Tag Archives: Relationships

Are you missing the conversation?

I recently heard this incredibly beautiful poem from Ingrid Goff-Maidoff that caused me to stop and see how I was living.

God spoke today in flowers,

and I, who was waiting on words,

almost missed the conversation.

Aside from the beauty in the sheer simplicity of this poem, the stunning truth shook me to the core. She has captured here the tragedy we live so much of our life in – not seeing the beauty in what is because of what we are expecting.

Our tendency to miss much in life is centered on our expectations of how things “should” be. We wait and wait for things to show up in our desired form and become more and more frustrated that they haven’t come. All the while there is beauty and perfection all around us that we are not seeing.

We, of course, do this with God often. We pray and get frustrated when our requests don’t come when we want them to. Often, we are so tied to “how” we want our prayers answered that we don’t see the possibility in what is coming our way. We are waiting for God to speak to give us peace, instead of seeing the message in the flowers. The divine plan, however, is much more beautiful and complex than the human brain can comprehend.

I often sit in awe reflecting on even the most minuet details in my life and seeing how different everything would have been if things were shifted just slightly.   Every aspect of my life has lead to this exact second to be unfolding exactly how it is, especially those moments I didn’t like so much. I wanted certain things and have them, but never would have expected them to come the way they did. This is the beauty of being open to possibility and seeing what is in our path, instead of trying to design every minute.

We don’t only do this with God, however, we also do this with people in our lives. We are always trying to get someone to react the way we want them to or see things our way. One of my favorite lines in the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi is that we ask ”Grant that I may not so much seek… to be understood, as to understand”. We sometimes forget that no one on this earth perceives things exactly like we do. We all have different experiences that lead to how we think and act. We may find many that agree with us, but they don’t see it “exactly” as we do. Instead of trying to understand them, we want them to understand (and act) as we do. The world would be a very boring place if this wish came true.

Unfortunately our partners and family often get the brunt of this. How often do we get upset with a partner because they didn’t show us love in a particular way? The gift wasn’t thoughtful enough, they didn’t respond right to our concern, or they weren’t making us feel loved. All the while, we miss the subtle ways that they show us love, in their way. We are so busy looking at how we feel, we miss seeing how they are giving.

The shift from seeing the possibility of what is, versus living in our head of expectations can create a brand new world for us. It takes really no time, just awareness of our thoughts and the intent of seeing things as they are, while letting go as we expect them to be.

Be open to what is now – a simple, yet beautiful practice that will ensure we do not miss the conversation.

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I Live in a Bubble

Last Saturday night my husband and I were sitting outside enjoying the crisp air. It was quiet all around and the stars were occasionally saying “hi” through the passing clouds. Suddenly we heard a woman a few houses down yell. Then we heard a cheer from another house. A few minutes later we heard from several other houses in unison.

My husband and I sat there and laughed for a moment. There was something happening that many people were extremely connected to and we had no idea what it was. I put the pieces together after I saw many excited people posting about the Cardinals game on Facebook.

This moment was a great reminder to me that I live in a bubble. We all do really. We are surrounded by our small social circle – our family members, our friend and our co-workers. There is a whole big world out there that we often forget about. Billions of things are happening right now that we have never had experience with, seen or even imagined.

We often fall into the habit of assuming everyone thinks like us, has experiences like us or wants what we do. Even though diversity shows up in our lives from time to time, it can be easy to forget how many things are happening at this moment and we have no idea about it.

Others Time

Moments like this, when I get a kind reminder from the universe that there is a whole world happening outside of my bubble, I like to take it as a sign to have more compassion. Even those closest to me can be seeing and doing something at this moment that I will never know about.

We only see into others lives through a small window, the one they choose to open for us. Often, what they show us are the parts of their lives that are similar to ours. It is human nature to connect over commonality and avoid differences. Ultimately, we have no idea how most people spend their time, even those closest to us.

It can be so easy to think the whole world has our experiences and perception, but each person has their own journey and suffering. It is helpful to pop our bubble every now and then, look a little deeper and truly see all that is happening in others lives.

