Guest Blog by Marci
Shimoff
 
Marci_Shimoff_headshot_lg.jpgHas
this been a time of huge change or challenge for you? Does life seem a bit
surreal these days?
 
Well, you’re not alone. In the past months, virtually everyone I know has
experienced some kind of major transformation or loss-death of a friend or
family member, relationship break-up, illness, move, or job loss. Even my
friends who’ve always been rock-solid steady-Eddies are feeling shaken and
broken open in the process.
 
In my own life, just in the past year I’ve been through a divorce (mutual
and loving, but a loss, nonetheless), the selling of my family’s home of 58
years, and the deaths of four people very dear to me, including my beloved
mother. Add to that the economic and planetary challenges (including the Gulf
oil spill), and life seems shakier than ever.
 
If you can relate, take heart. You’re not imagining things. According to
many ancient prophecies, these times of radical change have been predicted.
While some interpret events like the ending of the Mayan Long Count calendar in
2012 as catastrophic, others think it signals a shift into a new and better era
for humankind.
 
I believe the latter is true-we’re going through a global shift in
consciousness that’s opening us up internally, as it shakes things up
externally.
 
I’ve seen this in my reactions to the losses in my life. At first there’s
pain, pure and simple. But, as I relax into my feelings rather than resist them,
they bloom into something else: Gratitude wells up for the past and present;
peace emerges about the future; love fills me with a beautiful depth and
sweetness. And I feel a tenderness for all of us here on this earth, facing the
uncertainty and inevitable changes of life.
 
The Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron writes: “We can let the circumstances of our
lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can
let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us.”
 
I want to let these experiences soften me and to emerge from the “fire” of
change a more compassionate, open, and loving person. The key, I believe, is to
take time to feel the fear or sorrow and to trust that all that happens is
ultimately for good. I love this phrase a friend recently shared with me: Life
doesn’t happen TO you, it happens FOR you.
 
Here
are some ways to turn losses into openings in your life:
 
1.
Hold the perspective that everything is happening for your greater good. An
event may be disguised as a “bad” thing, but can you really know that? Remove
the label “bad” from whatever is happening, and look for the gift or blessing in
it.
 
2.
Remember that you’re not alone-get support from those around you (not the
misery-loves-company kind-the wise and loving kind!).
 
3. Take
time to feel any fear or sadness. Don’t be afraid they’ll overwhelm you. Feel
them fully and have a good cry, if needed. Then take a deep breath and go out
and do something you love to do.
 
4. When
feeling contracted, think of the word “soften.” Just that little reminder can
make a hard place inside melt.
I feel a deep compassion these days, and I’m grateful for it. Let’s allow
the changes we’re  experiencing to “tenderize” our hearts-and welcome the
sweetness that brings to every moment! This is how we can stay happy for no
reason, no matter what.

 

 
Marci Shimoff is a celebrated transformational leader and #1 New York Times
best-selling author of Happy for No Reason. To learn more of her techniques for establishing
deep and authentic happiness and well-being, visit www.HappyForNoReason.com
.
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