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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35 thoughts on “5 Steps to Accepting the Beauty of Change”
Paige…Inspiring post. Your story is a lesson about stepping into who you are when you surrender. Thanks so much for sharing…and Zeenat, thanks for hosting 🙂 Fran
And stepping into who I am has been one of the most difficult but freeing things I’ve done. Definitely something that happens in baby steps.
Wonderful Paige! I’m so glad your life is now in a better state of balance. I understand the concern over money and I’m sure you’re not alone there but as you found out, you didn’t need it as badly as you thought. When we find that out we are freed!
Indeed Angela! When we cling to “the way things should be,” life becomes much more difficult and stressful. Once we let go and allow things to change, we discover wonderful things about ourselves.
So insightful, Paige! I especially appreciate your recognition that we have far less control over what happens in our life than we imagine. Being willing to go with what unfolds instead of resistance does lighten us up. Easier said than done, but your suggestions show us the way.
I’ve always resisted change and that has brought nothing but suffering. For most of us, embracing change will probably take more than a few days. I feel it’s also important to honor the process of loss and grief and to be willing to be with whatever emotions arise.
The big changes like a job loss, death, or separation can be a big, surprising jolt. I’m working with reflecting regularly on the impermanence that occurs all around us as well as the reality than everything compounded is actually changing in every moment. Sub-atomic particles are constantly dancing. Nothing stays the same for a single moment. It’s only our delusion that makes us believe this is so!
Great insights Sandra! So true that none of this happens in a few days. The lessons I’ve learned have taken years. My ego has clung dearly to its old image of itself and fights change like crazy still today. With practice, it becomes easier to drop the resistance and let the ego know that everything will be OK.
I agree with you about honoring the process of loss and grief. Letting go is one thing. Being OK with it is another. It’s definitely a process that doesn’t happen overnight.
Thank you for bringing up those very valuable points!
Yes, thanks Paige,
Good reminders for me as I’m in the middle of big change for work, life & purpose, none of which are clear yet. Acceptance has been the first step, and I’m finally starting to move my way into the choices that feel good. Still needing more clarity of direction.
When we step into new, uncharted territory, we always want some reassurance of where we’re headed. Unfortunately that’s rarely there and we need to have faith and trust that the Universe will deliver what’s best for us. Usually what’s best for us may not come in a bright, pretty package but in something unexpected. The more we can be open to whatever is coming instead of closing it off by being in fear of the unknown, the more amazing the process is. Definitely easier said than done.
When I lost my “safe & secure” job, I felt like someone pushed me off the high dive. I felt like I had been standing there at the edge, looking down, knowing that jumping was the best thing for me but I had no answers – no knowledge of what’s next. So I stood at the edge, frozen in fear. And then my boss pushed me. The process of falling was scary and it took some time for me to get back on my feet but I’m forever grateful for being pushed.
Good luck to you, Brad! I know you’ll be confidently back on your feet very soon!
Thanks again Paige,
I needed these reminders today as again I’m facing the unknown, feeling fear, sadness & loss. I shall look into the darkness with compassion & trust.
Thanks for the encouragement.
Know that fear, sadness and loss are all part of the natural process. They’re passing clouds and you’re the deep, blue sky behind them, watching them pass.
All will be well soon. 🙂
I find every tip you give valuable. My granddaughter is trying to decide where to go to college. She’s afraid she’s going to make the wrong decision. I told her there isn’t a wrong decision. I’m at peace about her decision knowing that it will be right for her. Too bad I didn’t have this wisdom when it was my girls. So much of what we worry about doesn’t matter. Change…gotta love it!
Your granddaughter is very lucky to have someone like you to advise her. You’re so right – there’s never a wrong decision. I see so many people her age and into their mid 20’s who live in fear of making the wrong decisions. There’s some kind of unspoken myth in our culture that says that we should have everything figured out and know exactly what we’re supposed to do with the rest of our lives by the age of 25 (or sooner). How ridiculous! I always like to chime in on conversations in that area and let the younger crowd know that no one has anything figured out at any age. We’re always learning and changing and what was good for us at 20 is usually not the same at 40, 60 or 80. Change is good. It means we’re learning, growing and evolving which are really the bigger points in life.
Thank you Tess!
Dear Paige (one of my favorite writers), As someone who has had to take some major life-changing decisions as a result of changing priorities, and being lucky enough to have felt good about all of them (even though others viewed them as sacrifices on my part), I absolutely enjoyed the way you described your successful transition in your post. (I am glad my English teacher did not read that long sentence). I am somehow not at all surprised you handled it all so well. On top of that, the life tips you offer on your blog are all presented in a easy, very do-able way.
These are great reminders for all of us to keep track of. People rule. Always.
Hugs – and so privileged to read your words here.
Thank you, Zeenat. You’re a star.
Coming from a professional writer, your comment means so much to me.
To me, the main purpose of life is to help other people by using our own unique talents, skills and passions – whatever they may be. I feel like I’ve had so many “experiences” in life that I have finally learned from that I want to share the lessons I’ve learned with as many people as possible to hopefully shorten their learning curve and let them know that they’re not alone. Someone else has been there and has come out the other side to a better place. We all fear the unknown. The more we see how others have handled what we’re going through, the less alone we feel and the more reassurance we can have that everything will be OK.
Thank you so much! I love your blog and how you slow down and hold our hands to remind us of the beauty in all the little things we’re surrounded by each day.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share with your readers! You’re an amazing and inspiring person!
Your words touch a very deep chord in me. There was a time when change meant stress(really bad!!) for me…but now after life and experience happens…I have learned and realized the simplest beauty of going with the flow. Today when someone asks me to try something new and change my likes or ways…I take it as an adventure and truly enjoy all the new that has been added to my life as a result of embracing change.