6 Spiritual Lessons from Our Children

young

Throughout the years I have dedicated a significant amount of time on my personal spiritual growth.  I have spent countless hours poring over development books, researched various religions and spoke with many spiritual leaders.  I have attended trainings and workshops on a wide range of topics and approaches in cultivating inner peace.  Throughout this process I have learned a lot, especially regarding those practices that tend to be common themes and “secrets” for achieving sustainable joy in life.  It is a constant growth process since all of these things require continued practice and while I have understood much of it logically, some areas have been difficult for me to feel.

As I have expanded my concept of “spiritual teachers” to include everyone in my life, knowing that each and every person has something to offer, I have found the clearest teachers to be children.  There is so much I have learned from seeing how we come into this world, what our natural state truly is and how we get pulled off track as we grow and develop. We so often look at our relationship with our children as one where we have to bare the burden of teaching them everything however if we shift our perception to a spiritual partnership, one where we teach each other, then the spiritual growth they can help facilitate for us is limitless. We can teach them how to interact per this world’s “rules” but they can teach us about our true nature and how to live it. They have truly helped me see how to apply some of the themes that were harder for me to grasp and serve as a constant reminder on practicing.

Fearlessness – Anyone that has seen a baby clumsily wobble around can see that fear is not something we are born with. It is something we learn. Children lead with their heart, diving into whatever action their heart guides them to without fear of pain, judgment or failure. All of these concepts are foreign to them and we can learn much from the “just go for it” attitude that children of many ages have. Letting our heart lead, and taking action without fear allows us to boldly live and revel in the rewards of new experiences.

Joy – Joy on the other hand isn’t something we learn, it is our natural state. A child’s general disposition is pure happiness. Eager to play, laugh and truly have fun, children embrace happiness and never question if they deserve it or wonder if it will last. As I have grown there are many times I have lost sight of the beauty in doing something just for the pure joy of it. Like many people I know, the to do lists can take over and keep me from fully living in the moment, especially when it is something as “frivolous” as having fun. What I have learned from children is that fun is never frivolous; it is something our soul needs.

Love freely – The heartache we feel in life can sometimes cause us to be guarded. Keeping love out completely or limited to those that seem “safe”, we lose the incredible gift that comes with a wide-open heart. Children don’t hold back love. If they want to give a hug, they give a hug. If a little baby wants to stare in your eyes and give you a smile for no reason, they do. There aren’t expectations of this love being returned, they just give it without condition. Each baby that comes into this world is the perfect love that we all hold in us and they show it however they feel guided to. We can begin to learn that this is our natural state from watching children of all ages embrace this emotion. It is who we are and the pain we learn is truly from expecting love back, not necessarily giving it.

Authenticity – Children learn the concept of “fitting in” from parents, friends and people in their life, they don’t arrive into the world with it. They are who they are. Many of us have seen a child want to wear outrageously bright, mismatched clothes simply because they like it and it represents who they are, never putting a thought into what others will think. Without the interference of judgment, children live completely authentically. This is something many of us spend years trying to get back to once we learn that what others think of us isn’t nearly as important as our own happiness. Children can show us that it is perfectly natural for us to be guided by our hearts and inner guidance, as it is how they live.

Curiosity – Nothing is more thrilling than seeing a baby look around, taking the world in and clearly demonstrating a complete sense of awe. They absorb everything around them without judgment so they can learn. They smile at every small accomplishment and are hungry to keep exploring. This is our natural state, a place of curiosity, bewilderment and awe. The world offers us as many unique things to learn and look at but often we become comfortable and lose the sense of wonder that we come into the world with. Children show us the incredible joy that comes from not being the expert but rather being a perpetual student.

Creativity – As adults we tend to lump ourselves into groups – left brain versus right brain, creative versus logical, structured versus spontaneous, etc. While all of these may be us having a tendency to being more comfortable leaning towards one direction or another, none of us are born into this world lacking any of these characteristics. All children enjoy coloring, making art projects, dancing to music or playing an instrument. They love bringing something beautiful into the world, and that doesn’t change just because they grow up. They play make believe games and daydream about the future. They demonstrate to us that a basic desire is to be in a creative space. Whether it is art, music, writing, inventions, machines or even new businesses all of us can benefit from allowing ourselves to be creative. As we grow, they way we express our creativity changes but they key is to never shut it out completely.

