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Don't be Afraid of Some Change - by Susan Hastings

"Don't be afraid of some change. Today will be a joyful day. Enter. Rejoice and come in."

Change can be very frightening or at least unsettling because at its core, change means something different. And when we don't know what the future holds; it can feel like our security and stability are being whisked from under us whether the change is emotional, mental, financial - or all of the above!

So what can we do to have faith amidst change - and trust that all is well. Can you trust that life is unfolding with a purpose whether or not you can see it? Can you develop the ability to take on change, whether you actually want to accept it or not?

How do you know you're in the midst of change? What does change look like for you - e.g., something that makes your heart beat, sleep disrupted, eating and drinking, overly emotional. What's behind it? Chances are there's change lurking. You're being asked to respond to a transition, a shift or a behavioral change - from yourself, from others around you. How do you identify it, understand it?

Here are some ways in which I handle change. Perhaps they will be helpful for you.

1) Life is change. Perhaps the only thing we can depend upon is that life changes. Therefore, we have a choice - we can embrace it or we can resist it. I always feel better when I can embrace it and go with the flow. Is there a trusted friend, therapist or coach who can support you through your change?

2) Understand the change. Ask yourself: what is the message here? The opportunity? The learning? The application? How will this change help move me forward in my life? For example, understanding a change for me has meant that if I don't take the initiative to slow down and work smarter, not harder, circumstances beyond my control will come and do it for me.

3) Identify the spaces that this change creates. Where are the spaces that this change may have elicited for you? What might you be able to do (or not do?!) if this change had not come? As a result of some of my changes, changes that I initially resisted, I have discovered a whole new depth of creative energy (some of which you will see in my fall offerings). I am only doing the things that I love to do and traveling less to do them, a desire of mine for years.

4) Find a mentor. Who do you know in your life who could be a mentor for you? Who appears able to keep their life in balance even when going through tough changes? Observe how they live their life, incorporate or shape more of their responses into yours. I have a couple of people who fit that need for me and I ask myself: "What would they do in such a situation?"

5) Relax your mind, open your heart, be spontaneous and find joy. A few weeks ago, it was a beautiful Saturday morning and I had my usual "to-do" list for that day. Instead, I called a friend who initially said she also had much to do and I asked her, "Do you know of anyone who doesn't have a lot to do? Come on - let's get away!" And we did. I will always remember the sunny walk on the beach, eating the best fish chowder I have ever had, having dinner under the eaves of a great restaurant watching the rain and the thunder and lightning - and seeing the most beautiful rainbow, both ends going into the water, that I have ever seen. Would I have remembered my day of errands?

6) Keep yourself centered and grounded. It makes a big difference, especially when faced with change, to have a steady routine you can follow each morning and evening, which includes time for reflection. How might you begin your day - with prayer, meditation, listening and journaling to what you're hearing? Here's a question to begin: "If my soul could speak to me today, what would it say?" Then, at the end of the day - how might you wind down? For me it's a walk with Bella, my little Maltese dog; perhaps for you it's yoga or simply a stroll around the block. These routines provide a touchstone during times of change - big or small. Establish these routines now, to better weather your ups and downs.

7) Count your blessings. Remember what isn't changing around you. Think about love from others: loyal friends who love you even when you may not be feeling loveable, warm neighbors or colleagues, family members - whomever it is for you. Think about what you have - a home, animals, health, work - with gratitude rather than focusing on what feels upended or what you don't have. Consider integrating this gratitude into your daily reflections so that you are steeped in appreciation for your life.

Each morning I receive an inspirational message from Neale Donald Walsch who wrote Conversations with God, and this is what recently came to me. Perhaps this is something to print out and place on your mirror or in another prominent place in your home:

"not everything has to turn out exactly the way you
planned in order for you to call it a success.

- just when it looks like life is falling apart, it may
be falling together for the first time.

I have learned to trust the process of life, and not so
much the outcome. Destinations have not nearly as
much value as journeys.

So maybe you should let things fall apart at this
juncture if that's what's happening. Don't hang on so
tenaciously. The nice thing about things falling apart is
that you can pick up only the pieces that you want -

Many a Bummer is a Blessing in disguise. Consider the
possibility that life is magic

- and that there's a rabbit in that hat."

Wishing you the wisdom to recognize and accept the beautiful white rabbit in each hat of change you experience!


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