to go ahead and initiate change. Some of us are going to wait for life to sort of knock us over the head and show us in the direction of change that we should have been heading for.

In the book, when I went looking for: what are the principles that will make someone become a change optimist, someone who will have a lot less stressful time. People who are good at change are not alone. They have a change support team. The biggest illusion that we have is that we are the only one going through this change. No one else has ever gone through it or felt it this bad.

Personally every bad mistake I have ever made or every place where I have been able to really learn a substantial lesson in my life has come from when I haven’t trusted my intuition and I have usually given my power to someone else or to something else. Whether it is hiring the wrong people, whether it is getting engaged to someone I shouldn’t get engaged to and I eventually broke it off, but intuitively I always knew we have to learn to trust ourselves more. There is a part of ourselves that knows that is connected to something bigger, whatever that place is.

Taking action is definitely one of the principles of what makes someone change. Taking action in the direction of where you want to go. A lot of people don’t know what they want to change, so they go ahead, they make a New Year’s resolution or some sort of goal, but they can not really back it up with a plan because they don’t know, “We’ll, I am happy to get started. I have all the motivational links. I have all the discipline, but I don’t know quite what to do.” 

That is really where it is important to spend some time getting some research done, getting a plan, and getting a sense of achievable goals and deadlines.

Teri: Welcome Ariane.

Ariane: Thank you, Teri. It is great to be on the show.

Teri: I hope I pronounced your name right.

Ariane: You did very good. You’re in the top ten percent.

Teri: Oh, yeah!

Ariane: Yeah, it is always good.

Teri: Yes. Well, tell us how did you come to write this book about the first thirty days.

Ariane: You know I went through my own set of changes. I used to be in the corporate world here in New York City, a big sort of prestigious job, and made a decision to leave that,  and really went looking for: what was my purpose, what was my passion, how I can contribute. And while I was doing that, I basically realized that everyone I was meeting was either going through change they were struggling with, maybe it was a divorce, health diagnosis, they had been fired or they were secretly really wanting to make a change. It might be they wanted to lose weight, they wanted to change careers, or they were helping someone else through a change.

And I thought, isn’t it interesting that change is the number one constant in life, guaranteed to happen, and yet, we feed it, we resist it, and we are bad at it.

I thought, is there a way to make change easier for people?

And what I found was there are ways that, people who are good at change, there are things they do, think, say, and feel. And that is, basically, what the book is about.

Teri: I always ask the question to experts: how do you motivate somebody to do what they’re recommending to do? So when you are saying change, you are right. It is so hard to do. What is your advice?

Ariane:  You know, the number one thing that I would say that change is your view of change. So you are actually much better at change than you have ever been told. Every single person I have ever met has what I call a change resume. And your change resume is much more important that your professional resume.

You are a walking representation of all the changes you have ever gone through, whether you have gotten married, gotten divorced, broken up, whether you have graduated, moved, bought a home, gotten out of debt, quit smoking, maybe, lost a loved one, lost a parent. You’re much better at change.

And yet, we look at our lives and when a change hits us today we forge how many other changes we have actually gotten through.

What I encourage people to do is actually get a piece of paper out and write down all the change that they have already made. You have something that is what I call the change muscle, which is you are made for change. You are the very best of who you are, the most beautiful part of you, talking about beauty, comes out during times of change and transition. The core of the human spirit comes out during change.

Teri: Sometimes we are forced to change. I mean, things happen to you. So what is the difference between things that happen to you, things that you have had to learn because you had to, and things that you actually really want to change in your life but are afraid to?

Ariane: That’s a very good question. We are al going to get our fair share of changes that life throws at us.  Then some of us are going to go ahead and initiate change and some of us are going to wait for life to sort of knock us over the head and show us in the direction of change that we should have been heading for.

I think everyone of us, when let’s say it is a change that life throws at us.

In the book what I went looking for what are the principles that will make someone become a change optimist, someone who will have a lot less stressful time. So one of the principles, for example, is people who are good at change, whether it is a change that they want to initiate, maybe, like losing weight or it is a change that, maybe, something has happened in their life. People who are good at change are not alone. They have a change support team.

The biggest illusion that we have is that we are the only one going through this change. No one else has ever gone through it or felt as bad.

So that is one of the principles. For example, if you are alone and currently trying to initiate a change or face a change, you must realize that there are other people that can help that have been through there before.

Another principle: people who are good at change accept the change. So if it’s a divorce, if it is a health diagnosis, if it’s a job loss, the quicker you accept the change, that is when there is a moment of relief and the resistance goes away. The quicker you accept that you need to make a change…we all have what I call an inner microphone that goes off every morning and it let’s us know if we need to lose weight, if we need to change jobs, if we need to change relationships, and we do our best every morning to turn that microphone off.
 