If we watch closely, children can show us how to get back to our original nature. Allowing ourselves to be our inner child, even if just for a moment, will give us an amazing gift of pure happiness.

With immense love and gratitude for all the children in the world – April

Affirmations for Mamas!

Check out my latest post on West Valley Moms Blog!

A spiritual Indian woman meditating on the riverbanks, in the morning.

Every mom that I know sometimes has doubts. Am I doing the right thing? Should I have reacted that way? Are my children eating good enough? Am I yelling too much? Am I spending enough time with them? Are they learning the right values? These are just some I have thought or heard but I could go on and on. Motherhood is definitely more of an art than a science and there is no perfect way to do it. The never-ending “recommendations” from “experts” as well as family, friends or even strangers can make our head spin with insecurity. Ultimately the pressure can lead us to that one looming question… “Am I a good mother?” Read More Here…

Fall In Love… With Yourself (Part 2)

If you haven’t yet, please be sure to read Part 1 as this picks up where that one left off.

Exploring who you are is a critical step in learning to love yourself. This selfexercise of self-exploration will open to door to understanding what is stopping you from pure self-love. After you feel like you have a deep and intimate understanding of who you are, work through the below steps to start uncovering the multiple layers of unconditional love.

Be grateful for the flaws – It is important that you are completely honest with yourself and find what aspects that you tend to hide. What things cause you to cringe a little? Where does shame creep up? Once you identify these items, begin to truly accept all aspects of yourself by affirming that your “flaws” are what makes you unique and ultimately perfect. Often, we would easily love others with the same “flaws” and recognizing that helps in finding this love for ourselves. Allow the labels to fade away and just be with the reality of all the beautiful aspects of who you are. Daily, take a moment to be grateful for these “flaws” as they give you an opportunity to experience unconditional love.

Respecting yourself – We tend to treat ourselves with significantly less respect than we do others. Respecting yourself includes speaking to ourselves with kindness as well as requiring others to do the same. Anytime you make a comment about yourself that is negative, even joking, it chips away at your self-esteem and gives fuel to your inner critic. Unfortunately our habits of negative self-talk can run deep and took years to build so it takes time to change. This is one that requires a high level of awareness. Spend a day watching all your thoughts and comments about yourself. Are there themes when you talk about yourself negatively? Many people do when they speak about things like needing to lose weight or a goal they aren’t hitting as quickly as they would like. Ask others to support you in letting you know when you have made a comment about yourself that is negative. Once you see when you tend to bring in negative self-talk, you can begin to catch it and change the dialogue you have about yourself. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t say it to someone else, you shouldn’t say it to yourself. Add in a consistent practice of looking in the mirror and telling yourself “I love you”. It may feel odd and funny at first, but it will help grow a habit of positive self-talk while you are eliminating the negative.

Have compassion – We are incredibly hard on ourselves. Our high standards for achievement that we put on ourselves are often impossible. We fill ourselves with “shoulds” and “need to’s” that wreak havoc on our self worth. Cultivating compassion for ourselves, providing understanding and love, will create a feeling of fulfillment that we dream of. Let go of the things that you regret and haven’t forgiven yourself for. You are human and will make mistakes and fail. Not only is there nothing wrong with that, those mistakes and failures are gifts for growth so be grateful for them instead of holding a grudge against yourself. For more support read my post on Tips to Living Self Compassion.

Ultimately, you will never have complete and unconditional love in your life if you don’t have it for yourself. Nothing external will fill that void and you will always have a feeling of discontentment if you are lacking any bit of self-love. You deserve better than that. You deserve complete love and happiness. Start right now, healing any wounds and changing any perceptions that are keeping you for unconditional love.

