The only thing constant is change.” ~Heraclitus
When change strikes, the tendency to play victim is compelling. After all, we can rationalize, “I did nothing to bring this about…” But, the victim role drains our energy as we fixate on past circumstances and stay stuck in a woe is me energy pattern. An empowered response accepts that we did play a role in bringing this about – consciously or unconsciously. By setting intentions and holding a vision strongly in our mind’s eye, the Universe begins to set things in motion, very much conspiring on our behalf.
We resist change and cling to what is gone because what is gone was comfortable at some level. We knew what to expect…maybe we thought things couldn’t get better (especially not like this!)…or we believed that our current path must be the best one. Yet, by accepting and rolling with change, we can free ourselves from the useless energy expended in clinging to the past. We set ourselves free to explore and align with what lies ahead under this new set of parameters.
All the buried seeds crack open in the dark the instant they surrender to a process they cannot see.” ~Mark Nepo
Seeking the concrete and static, we become concrete and static…that is, in our growth potential and our vision. We allow ourselves to be weighed down by the fears and insecurities behind our clinging for control of the uncontrollable. When we show an eagerness to roll with the punches, a confidence that our skillset is strong, adaptive, and flexible, and a vision to see the silver lining in our changing circumstances, the Universe goes to divine bat for us.
Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.” ~Frank Herbert
When I was nearing the end of business school, I was tossing around the idea of pursuing a PhD and a career in academia. On my list of pros & cons, I had written down stability and job security as key “pros”. I expected my advisor, herself a tenured professor at a prestigious university, to nod her head emphatically and welcome me with open arms to “her world”. Instead, she shook her head and said,
Sarah, it doesn’t work that way. No matter which line of work you pursue, you will need to constantly evolve to stay on the top of your game.” ~Professor Olivia Mitchell
In other words, no profession would grant me a magical passage to easy street where I could simply relax and work on autopilot. Nor would I want it to… As uncomfortable as change can be, we all need that proverbial kick in the rear to accept personal responsibility, to keep reinventing ourselves, and to continue to grow.
If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.” ~Paulo Coelho
Change can feel disruptive, unexpected, and unnerving…or it can feel liberating, transformative, and exciting beyond our wildest dreams. It’s a decision only we can make…as life unfolds right in front of us.
Whether the reality of change is a source of freedom for us or a source of horrific anxiety makes a significant difference.” ~Pema Chodron
Day One: CHANGE at the densest level.
We stand in awe when we see a martial artist chop a wooden block with his bare hand because any change to the physical nature of something takes deliberate mental focus and an unwavering belief. The saying, “abs are made in the kitchen” is true in the sense that what happens “in the kitchen” results from all the little choices we make throughout the day, week, and year. When our commitment and self-love dips, so does our willPower. But, if we realize “the statue already exists within the marble”, we can stay loving to ourselves while removing the excess marble…
I saw the angel in the marble and I chiseled until I set it free.” ~Michelangelo
Changing our bodies is inherently difficult because we are changing something at the densest energy level. Dig deeper in your self-awareness to respond to the signals in your changing body, appetite, and energy levels, without getting caught up in the what-used-to-be’s or the uncomfortable extremes of craving and aversion.
Day Two: CHANGE the intention.
When we engage in any type of change mission, we are looking to “birth” something out of unconditional love. We can birth it the other way – out of self-hatred, shame, or for external validation, but that backfires as we end up giving away our power and self-worth in the process.
When motivation or intention is externally-focused, changes stay up near the surface. Underneath, we find layers of pain, insecurity, and fear buried, and these layers expose us to self-sabotage and reversion to old destructive patterns.
Day Three: CHANGE the attitude.
If it doesn’t come from within you, it will go without you.
If we infuse our personal journeys with a “yeah, but ____” mentality, we dilute our focus and provide an easy scapegoat to aim low. Alternatively, we can open our eyes to how our unique circumstances will help us succeed in a way that we’ve never been able to succeed before.
Work to keep your “Yeah, but ____” thoughts from drifting off to self-diminishing conclusions of hardship and subpar outcomes. Finish the thought instead by affirming to yourself “so I can know how to manifest this out of unconditional love.”
Day Four: Embrace the CHANGE.
“Love thy neighbor. Ignore thy neighbor.” ~Barre3
Self-love isn’t about seeing yourself as better than anyone else or proving to the world you’re smarter, more beautiful, wealthier, stronger…or in any other way more worthy of love and admiration. This is about loving all your parts so you don’t need any of that…and so you can invite others to do the same.
New boss at work? New colleague…new management or directional shift in something you’re doing? How can you mesh with this change to bring out your best?
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
Day Five: CHANGE your perception.
So much of our lives relate to our perception. Where you see tragedy, another may see opportunity. Where you see suffering, another may see hope. Don’t underestimate the impact your perception has on your reality.
A miracle is just a shift in perception.” ~Marianne Williamson
Day Six: Speak CHANGE.
Change cultivates our aliveness, enhances our vitality, and summons our intuition. I always write more when I am traveling, which reminds me I should change scenery more often. We all should. Endure the hassle, the inconvenience, and the expense of change when you can. Away from familiar territory is where we have the opportunity to change the most. So, step out. Step up. Create change around you, about you…and, most especially, over you. Change is in the air…especially when you change the air.
Day Seven: Foster CHANGE.
Change brings challenge and uncertainty, but also an air of anticipation and excitement — a welcome and different energy altogether. What can you change in your mind or in your world to further your dreams and desires?