It has been said that change is the only constant in life. Change brings growth and growth is what life is all about. We are innately tied to the cycles of change. We are part of this glorious, natural world.
The seasons parallel the cycles of our own days, months, years and life. We are born, little sprouts, like the first buds of spring. Our parents nurture us, as Mother Nature nurtures the tender plants, and we grow.
Throughout our lives, we weather certain storms and yet we continue to grow, adapting as we do to survive and thrive in our world.
We will have times in our lives that are filled with activity and physical growth and we will have moments of quiet introspection. The hustle and bustle has a place, as does the quiet.
Sometimes, we mistake those quiet moments as wasted time. We think we need to be doing something in order for us to be deemed worthy. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
I like to think about the trees as their leaves begin to change colors, right before they go dormant in winter. The trees rest. They draw their energy inward and prepare themselves for the stunning new growth of spring.
We also need some moments in our days and lives where we turn inward, when we become quiet with ourselves. It is in those moments that inspiration has a chance to be heard and then we can bloom again in our own personal spring.
So, coping with changes in our life requires two things from us. First, we must allow ourselves some quiet time during our day in order to recharge. Think of this quiet time as a chance to refill your gas tank. With a full tank, we can then navigate through any life experience, pleasant or unpleasant, with grace because we have a reserve of positive energy saved up. Second, we must be able to act when necessary. We live in a physical world where action is required to achieve our goals.
As we live our lives, we are faced with opportunities to venture outside of our own little comfort zones. This can be exciting, but it can also be daunting. Change is change; it’s different and can be scary. This is when we have to go back to those two simple steps: get quiet for a time and breathe to refill your tank, and then see if you are inspired to take any action steps and if so, what!
In my opinion, the first step, quiet time, is the most important step. During moments when we slow our thoughts and quiet our minds a bit, we open ourselves to the inner wisdom that we all possess. We can use some positive affirmations while we are in this relaxed state. Some of my favorites are: “I am always safe and guided, even if I think I have made a wrong turn I can always correct my course”, “every experience is a learning opportunity and I can handle any situation”, “I am open to my inner wisdom and I am attuned to my own intuition”, “change is just like one door closing and another opening.” You can incorporate any positive affirmations that resonate with you into your practice.
Over the years, as I have made my quiet time a priority, I have observed my life and my opportunities expanding in ways that amaze me. I started with just five minutes of sitting and focusing on my breath and thinking positive thoughts. Today, many years later, I have reworked my busy schedule to accommodate fifteen to twenty minutes of quiet time in the morning and then fifteen more minutes before bed to transition into a peaceful sleep. Before bed, I affirm that while I sleep I am even more open to new ideas and possibilities. I keep a journal by my bed to record ideas I have in the morning. Almost every day I awaken with a fabulous idea or new plan.
So here are some tips on changing the way you think about change:
- Remember that changing your thinking takes time. Also, changing your thinking about change takes time. It’s like any habit, we’ve been doing it one way for quite a while and we are now committing to being gentle with ourselves as we reframe our thoughts.
- Think about change as positive. I like to visualize myself as a helpless baby. I have gone through some huge changes in both my body and my mind to get where I am. I see those changes as very positive. I would not want to be a helpless baby right now! Change is good, as it equals growth!
- Factor some quiet time into your day, each day. For some, this may mean getting up fifteen minutes before your little ones do in order to breathe and set the tone for your day. For others it may be turning off the computer or TV a little earlier each night and setting aside some time to gear down. Today, in this age of constant news, communication and contact, we need this quiet time more than ever.
- Don’t underestimate the power of positive thinking. Using positive affirmations helps to rewire your brain and over time raises your happiness set point. Negative thinking does just the opposite. It keeps you stuck. When you change your thinking, consciously, you will notice big changes in your life over time. Relax and allow these changes.
- Figure out what things in your life you can change and what things are out of your control. There is no point in beating our heads against a wall trying to get others to conform in order to make us happy. We have little control over other people, but we can choose to limit our exposure to toxic situations.
- End each day by remembering three new, unique things that went well for you that day. This also helps to train your brain to seek out the positive things in life and to dwell less on the negative.
Remember, change is inevitable. Life is always moving us forward. When you notice yourself fearing the future changes, ask yourself, “would I be afraid of this situation, if I knew I could not fail?” Now, here’s the important part: failure is impossible because with each new experience you grow and growth is a big part of life. So, there is no failure. The purpose of life is to grow and learn with as much joy along the journey as you can. Adopting these small little changes to your thinking will open doors for you and make it even easier for you to accept and even embrace all the changes in your life!