Really what we need to do is start turning it on and we’ll start seeing some of the changes that we want to have happen in our life. When we actually turn it on we will have much more of an alignment.

Teri: So when you are talking about all these things, I still want to go back to something happened to you and let’s just say I wake up today and I want to quit smoking. That is something, a bad habit, a bad habit that you need to change. How can your philosophy help somebody to get the motivation?

Ariane: So, someone who would want to quit smoking. The most important thing to connect them with is the reason why they want to quit smoking. The reason why is what gets people to either stick with the change or give up on the change.

So for example, if a woman has smoked for 10 years and she finds out she is pregnant, she has now a strong enough reason why she needs to quit. If a woman is getting married in three months, she has a strong enough reason why she wants to get in shape.

Very often what is missing with someone who is quitting smoking is it’s a should, it would b e nice, it’s a maybe, we are going to try. I think what gets in the ways of peoples changes are their excuses.

For example with quitting smoking, people will immediately go to there story about quitting smoking. It is going to be hard. It is going to take time. I am probably going to put on weight. You know, the combination of all the excuses and the stories that get in the way. And what you need to realize, whether it is quitting smoking or any other change, is you yourself need to change. The action of quitting smoking is incredibly easy. It is the emotions that are hard.

And so the philosophy, for example, in the book and also on the website firstthirtydays.com, we actually do have a first 30 days of quitting smoking. It is really not the action of quitting smoking. It is really all of the identity shift, the belief shift, the things that get in the way when you want to go back there and then some people decide that they don’t.

Teri: Well, that is actually really helpful because that is true. I mean, you either stop drinking because you get pregnant or something like that but then you have a reason you need to keep that reason for you because that is something that you want in your life.

Ariane: Absolutely!

You know, one of the things that I see with people who are good at changes, they realize that at all moments you are either being an example for someone or a warning for someone.

When people truly get that…If you are a smoker, you are a walking warning for people and regardless of what you might think people look at you as a warning. This is something that should not be happening or you should not be doing. I don’t mean to sound judgmental. If anything, I would like people to realize how much of a chance they have to be an inspiration to other people on how to quit smoking, on how to go through a divorce with grace, on how to handle a job loss with optimism.

Teri: That is really really good advice because I love that, walking our warning, because It is also people that are out at the bars getting drunk and being a fool. That would be a warning. And then that would be something that you would want to change about yourself if that person was you because we have all been there, well most of us.

Ariane: We all have. We are all human.

Teri: The other thing is compulsive eating. That is another are where I think it is very hard for people because it is comfort.

Ariane: It is. You know, I have seen thousands of people on our site. One of the most popular changes is certainly first thirty days of losing weight, getting fit, compulsive eating, and overcoming addicted behaviors. And we’ve watched thousands of people who are dealing with the emotions that are attached to that.

A lot of the times people are like, “Tell me what to do. Tell me what to do.” And getting over any of these things on the action side could not be more simple. It’s more: we’ll what have you made this mean? When did it start? Who would you be without that story of I am addicted to x or I am this sort of person or this is my nature? Who would you be without that story?  When is it time to drop the story of who you are and especially who you are not?

Teri: Well, then a perfect example of somebody who changes and doesn’t really care what people think, I think, is Madonna. People like that that maybe she is not the kind of person we all want to be but she is an amazing person in the sense that she lives her life and does what she wants, but she is also very successful at it.

Ariane: And she has also had her struggles. She is… One of the most important things that I tell people, especially women, is you have full permission to be human.

One of the things that I talk about in the book are all the challenging emotions that come up during change. I call them the change demons. And the they come up for everyone including people who are really good at change. They are primarily fear, doubt, impatience, -- we want the change to happen very quickly – blame, --There is a lot of blame energy, another need for ourselves. There is a lot of blame in the country right now. – shame, -- especially for women who feel ashamed of yet again we have failed – and then there is guilt. A lot of us feel guilty when a change happens or we feel very personally involved or attacked.

And the reality is these emotions will show up during change, some of them are going to have a bigger grip on you than others, and becoming aware is the first step to change. Awareness of “wow, I am really doing the blame thing right now” already takes it out of your blind spot where you can see it and sort of start to detaching from it and start replacing it with a better emotion and feeling.

Teri: The blame thing is really important. And I think that is something that we all can look at is when you hear somebody just always being a victim. And it’s true that they could be a victim, but it is just changing the way that you look at it.