Fall In Love… With Yourself (Part 1)

Love is an incredibly powerful force. It is something we crave, search for and spend our lives trying to understand. Most of the time when we think of love, however, we tend to focus on loving externally. We love our family, our friends, our significant other and the animals in our lives. We even use the word to describe how we feel about material items or circumstances in our lives. With all the ways we use this word and think about this emotion, we rarely feel comfortable Loveusing it on ourselves. We have created a world where those who love themselves are considered selfish or vain. It is almost egotistical to think that you are “in love” with yourself and we reject this notion. Loving yourself, however, is very different from the labels we put on it and until we look past them, we can never know true love.

The fact is you will never have the potential for a deeper relationship with anyone than you do with yourself. You can’t know every thought or emotion someone else has. We can hide parts of ourselves from others, but we experience every raw thoughts and emotion that arises every moment of our lives. These simple truths lead to the fact that experiencing unconditional love, the deepest kind that accepts all flaws and idiosyncrasies, can truly only start with loving ourselves. Loving who you are is the ultimate lesson in what it means to love without expectations and judgment.

Falling in love with yourself is a beautiful journey that can be filled with awe and freedom. It allows an incredible powerful force of positivity and joy to enter your life, bleeding into every relationship you have. It doesn’t come from believing you are better than others, but recognizing the perfection within yourself.

The best way to begin the journey is to get to know yourself intimately. You cannot fully love yourself if you don’t know yourself. Create a routine around sitting alone and truly exploring who you are. If you were to take away any opinion of others in your life, who are you? What do you like about yourself? What do you not like about yourself? Why? Are there parts of yourself you hide because you are afraid of judgment? What gifts do these personality traits, the “good” and “bad” bring into your life? These questions are only a start. Allow your mind to explore and write down anything that comes up. Shine a light on the things you have been hiding. Really truly look at them and sit with the discomfort they bring you. This exercise of self-exploration will open to door to understanding what is stopping you from giving yourself pure, unconditional love.

In following posts I will be providing more steps on continuing this journey after you begin the self-exploration process. In the meantime, know that you are divinely perfect…

With Immense love and gratitude – April

A Lesson in Acceptance – My Birth Story

Throughout our lives we are often presented with situations that catch us off guard and provide great lessons. While there is truth in the fact that we create our lives and our circumstances through our choices, occasionally things happen in a way that seem beyond our control. These are the moments when we can use our perspective to accept the situation and assess the lessons that are awaiting us. Depending on the emotional attachment to the situation, this can be extremely hard to do but is critical for us to evolve and grow. I recently faced this with the birth of my daughter and believe it is one of the best lessons I have ever had regarding acceptance. I wanted to share with you in hopes that it can help anyone who is trying to accept a situation that has felt outside of their control.

For nine months my husband and I planned and trained to embrace the birth experience as naturally as possible. While I know that this isn’t the “norm” in our society today, it felt very important to me that I controlled the environment and energy that surrounded my daughter’s birth. I wanted to truly feel the whole experience. I planned a home birth with an amazing midwife, hired an extremely supporting doula, took hypnobirthing classes and did daily prenatal yoga. I was blessed with an easy pregnancy and there was no doubt in my mind that this would be a beautiful experience for my daughter.

My contractions started on a Friday night and continued at various intervals until Tuesday morning. Starting Saturday night my supportive team surrounded me as the contractions became closer together and each morning we rested as the contractions slowed down. There were many moments I felt completely relaxed, embracing the experience, and there were other moments that seemed much more challenging. The furthest my contractions were apart throughout the days were 10 minutes leaving my husband and I little sleep. Monday night was the most intense night as contractions ran into each other leaving me confident that there was an end in sight. By Tuesday morning they slowed again. I wasn’t progressing despite the many days of labor. We decided to transfer to the hospital to try an epidural, hoping that it would help my body relax enough to progress. Ironically, I progressed the most on the way to the hospital and arrived there almost ready to deliver. The epidural gave me comfort for about an hour before I began to feel the contractions again.   The hospital staff determined that it was time to start pushing and I proceeded to do so for about 2 hours with no movement. At this point, my beautiful daughter was tired and after her heartbeat started to drop so my husband and I decided that a cesarean section would be the safest option for her. My daughter was born at 1:17 pm on Tuesday completely healthy and happy.

