Special Note: Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to an exceptional writer and my dear friend Paige Burkes. Do enjoy her beautiful words here and show her some love in the comments below. More about Paige below the article. Enjoy! Love, Zeenat~
The only constant is change.
As much as we know this to be true, we resist it at every turn.
Our egos cling to the way things are and have been, creating fears around anything different. This creates the presumption that anything other than what we already know can’t be good. How absurd!
What do you do when life throws you a zinger? Do you panic and resist and hope that the change isn’t really happening? Do you go into a tailspin of hopelessness and depression? Or do you accept that the change is part of the ebb and flow of life?
A couple years ago I had to deal with the abrupt end of, what I thought was, a safe and secure job. That end came one week after my early return to work from maternity leave. I was in complete shock and denial at first. How could this possibly be happening to me? I had put so much into this job. How could they pull the rug out from under me?
It took a couple days before I started to see the good in the change.
That job took me away from my family each week. It was too far to commute so I had rented an apartment by the office where I stayed during the week. I only saw my husband and small children on the weekends. I took the job for the money.
I now realize that, while the money was good, it came at too high a price on my life and what was truly important to me. I was sacrificing my family and happiness for money. With that now obvious realization, I was grateful to my former boss for letting me go. I started to feel that he knew better than me that the choices I had made were not serving me.
Once I dropped my resistance to the change and the many fears that reared their ugly heads, I felt lighter. At that point I could finally see the new possibilities in my life. Rather than feeling desperate and hopeless, I started crafting new possibilities for myself.
Then I started acting on those possibilities.
I found a lower level position very close to my home that had a much lower salary but afforded me the luxury of being home with my family every day without a long commute. The stress I carried around with me from my previous job was also significantly reduced.
Having more relaxed time also opened the door to me following my passions. I started my blog and learned all I could about things that I love.
While the abrupt end of the previous job was a big jolt in my life, it was a huge blessing. It opened the doors to a life that serves me very well.
Here is what I’ve learned to be the keys to handling change, big or small:
- Let go of resistance and realize how little control you have over anything or anyone.
So many negative feelings come from the disruption of our sense of control over our lives. We generally approach life thinking that we can control everything. When something out of our control happens, we try to regain a sense of control that never really existed in the first place. This can create feelings of desperation or helplessness.
Resisting the way things are is futile. It creates great amounts of unneeded suffering.
Sometimes letting go of resistance feels like giving up. I’ve worn myself out physically and emotionally by resisting the way things are. Once I give up the resistance, not knowing what to do anymore, I become more relaxed and answers and options start to magically come to me. I feel like I suddenly see the situation more clearly.
- Take a few deep breaths and do nothing for a while.
Take some time to regroup. It’s important to have some space between what was and what’s next. Without this quiet space, we tend to make unwise decisions. Like dating someone when we’re rebounding from a relationship that just ended. We jump into something new to fill the void of what we just lost instead of taking the time to heal the void and understand what it is that we truly need.
- Identify your core values – the most important things in your life.
All of our decisions should be based on our core values. Our values are our home base, our calm in the storm, what grounds us in the face of chaos. They usually don’t change. When we make decisions about our present and our future based on what supports our core values, we can’t make a wrong decision.
When I chose a job away from my family in order to make more money, I was acting out of desperation. I didn’t keep my values in the front of my mind. I hated every moment in my apartment alone. I hated the long drive. I resented many things about the job. I knew it wasn’t right for me or my family but I stayed because I thought we needed the money. We didn’t need it that badly.
- Listen to your heart.
As you start to consider your next steps, quiet any chattering in your head telling you what you should do with practices like meditation so that you can hear what your heart is telling you. Think about each option you’re considering while you sit in silence. As you envision creating each option, become aware of how each option feels in your body. Your body never lies. If an option brings up any tightness, it’s probably not the right one. If an option brings a feeling of openness or joy, you’re headed in the right direction.
Honor yourself by listening to what your heart is telling you.
- Take action toward the options that support your values and make your heart and body feel good.
Don’t second guess yourself. Don’t think about what you should do. Don’t listen to what other people think you should do. Don’t stick to what’s realistic. Most of all, don’t stay in your comfort zone.
Get out there and take the first baby steps toward your new, amazing life. It may be scary when you push the boundaries of your current comfort zone but it’s definitely worth it. It’s absolutely necessary in order to create something better than what you’ve ever experienced in the past.
- Understand how the change is a blessing.
Everything happens for a reason. That reason may not seem obvious at first. With the passing of time we can start to learn the lessons from the situation and realize how the change will help us make better decisions in the future. And then we can be grateful for the change.
Handling change is a practice. And the more we practice openly, the more effectively we can embrace the changes that inevitably come our way.
Dropping our resistance, accepting everything the way it is and being open to the lessons that our challenges can teach us all open the door to a happier life of joyfully living in alignment with our true selves.
How have you been able to effectively handle the big changes in your life? What steps did you go through and how did they help you?
Paige Burkes writes at Simple Mindfulness where she supports you in new, mindful ways of being that allow you to live a happier and more fulfilled life. She has a free ebook, 7 Keys to Getting Things Done, Living on Purpose and Being Happy in the Process, that gives you the specific baby steps to follow to live the life you really want.
What are YOUR thoughts on this topic?
I hope you enjoyed Paige’s beautiful thoughts here. Please do share your thoughts, questions and comments on this topic in the comments below. Paige and I would be happy to know your lovely thoughts.
Stay Tuned: On Monday I will be talking about Ageing and how to positively embrace and enjoy the process!
With Immense Love & Gratitude,
Counseling Psychologist/ Spiritual Counselor
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