So I totally love that advice. That is great.

Ariane: You know, I was spending some time a couple of nights ago with quite a famous gentleman who I can’t mention, but I was talking to him about change, of course, and I was saying, “What is the best change you have ever made? What is the hardest change you have ever gotten through?” -- which are two great questions for everyone to ask themselves because they will realize who they are and what they have already been through-- and just asking him about his philosophy of life. 

Two of the things he said – I actually wrote them on my blog—was one: you must remove the word fair and unfair from your vocabulary. Your life will be very different because when you start looking at:  live in a friendly universe or I live in an unfriendly universe; I am lucky or I am unlucky; things are fair or things are unfair, your life will be radically radically different.  

The other thing he said was, when you realize that it’s your life, it’s your decisions, and your changes, people feel the freedom to start making some changes. They feel free to leave the relationship that doesn’t work. They feel free to marry the person that their parents wouldn’t approve of. They feel free to adopt a child and have one themselves. They feel free to change careers or to go back to school. So it is really giving yourself permission for you to start making those choices.

Teri: Which sometimes is very very hard. You get stuck in a rut and you keep arguing with yourself, kind of like what you are saying with the microphone. So how do you turn that microphone off when you need to? And actually, I read in your book, which I think this is part of it is trying to reconcile your heart with your mind.

Ariane: It is. You know, two things are constantly trying to battle for our attention. And another one of the principles that make people really good at any topic change is for them to come back to a place on the inside that doesn’t change. Change very often happens on the outside. Something in your life has changed. And we tend to look outside of ourselves for answers, an expert, or an article, or a friend.

And the last person that we turn to is our self for those answers.  You are by far the best expert guru doctor that you can possibly imagine and we never put ourselves in the picture and so creating a space to really connect in with, what I call your intuition. And whatever your intuition is it’s connect to whether it is your higher self or God the divine source.

Whatever name we want to put on it, there is a part of you that knows, the part of you that knows who is right for you, the part of you that knows what job is right for you, the part of you that know, and that’s your heart space. Your heart and your intuition are constantly trying to put you on track.          

I interviewed an expert and said to him, “Why is the world so unhappy? Why is it that we are not just more connected to the joy in the heart space? And he said, “It is very simple. It is one word. Thinking. “Thinking creates unhappiness and gives so much power to the mind. I think we all think tend to over think things.  We do.

I heard Wayne Dyer speaker last night, just an extraordinary man,

Teri: He is.

Ariane:  written 30 books.

Teri:  And he also gave you a very nice recommendation about your book I read. I followed him.      

Ariane: Yep, he endorsed the book.

Teri: Yes, he did.

Ariane: He said, “Do not believe everything you think.” Like we think just because we think it it is right.  Do now believe…

Teri: True, because you can bring that to you.

You know what? We need to thank our sponsors right now. We need to take a little break with Ariane.  “The First 30 Days” this is really really good information for all of us if we all want to change. We are going to be right back. This is Terri Struck with “Beauty Now”.

[sponsor break]

Teri: This is Terri Struck. Welcome back to “Beauty Now”. We are just talking to the author of “The First 30 Days” Ariane de Bonvoisin. No, I said that to quick. Bon-voy-son.

Ariane: Bo-voy-san, you got it.

Teri: A very very sexy name and it is very hard to pronounce, but she did write this great book “The First 30 Days”

And we were just talking the first half hour about intuition.  And so I think intuition is really really something we all doubt. What do you think Ariane?

Ariane:  Personally every bad mistake I have ever made or every place where I have been able to learn a substantial lesson in my life has come from when I haven’t trusted my intuition and I have usually given my power to someone else or something else, whether it is hiring the wrong people, whether it is getting engaged to someone I shouldn’t get engaged to and I eventually broke it off. 

But, intuitively I always knew and it is really we have to learn to trust ourselves more. There is a part of ourselves that knows, that is connected to something bigger. What ever that place is and it’s not being afraid of creating some silence and some quite time, hanging out with ourselves, and allowing some of that stuff to come up. 
Most of the time we don’t trust our intuition because sometimes it is going to take work and our intuition will let us know that the person we are sleeping next to is not the right person for us. That involves making some change and involves some sort of consequence and because of that we tend to go, “I would rather not listen to intuition and keep going with this.” or “I would rather not follow this as my truth and find some reason why it can still be acceptable in my life.”

And that’s true and five years later you are saying, “I am still doing the definition of insanity and doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Or then what might happen is, your intuition has been telling you this isn’t the job that you want to this isn’t the relationship you want or this isn’t the city that you want. And then you are going to act surprised when the job is going to change or the relationship is going to be over when life has been on your side for years trying to get your attention. For those years life is on your side.

