“Change starts when someone sees the next step.” William Drayton
I have come to realise that change needs to be viewed as a positive step. One needs to choose to see life's changes as part of the process of growing and living. With growth, comes the ability to contribute to others, to life.
Growing up, I was scared of change. I felt fearful when things changed. When friendships changed, I felt guilty for letting go of them. I played by the rules and took few risks. I was deeply ensconced in my comfort zone. I was also, unbeknownst to me, not living.
Over time, once I started taking risks and living in the present rather than the past or future, I came to the realisation that life is rhythmic, it has seasons. I learnt that beginnings and endings are an integral part of life. For new beginnings, one must experience endings. Feel the pain of loss and look forward to the joy of new experiences.
As a result, I started to "let go". However, I very quickly realised that this way of living is not commonplace. I found myself joyful in myself, more settled than ever before, but still wondering what is it others were not "getting" that I had? How could I share what I had learnt with those around me, if I didn't understand it fully myself.
I still don't fully understand the change that took place in my way of viewing life, but I did learn some tools I would like to share. It has occurred to me recently that the reason I don't have words to express my learning, cos I felt the change...I lived it...this is something I have to share in action...not just in words.
Firstly, feeling the loss initially is good, it's cathartic, as long as it remains truthful. To truly feel the pain, the fear, the loss of what is no longer in your present, is all part of the healing and life process. For me, this has meant that I truly recentre myself. I get back in touch with me. It is also important to note that the minute one feels oneself wallowing in the negativity, one needs to stop. Be still and breathe...I have found that in times where I have teetered on the brink, grounding myself and realising where and who I am in that present moment is invaluable. And then I allow myself to dive over the cliff, take the risk and feel the vibrancy that is life.
Secondly, it is important to see life as a whole, as an abundant creation filled with the beauty that comes with each season. Winter, with it's bundling up against the cold and evenings next to the fire; Spring, filled with new life, blossoming new possibilities; Summer and sunshine, laughter, vibrant colours and activities and finally Autumn, filled with the warm colours of red, orange and yellow, a time to slow down. Each season brings with it change and each one is special in itself, as are the seasons of our lives.
All things are connected and symbiotically form, what is life. We are in the opportunist place to make choices without limitations. Those choices then impact the next season of our life. The second tool I use is to view the impending season, with optimism and remind myself that life is FULL of beauty and is a gift, to be enjoyed.
How then can "bad" things have a negative effect on your life? They can't...there IS always good that comes from every challenging situation, every ending, every change, every choice, every experience.
I believe every new day should be greeted with open arms and expectancy. You WILL learn new things each day, if you approach the day positively. You will be ready for the changes that are part of every day.
For me, a reknowned non-morning person...this has been a constant challenge. I learnt recently, that we actually decide what time we are getting up, when we are in our best place...at night. HOW I get up, well THAT is the morning decision. I choose now to get up smiling...I listen to the birds in the park or the rain, quietly drip dripping against the window pane...I slowly allow my body to awaken to the new day, from the tips of my toes to the top of my head... and I sing!!
What an epiphany this was for me. I am no longer, a grumpy snooze-queen...I am actually quite a cheery, sunny morning person now. Each day is an awesome gift, full of opportunities and it too is a new beginning, overnight things changed, time literally changed. The awesome wonder of a new day lies ahead.
I choose to wake up determined to be curious, to play, to laugh and smile often, to go out on a limb, trying something new, doing something ordinary in a more extraordinary way and most importantly, to keep learning and growing.
Over the past year, I have lost two of the most significant women in my life. Both were strong, beautiful, vibrant women. One of the most helpful comments made to me was: "It is now your turn to share what they taught you with others. They shared it with you, believing you are capable of carrying on their legacy." Wow!!! THAT was inspiring...and so true. Both women lived through massive changes, but both remained positive. Both retained their love of life and one of the lessons I now need to share with others is, how to appreciate every moment, how to love people deeply, the life truth that change is normal and it is good.
Change is a natural, organic process...not to be feared or viewed as "bad", but rather it should be celebrated.
I have grown from fearing change, the unknown or unlearnt lessons, to rather availing myself to the undefined, to new, good and exciting adventures.
“The key to change... is to let go of fear.” Rosanne Cash
Life needn't happen to you...you can take charge of it and make your choices, taking risks, step into the new undetermined territory. The most amazing thing about life is that we don't know the future, it's exciting to live in the present, consciously aware that change and new seasons lie ahead. I have chosen to take risks and actively look for opportunities to learn new lessons and to grow as a person and contribute what I know to be true with those around me, to live a joyful life.