I have replayed those days many times trying to determine what I could have done differently. I have assessed every decision, every feeling and every conversation looking for answers as to what went “wrong”. While we have tried, we can’t really determine what caused the delay in progressing in labor. Theories surround her position or my previous back injury, but we may never know. As I have thought through the experience, I have felt many different emotions. I felt like I owed my daughter more strength, more determination and more love. I had a lot of guilt that I “gave in” to the epidural and thought the problem may be that I couldn’t relax enough for a natural birth. The fact that she didn’t come in the world in the calm loving environment I planned has weighed on me and I have wondered what sort of energetic impacts there will be. When I have spoken with other moms who have had an unplanned cesarean I have seen a common theme of guilt. Depending on the circumstances leading up to the procedure, it seems everyone I have spoken to has wondered what they should have done differently, whether they were planning a natural birth or not.

While I still have moments that make me question our decisions and I am sure I still have a lot of thinking and healing to do, the conclusion I have come to is nothing went “wrong”.  As with everything, the whole experience was divine perfection and filled with many lessons that I continue to uncover. Throughout the days of labor I learned many new things about myself regarding my strength, persistence and love. I learned what I am willing to do to ensure those I love are safe as well as what it takes to ask for help and allow for recovery. I had experienced a deep level of vulnerability, something that I have always struggled with and continue to try to embrace. The connection with my husband has strengthened beyond what I could have imagined and I now have a new respect for his love and courage. We are all stronger and humbled by the experience.

Taking time to look at the situation from the perspective of learning versus understanding has allowed me to truly accept it. I may never understand why things happened exactly as they did, but I can accept the lessons that it provided and be grateful for the experience. Taking this approach with any situation that feels outside of our control allows us to own it in a way that paves the path towards acceptance. It is only when we can truly accept a situation that we can embrace the gift of healing and growth it offers, which is the largest lesson this experience gave me.

With deep gratitude…

I was recently asked if I would try a natural or home birth again and my answer is absolutely. At no point did I feel like me or by baby was at risk and everything was handled to ensure safety was the top priority. I want to thank the below individuals who were amazing support and recommend them for anyone looking .

Midwife – Jennifer Hoeprich at Moxie Midwifery – Jennifer’s support throughout my whole pregnancy was more than I could have asked for. I had 24-hour support with any question and each appointment gave me the opportunity to check in physically, emotionally and spiritually. Her approach made the whole experience of my pregnancy a sacred journey that I will always treasure. Throughout my labor she was a calm support that gave me complete comfort in the safety of my baby and me. The assistant midwives that came were also extremely supportive and made me extremely comfortable. The postpartum support she provides has been a key part of my healing and I am deeply grateful.

Doula – Lanita Ugstad at Empowering Birth Project – Aside from being an incredible prenatal yoga instructor and a great resource for ways to approach birth, Lanita was an incredible source of strength for me throughout the whole experience. Her faith in my ability to handle whatever came gave me such trust and enabled me to push through the tougher times. The many hours she spent with me were filled with unconditional service trying to keep me comfortable and support me emotionally. In addition, her support in my processing the experience has been key in me accepting how the situation unfolded.

Hypnobirthing – Kelsie Thelander at Fearless Mommas – These fantastic classes gave me great insight on what a birth experience could be like and taught me how to really trust in the body’s wisdom. Kelsie continued to be a great resource in releasing fear after the classes and truly demonstrated how much she cares for her students.

True Connection

A common theme among all people is that we crave deep and genuine connection with others.  Whether it is in a romance, with family or with friends, we deeply desire the feeling of giving and receiving love.  We spend time and effort dreaming that we will find people who understand us, love us unconditionally, and know us on every level yet still accepts us.  A beautiful aspect of the human soul is the ability to connect emotionally and energetically with others.  Embracing the common bonds of love and suffering, we can create partners on our journey through life that make everything a little bit easier.

