Finding time to deal with changes and transitions in life is a perennial challenge. While change is inevitable, it isn’t something that we always welcome because it means, well … change!
Maybe part of what we react to, in thinking about change, is the fact that it may ask that we change ourselves. So, what if we welcomed that, rather than instinctively backing away from it?
How much richer can your experience be if you let changes change you?
Here’s an example of a fairly typical situation: I was recently talking with a friend who has, for many years, enjoyed a ritual of solitude around the time of her birthday. This year she has been surprised to find herself feeling a little bit nervous about this familiar ritual.
One possible response to these feelings would be to change the ritual, or even skip it entirely. But here’s another path to consider: the heart-based path.
I’d suggest, first and foremost, choosing to welcome these new feelings. Rather than unwelcome visitors, view them as messengers bringing helpful new information about you. You can cultivate an attitude of compassionate curiosity about yourself!
Having welcomed your feelings, I suggest that you next think about the changes that have prompted them. Explore how you feel about each change and the challenges presented. Then make conscious decisions about how to manage the challenges. Maybe you want to stretch yourself in some areas, and back off in others. The more specific you can be the better.
Next, it’s helpful to continue to assess your experience as you go through it. So pay attention to your feelings before, during, and after the change that you are going through. Ask yourself how you are doing, much as you would ask a friend. Pay attention to your answers, as they will help you take your next steps.
Changes are like doors opening. As you step through, you not only learn new things about your world, you also learn new things about YOU. The more you can let changes change you, the more you can stretch and grow into ever-deepening self knowledge, strength, and power.
So are you ready to start moving toward change and open to the feelings it brings?
© Copyright 2011 Paula Eder, Ph.D.