Teri: Well, the one thing I say to my friend is, my mom just passed away and one thing that she would always say is, “Oh I can’t do that. I have the house.”  or “I can’t do that I have this.”  And she actually had the resources and opportunity to do so many things. So now I will say to my girlfriend, “Do you want to just go to Hawaii spur of the moment?” And she will say to me, “I have the house under construction.” And I am like, “That will be there.”

You know, you have to take these opportunities. And this is what I love about your book, that you are helping people who haven’t had that experience to see what happens in life or haven’t had a loss to actually act on it.

Ariane: Yeah. You know, my biggest hope for the book was having interviewed over 2,000 people and some people who there change was getting married, other it was having a baby, others it was getting through the loss of a loved one in 9/11, accidents, self diagnosis,  really all types of changes, men, women, all ages. I was like; there must be a way for us as a human race to get better at change when we are guaranteed that it is going to happen to us.

And the most exciting discovery for me was there really are a few things, not dozens and dozens, of things to do that make someone really good at change. Someone who is good at change has a completely different set of questions, vocabulary, and language. That was really interesting to me. Some people are good at change. There are some words and some vocabulary that never enter their mind.

Somebody that is good at change will ask the question: okay, what can I learn from this?
What can I do? Who can I help? What hasn’t changed?

Teri: Where do they start? Where does somebody that really needs help start. 

Ariane: And that is a good question. Where do they start? They look for either a person or a place that they will feel that they are not alone. I think really our biggest weakness is trying to traverse change alone. And I think any change we have made we can always point to someone who was there for us. And sometimes it is not even someone you know. Some of the hardest changes someone brand new comes into your life. They are like a gift that shows up and it creates a very intense connection.

Look at our site. We have people who are helping each other through some crazy changes, especially with what is going on in the world right now. They have never met. So sometimes the connection happens between two people where you feel someone else can see that you can change even before you think you can change.

Teri: And your website which we are going to link to ours personallifemedia.com. We are going to link Ariane’s website. Her website is like Oprah.  I love it. And you also did have an article in the Oprah Magazine which is so great. Congratulations.

Ariane: You know, and that was just a blessing. I feel that I had obviously put that out there as an intention and I find when you do something that matters and you want to create meaning… I think power moves through those who serve. I think I read that somewhere and I love that quote.

Teri: Well also, Deepak Chopra gave you a recommendation on the back of your cover, one of my very very favorite inspirational men. And your book is very inspirational. It is about power, mind, and body, and that is why I wanted to have you on the show. It is about beauty from the inside out.

Ariane: It is beauty from the inside out. It’s about aligning yourself on the inside with your outer world.  It’s about radiating who you are. It’s about not connecting into the fear, the blame. It’s about showing optimism. It’s about knowing when you are connected to other people.

My mission was really to not only inform people… I think people are changed by inspiration more than there changed by information. We have all the information in the world on how to quit smoking. We have all the information in the world on how to lose weight. And yet, what really gets people to change is more when they feel inspired.

Teri: Right. And your book’s very inspiring. And it has a lot of good information about how you can take action. Let’s talk about talking action.

Ariane: Taking action is definitely one of the principles of what makes someone change. You know, it is taking action in the direction of where you want to go. A lot of people don’t know what they want to change, so they go ahead, they make a new.

My mission was really to not only inform people… I think people are changed by inspiration more than there changed by information. We have all the information in the world on how to quit smoking. We have all the information in the world on how to lose weight. And yet, what really gets people to change is more when they feel inspired.

Teri: Right. And your book’s very inspiring. And it has a lot of good information about how you can take action. Let’s talk about talking action.

Ariane: Taking action is definitely one of the principles of what makes someone change. You know, it is taking action in the direction of where you want to go. A lot of people don’t know what they want to change.  So they go ahead, they make a New Year’s resolution or some sort of goal. But they can not really back it up with a plan because they don’t know, “We’ll I am happy to get started. I have all the motivation, all the excitement, all the discipline, but I don’t quite know what to do.”

And that is really where it’s important to spend some time getting some research done, getting a plan, getting some sense of like achievable goals and deadlines. One of the things  I say to people, especially if they want to keep going with a change and they want to stay started,  is that we all over estimate how much change and how much action we are going to get done in 30 days and then we stop.

And we all underestimate how much change we can actually make in three months, six months, nine months. If you knew how different your life could be in three months, six months, nine months, you would keep going with your change right now. But we have such a high standard for we must have change, we must have taken all this action within one or two or three weeks and we have got to extend that time line.

