I can remember my Mom regularly saying: “Everything always changes” or “Change is a given.” I heard her then and now I understand her. Change is a definite part of life and we have a choice – embrace it or fight it. Thank goodness I had her as a role model for how to embrace change!
With all that is going in our world and country right now, it seems that everyone is experiencing magnified change. It takes many forms – job loss, tightening up on spending, school transitions, housing transition, shifts in roles at home and more. There are also many below-the-surface changes that people seem to be experiencing – less security in what the future holds, changes in the dynamics with kids and partners, kids feeling the different energy in how the house is operating, being forced to take a harder look at what is really needed versus wanted and more.
I was recently evaluating all of the personal changes that I have been experiencing and I was reminded again that the most important thing during times of change is to stay connected to our hearts and keep remembering what is most important. There are many tools and ways to help do this…
Be quiet daily – In whatever form works for you. The intention for this time is to allow the activity of your mind to settle enough to connect to what is below your thoughts – connect to your higher power, your inner being, your heart or soul (whatever resonates with you and your spiritual perspective).
Keep your heart soft – A hard heart becomes negative, stressed, easily angered, self-absorbed, isolating and all-around difficult. By continuously connecting with all of the difficulty floating around “out” there in the world, cultivating compassion, sending kind thoughts and energy to people (known and unknown) keeps the edges of the heart soft and opens you up to connect to your inner kindness more easily. It also feels good to be kind and this sense of goodness offers an important counterbalance to any negativity you experience inside.
Keep returning to things you know bring you joy – Make a list of the things that you truly enjoy doing and make it a priority to do these things regularly. There may be things that you used to do that you really enjoyed yet for whatever reason they got squeezed out of life. Revisit these things and do them. Allow joy into your life by inviting it in. It may be as simple as a certain path you used to walk or a flower that you love to look at.
Ask yourself the question: “What is most important?” on a regular basis — It may be helpful to keep jotting your answers down and keeping the list somewhere. You can add to and change the list as needed but the point is to keep your perspective and actions throughout your days and weeks based on what you have identified to be most important.
Connect with others – During times of change, it is important to stay connected to those we love and those that love us. The connection with family and friends allows us to share and stay open to all that is being experienced by others and allows our hearts opportunities to care deeply. It also gives space in life to have fun and just enjoy being with friends.
Use the change as an opportunity to simplify – Change offers a great time to challenge the way we have always done things and opens up some space to do things differently. There can be great joy from simplifying and doing more with less. Change can also prompt us to take some steps to do things more “on purpose” and incorporate more meaningful ways to live. Cut the fluff and bring in the real things that bring you peace and joy.
Dig Deeper – Our potential and “spunk” can get squished to unknown nooks and crannies of our being by the hurried nature of life, stress and constant mental activity. Dig deeper and push yourself, even more, to connect with this part of yourself and let it “wake up.” Pull on every and all determined parts of yourself to remember that “life is short” and that you deserve to live it fully.
Those that know me know that my list of suggestions would not be complete without offering up: Go talk to the trees! — A walk in the woods with intentional deep breaths is enormously satisfying and an easy way to connect to the realness of our world.
Stay connected and live fully in the middle of whatever life throws your way.