The irony of our emotions is that this same desire to feel true connection also causes us to feel a fear of rejection.  While we crave this dreamlike genuine connection, the possibility that we will be not fully loved back causes us to put up walls that keep us from being truly seen.  We protect our hearts, judge others and focus on their flaws; keeping us from giving or receiving unconditional love.  Many of these walls come from painful moments in our lives while others are from pain we imagine could happen.  While we may not realize we do this, these walls can cause us to feel a sense of loneliness even when we aren’t alone.

The way to remove ourselves from this cycle is to fully open our hearts and be vulnerable.  Understand that the risk of letting our true selves be seen allows others to do the same, giving us an opportunity to experience genuine connection.  Starting with the understanding that we are perfection and deserve all the love we crave, we can begin seeing this perfection in others.  Removing the judgments of ourself and others provides a safe space in our relationships for everyone to be who they truly are.  The more we drop our guard, the more that love with flow throughout our lives.  Those that aren’t ready to give and receive may pull away; however there will be many who will embrace the opportunity to share this connection.  The possibility of experiencing just one relationship with true connection is worth working through the fear that may currently reside in your heart.

If you would like to begin this shift, start with opening up and sharing your deeply held desires and fears with others in your life.  Being vulnerable in ways you never have will give others in your life the opportunity to know every level of you.  Without that, they can never show you the deep, unconditional love you desire.  Keeping yourself hidden from the world isn’t serving you or others.  Allow yourself and those in your life the beautiful gift of experiencing true love and connection through vulnerability.

Give Love.

As Thanksgiving passes here in the United States we quickly transition into the season of gift buying and giving.  I was amazed how many people this year expressed they love Thanksgiving as it is a “pressure” free holiday, filled with gratitude and spending time with family versus the upcoming expectations that come from holidays that require gift giving.  While many have reflected on the paradox of holidays such as Christmas, a spiritual day that becomes wrapped up in feelings of anxiety and stress, we have yet to create a solution that makes these days more about their purpose versus the pressures of our society.  We contemplate how to make sure we get the “perfect” gift for someone, filled with fear of judgment if we get it wrong when in fact they are probably having the same fears and thoughts.  We lose the feeling of joy that comes from giving a gift, we spend more than we can afford and we lose sight of taking care of ourselves as the holiday comes closer.

The solution is fairly simple and can be described in two little words, give love.  While Givethis idea of giving love can manifest itself as a simple and thoughtful gift, spending time with each other or ensuring you demonstrate how much appreciation you have for another, if the intent is purely to give love then the fear of judgment can melt away.  Those in our lives who are as grateful for us as we are for them will appreciate any genuine attempt to give love over a “perfect” gift.  Trusting that our intent can be seen and felt, we can release the stress and enjoy the bliss that comes from expressing what we feel in our hearts.

As you determine what you will give to others this year instead of asking questions such as “What do they want?” or “How much will they spend on me?” or “How do I match what I got them last year?”, etc. simply ask yourself one question, “How do I show them how much I love and appreciate them?”.  Take note of anything that comes up, not judging it based on its material worth or how different it is from what you usually do.  As you do this, the gratitude and love you have for others will easily rise up and guide you towards new and creative ideas.  This simple shift in perspective will allow the experience to be much more enjoyable and fulfilling for you, as well as those you are giving to.

If you feel this will be an incredible shift for you and those around you, here are ways you can make it a little easier:

  • Start the trend – Tell your friends and family that you would prefer them to not buy you gifts or to give money to your favorite charity instead of buying you something.  This will help in releasing any of the pressure of what they will give you and leave you free to be as simple or extravagant as you want.  They may still chose to give but this will release expectations.
  • Set a limit – Setting a dollar limit with those closest to you can be an easy way to eliminate the stress.  The lower you go it becomes a fun game in how to be creative with little money.  For years my husband and I have set a limit of $20 or $25 and simply require that we get creative and make it meaningful.  It is my favorite gift to buy/make every year.  I also know families where everyone, including the children, only make gifts for each other and have the simple rule of not spending any money.
  • Write a letter – When you give your “gift” whether it be something you purchased, something you made, time you spend with them, or whatever comes to mind for you; give them a letter or card expressing your intent of the “gift” and your love and appreciate for them.  Most people would take a heartfelt letter as a very touching gesture and will make any discomfort you have fade away.
  • Share this post with others – Send this to your friends and family, letting them know this is how you are approaching it this year and to expect something different.  The idea that you will be spending time truly reflecting on how to give love to them may inspire them to do the same.  This will also help you not have guilt if they give you something that may have more material worth as they knew in advance that you might not be spending much money (or any money) on them.

To get your creativity flowing here are some ideas on great ways to give love:

  • A photo collage in a beautiful frame
  • A first edition of their favorite book
  • Cooking their favorite meal or giving their favorite dessert
  • For family not close buying a ticket or airline gift card to go see them or them come see you
  • A heartfelt letter or a beautiful quote expressing your love for them in a beautiful frame
  • A day filled with activities or going places that they love
  • A beautiful box filled with little cards or pieces of paper stating what you love or appreciate about them.  They can read one-a-day all year long
  • Buying them that one thing they have always wanted but would never buy for themselves
  • A basket full of items symbolizing a special day spent together or favorite things from their childhood
  • For kids buy them your favorite toy or book from childhood and share some wonderful stories with them

This year make a point to experience the beauty of giving without the stress or pressure.  Make this season a time of love and gratitude for those in your life.  Just remember; simply give love.

Accepting Change

Most of us realize that change is a natural part of life, and an inevitable one at that.  ChangeEven with that knowledge, sometimes it is hard to accept changes that are “happening to us”.  Whether good or bad, changes that feel to be outside of our control can be unnerving and give us stress or anxiety.  Regardless of big or small, we all have various levels of tolerance for change in our lives and can become frustrated by it.  While this initial reaction and be typical, how we manage through this change can make a huge impact on our health and happiness.

To work through change that we are struggling with, we must first emotionally detach from what we think is good or bad.  Often the changes in our lives that we think are “bad” propel us into a direction that will ultimately bring incredible happiness.  In fact, if you look back into your life, most changes that seemed bad at the time often brought greater gifts than we could imagine. Sometimes we lose a job and feel devastated but are then inspired to chase our dreams.  A relationship may have ended sooner than we were ready for it to, but then we find our true love shortly after.  We may have had an injury that caused great pain only to lead us down a path of understanding our bodies and taking better care of ourselves.  Regardless of how bad these things may feel in the moment, looking for the gift within them allows the change to feel much more manageable and makes us much more resilient.

In addition to not judging the changes that are coming with a label, it is also helpful to really look at what we have done to cause the change.  Even when things feel outside of our control, they often are a result of choices we have made up until that point or they are leading us towards something that we truly desire.  The key here is to not blame ourselves but see how we can learn from this experience.  The lessons that we learn from changes are always at the exact right time for our spiritual growth and we often have caused them without even realizing it.  Even the small changes in life can have a ripple effect that we don’t anticipate.  Taking time to reflect on this, even while we are in the midst of the change, will help in making it feel less frustrating.

Creating a new level of flexibility in your life to accept small changes can also be helpful in managing through the larger changes in life.  This can be done by changing your daily routines or entering into situations that may be uncomfortable for you.  Try a new food, travel to somewhere you have never been or give a new hobby a chance.  We truly grow through uncomfortable situations so creating that opportunity in your life can be greatly helpful in preparing for times with the uncomfortable comes to us.  While these things are small, they make us more comfortable with the uncomfortable, this will help us adapt to the larger changes in life.

Taking time to reflect and process the change past our initial emotional reaction is critical.  Next time there is a change coming into your life ask yourself these questions to help navigate your way to a happy acceptance:

  • What gifts will come from this change in my life?
  • What am I learning about myself through this change?
  • What choices did I make that may have lead to this change?
  • How is this change bringing me closer to what I really want?