You are not going anywhere. You are going to be around in three or six months. And the changes and actions that you can take in a bit of a longer time frame are so important.

Another action that I say is just critical for anyone who wants  to make a change -- it could be starting a business, it could be having family, or it could be handling a health diagnosis of apparent something – is you must must must take  care of your health. It is the number one go to place. When you are going through change you need energy, you need endurance, and you need the ability to process the emotions that are going through your body. If you are full of fear or full of angst and doubt, if you are not moving your body and if you are not staying healthy, you are walking around as an explosion of emotions.

Teri: You just mentioned fear and fear is something that is the biggest inhibitor to change. And we all have it. So how do we get passed the fear? How do we turn off that little voice saying, “well if you do that this is going to happen to you and it won’t be any different”, just the little voices in your head that keep you from changing and not the fear?

Ariane: I am very aware of those voices. They still exist.

Every successful person still has a lot of fear. It is not about removing the fear. It is about acting with the fear. It’s about putting the fear in the passenger seat and you driving the car. It is about identifying it. It is not about ignoring it. Most of the time the fear just wants to be acknowledged.

In the book I talk about 8 ways to remove fear. A couple of them are: really ask yourself is this fear your fear or is it societies fear? Is it your families fear? When does this fear have such a grip over you? Whose fear is it? That would be one. Another one would be: who would I be without this fear, if this fear wasn’t present, if I didn’t have this fear, if I wasn’t giving so much strength and power to this fear? Who do I know that has gotten over this fear and has done it is that I want to do or created a change?

But it is really becoming familiar with it as opposed to hoping that it is going to disappear and go away. It doesn’t go away. It is really acting with it.

Teri: Do you think fear is actually judgment to? Do you fear what other people think?

Ariane: That is a good question. I think, our biggest fears as human beings are a fear of not being loved, a fear of not being good enough,  a fear of not fitting in; a fear of judgment. And when all of those start taking a grip on you they will have such a big influence on what you do try and then what you don’t try.

I think moving through and knowing that…whether it is public speaking, the one fear people have. Why is it such a fear? Because of the shame that might come or a judgment that might come or… as opposed to… I used to have a fear of public speaking. I talk about it in my book. But when I shifted it to: what can I teach; what can I give; how can I serve;  what can I leave the audience with; how can I change one person who is listening to me, suddenly it’s not about me anymore. It is not about how people are going to view me. It turns the energy to what can I give.

Teri: How can I talk about sharing your gifts?

Ariane: Yeah.

Teri: Which you do very well. 

Ariane: And we all have them. We all have them. And, boy, does this world need us all to share our gifts more than our fears.

Teri: So where did you learn all this? Where did you become so involved?

Ariane: You know, I think my whole life has been preparing me for this. I grew up in six countries. Change has been part of my DNA right from the start. I have had seven jobs before the age of 30, far to many relationships. I have been fat. I have been thin, fat, thin. I have had money. I have lost money. And I have just sort of realized that change to me is the most important skill. And I thank my parents for throwing me into it in the deep end.

I would encourage any parents who are listening to this to really teach their kids about change because it’s a gift you will give them. So many parents protect their kids from change. Nothing can change. Then we are surprised as adults we are just not very good at it.

You know, every since I was 15, 16, I have picked up books and autobiographies and everything from self help to spirituality and I had just gone looking for answers. But ultimately you return to a place inside yourself, which is home. And it is not on the outside.

I will read anyone’s book and I love the wisdom. But ultimately we have got to realize how strong we are, how powerful we are, and how much we are just remembering who we are.

Teri: That is really good advice.

Unfortunately, we are running out of time. We are going to have to have you back because there is so much more that we want to say. So we are going to have Ariane back for round two very soon.

If you would like to see and read Ariane’s book please go to personallifemedia.com. We are going to give you the link. You can buy her book “The First 30 Days to Change”.  There are so many good things in this book. You are going to have to get it.

I really think you are going to be on the Oprah Show very soon. Right after the “Beauty Now” show.

Ariane: Thank you, Teri. It was a pleasure.

Teri: I know it’s true. It’s true. So thank you again.

If anybody would like transcripts of today’s show please go to personallifemedia.com. You can get transcripts.

Email me [email protected] Tell me what you think.

We just want to thank you again because your book is great and you have great recommendations on the back from Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wang Dire [sp], and many more.  Thanks, Ariane.

Ariane: Thank you, Teri. I love your show.

Closing Music:
You Had a Little Work Done by Mark Winter (http://mark-winter.com/)