April 16, 2016
I truly love this time of year, not simply because the weather is more tolerable (in Miami that is!) and mostly beautiful, but because this time of year is so symbolic. At the end of March we had the Spring Equinox and Easter, which spiritually symbolize rebirth…a shedding of the darkness and solitude of winter, and an opening to our lightness and our eternal selves.
Although, ideally we should be aware of and ready to shift those dark aspects of our experiences as they happen, from moment to moment, it’s always valuable to our spiritual and emotional growth to find a time to more deeply assess what has or should now transform within us and why. That’s how symbolism and rituals serve us–they cue us to pause our daily lives and prod, question, accept, forgive, understand, decide, take action, and ultimately transform.
I hope you’re not thinking of transformation as some HUGE change we must make in our lives. Nope. It could simply be a tiny awakening to something within us that has or needs to change (even die!) in some small way so that we can, indeed, bloom! That is, after all, how change happens– in each breath, and in each miniscule movement. Our cells are changing constantly. Yes, we ARE the definition of constant change, so we should be more open to embracing it and inciting it!
For those of you up to the task this, here’s a fun activity that can help us think about what within us or outside of us needs to transform in some way, what needs to get kicked to the curb, and what seeds need to be planted so that they grow deep roots in our lives.
- Briefly scan this list of the 12 Dimensions of Wellbeing (from the Wellness Inventory – a well-being assessment and tool I use in my work):
- Self-Love and Responsibility
- Play and Work
- Finding Meaning
Try this with just a few of the dimensions, or all 12 and see what shows up. It’s fun to do with a friend as well and create a nice dialogue. I guarantee you’ll come up with a list of things to think about, as well as some meaningful transformations you feel will help you “rise” this year. Allow your intuition to speak to you, and don’t think too hard. Even without an exercise to guide us, we often know what must change and simply need to find the courage to take those next steps.
May you spring into this new season with a pep in your step, a passion-filled heart, and a mission-driven mind. Allow for what needs to die to die, and give birth to what needs to be born.
Wishing you a powerful spring season!
September 6, 2011
There, I said it, so you wouldn’t have to. However, I would encourage you to say it just as passionately. It’s freeing! In fact, acknowledging change as “not always so great”, is probably the best first step to leaning into it and feeling more comfortable with it.
We talk about change all the time, yet when we need to make a critical change in our lives, it doesn’t feel good, or easy. Nor is it always obvious. Sometimes, the need to create change hits us like a tornado– completely unexpected. Most change happens around us daily, forcing us to shift ever so slightly or change our perspective in order to “deal” and keep living. But, when change effects us directly, it’s down-right difficult, and sometimes very painful. Change is hard. And as we all know from past experiences, anything that causes us to grow is hard.
There are different types of change, and even the change that makes us tingle (the really good, exciting kind), causes us to connect to a place deep within that allows us to say good-bye to something or someone. Sometimes it is with a part of us (i.e., habit, career, relationship) that doesn’t serve us any longer. That departure can be bittersweet…both sad and exhilarating. With change we always expand, even if we don’t sense it.
We can deconstruct change for hours, as there are many kinds–both good and bad. But, since the average person has a negative view of change, or simply feels uncomfortable enough to describe it negatively, I’m choosing to focus on the kind that truly tests us. It’s the monster that consistently shows its ugly head and laughs at us. Get me? The one that tells us “you’re never ready,” “you’re not strong,” “you’re not worth it,” “you’re comfortable”. Let’s be clear about something…the monster sucks, not us! We can quiet that monster through our choices, however.
Some of the signals that show up time and again to advise us it may be time to make a change include sadness or depression, a feeling of not having any passion or purpose, frustration or anger, lack of energy or motivation, and/or exchanges with others that are not fulfilling, or creating happiness in our lives.
Here’s the thing, too…most of the time we know deep down the change must come, but we don’t want to face it. We agree with the ugly monster instead of feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
What is the worst change can bring us which we are already handling and experiencing?
How much longer are we willing to live without that foundation of joy, happiness and positive growth (if that’s the case)?
Here’s the next important thing…we always have a choice. We are making choices all the time. But, are we making them consciously?
We have a few choices to make when it comes to change. As long as we are consciously choosing one of them we are owning our decision. When we do this we are not powerless.
Our choices as I see them…
1. Choose to continue with things as they are. Here, we decide we are not ready to take any steps toward change. Tip: own your decision to do nothing and don’t feel badly about it. It’s okay sometimes to do nothing. There is still power in this decision. Here, we can keep our eyes and hearts in the moment and try to be open to new things; more positive things presenting themselves to us.
2. Choose to take small, calculated risks. Here, we are choosing to live higher up on the “shift” readiness scale. Tip: each week decide what small step you can take toward making the change happen. Don’t allow fear to get the best of you. Celebrate your successes; forgive the set-backs.
3. Choose to go all out. This is Internal Armageddon! Here, we decide to become that person the monster fears. We look in the mirror and say, “Today I choose to own my power fully, take that bold step forward and deal with the consequences!” To be clear…this doesn’t necessarily mean we are making a huge change. It can be a very small one that has been extremely difficult to make. Change is different for each of us. Tip: write down what you expect to happen and be ready for the unexpected. What scenarios have you not thought of? Draft a pact with yourself; date it, sign it, and stand by it!
Change is hard. Yes, it is. But, no matter what your choice, you can grow within your decision by continuing to be conscious about it. When the path is difficult we can journal, or have a conversation with a trusted friend, family member, therapist or coach. Even your pet can fill these shoes!
Here’s what I know for sure…living and choosing consciously softens the blow that is change and quiets that ugly monster within us.
As always, may you enjoy purpose in the process. 🙂