I love this post cause its real, its you and its full of loving energy. Thank you for sharing your beautiful self here on Positive Provocations.
The verdict is in….the readers LOVE you!
May you grow with every change that life brings your way.
Lots of love always~
Thank you so much!!! Your openness to life radiates so brightly. I’m so glad you’re here to shine that light on so many.
Love and hugs!!!
Paige, what a deep post with such powerful yet deceptively simple steps.
It’s amazing when you reflect, look within and realise that you don’t really need to hold on to what you are resisting or dreading.
I read earlier this week that once we fully and whole heartedly accept that in life change is inevitable – and that completely frees up:-).
So right Arvind. Sometimes I wonder why we/I tend to make life so hard sometimes. By trying to control, resisting, fearing we create our own unhappiness. Letting go and letting change happen actually helps to bring happiness into our lives. I often feel that I have to make a conscious choice to let go as my ego/monkey mind loves to hold onto things.
Thanks for your comment!
This is such a refreshing read Paige.
I like that you have said we should take time to regroup. Just breath and do nothing. Most times, it’s so easy to go into panic mode trying to fill what is now empty. Without even realizing it. The deliberate thought of waiting and accepting is very powerful.
I totally agree, good things happen when we go with the flow. I sometimes feel it’s the only to live.
Thanks for your wonderful thoughts.
Thank you Veeh!
Being comfortable with a pause in life is hard for most people since society rewards action. In the area of relationships, it took me a while to learn this one. It was when I was finally OK with not being in a relationship and not knowing when (or if) the next one would happen that I made space for the perfect relationship. And I was comfortable with giving it the time it needed to bloom into something wonderful.
So glad you feel good going with the flow. It definitely is the only way to go.
What a lovely and effective post…..Change is such a big thing in any person’s life, I consider most of the people (including me) tend to resist it in any way possible but the simple ways that you have taught to welcome any change in life is exceptionally wonderful.I loved reading every bit of your post……very inspirational!We happen to curse life when anything unusual happens without knowing that everything happens for a reason and the reason will always be good no matter what………lots of love!
And Zeenat,eagerly waiting for your post about ageing and how to embrace it positively!!much love to you as well……
Thank you so much Priyanka!
Yes, change is inevitable in every aspect of life – especially the aging process. As much as try to slow it down and pretend it isn’t happening, time moves on. A few years ago when I discovered my first grey hair, I plucked it out immediately. Then I realized that it was probably there long before I noticed it, hiding in my blonde hair. I began to notice more and more of them along with the changes in my skin – my hands, my face, my neck. I thought, “This is what my mother’s skin looks like. Am I getting that old?” And I remembered her telling me how she’s the same person from her 30’s inside while her body seems to have a life of its own.
I took a deep breath and said, “Yes, I’m that old and thank God! I’ve learned so much and am much more comfortable with myself now.” I thought of a therapist who I used to see who radiates inner beauty. She has long, flowing hair like mine but hers is more grey than blonde. She has such a peaceful look in her eyes. I thought she might be a few years older than me so I asked her. I was shocked to find that she was over 20 years older than me. My first thought was, “I want to be like her when I reach that age.”
As we age, we become the wise elders who younger generations can learn from. I wish I could have known in my 20’s all that I know now but, as you’ve said dear Priyanka, everything happens for a reason and the reason will always be good.
If we don’t embrace aging positively, we doom ourselves to a life of unhappiness. I don’t wear make-up or color my hair or do anything to make myself look other than I am. I accept myself the way I am and it makes no impact on me what others think or how they judge me. That’s their issue, not mine.
Very truly said Paige,
Every aspect of life should be embraced warm heartedly (whatever it be), only that can account for a happy self and yes taking a deep breath always helps and eases stuff……..
I really needed that….thanks a zillion!!
So glad I could help Priyanka! Take a deep breath and have an amazing day!
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Great post Zeenat and Paige!
It’s taken me a long to realize how great change really is! If only we could live our lives in reverse so we could see what greatness life has in store for us. Great tips and great advice. I love your story and how you’ve made it not only wonderful for you and your family but into such inspiration for your readers.
While living our lives in reverse sounds great, we would miss out on all the wonderful surprises life has for us because we’d already know the ending.
Accepting change and making the best of it is the only way to go to bring happiness into our lives.
Have a great day!
Thank you for a wise and very genuine of heart post.
One thing that after my many years of living that still amazes me is how when I am not looking for some particular thing I am rewarded with what becomes one of the most wonderful prises…like love…like a super interesting job…like a great hobby…like a new way of looking at life. Everything comes in it’s own time.
One thing that I have learned after my many years of living that I can rely on is that through chaos what is really truly meant to be for me will be left through the test of trial and time.
One thing that I have learned after many years of living (thanks be to God) is that life is so precipitous…God!… when I look back I am amazed that I am still able to take that deep meditative breath and have not taken the last breath yet…sure have seen many that I have known go way before their time.
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.” ~Robert Frost
With or without me…
So true, Rand. Whether it’s a set of lost keys or finding the love of our life, as soon as stop looking, chasing, hoping, grasping….as soon as stop focusing on what we don’t have, it shows up.
Yesterday I was speaking with a friend in the insurance business. While we both focus on living in the moment and being grateful for everything and everyone in our lives, she was telling me how her job is a constant reminder of that. She’s constantly having to take care of things when people meet their untimely demise. It’s a reminder that we never know when it’s our time so live like that time is now.
Love your quote! And your followup is so true. Thank you and have a wonderful day!!
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