The Excitement of Change

As I enter this new year, I am full of hope and excitement. Like I mentioned in Monday’s post, I’ve learned that leaning into the many curve balls in life, prepares you for success. It is often these unexpected changes that are, in fact, the serendipitous moments that stretch you and allow you to grow. So, why do we always seem to resist change? Partly, because it is painful. It’s painful to shed an old layer of skin. It’s like a sunburn, as we wait for a new, stronger layer to emerge. But it’s a necessary part of life. It’s the only way we can become the best version of ourselves.

I wanted to include an exerpt of one of my posts from last year. The inspiration came from an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I caught myself rewinding the last 2 minutes over and over again to hear Dr. Meredith Grey’s voiceover talk about the concept of change. I’ve included it below:

“When we say things like, ‘people don’t change’, it drives scientists crazy. Because change is literally the only constant in all of science. Energy, matter – it’s always changing……morphing……merging…….growing……dying. It’s the way people try NOT to change that is unnatural – the way we cling to what things were instead of letting them be what they are; the way we cling to old memories instead of forming new ones; the way we insist on believing, despite every scientific indication, that anything in this lifetime is permanent. Change IS constant. How we experience change……..that’s up to us. It can feel like death, or it can feel like a second chance at life. If we open our fingers, loosen our grips, go with it, it can feel like pure adrenaline. Like at any moment, we can have another chance at life…….like at any moment, we can be born all over again”.

Remember, that when we can embrace change, we have a choice to reinvent ourselves. Like, Dr. Grey says, it can feel like pure adrenaline that becomes the fuel to push us forward. When we can expect that change WILL happen, we can begin to brew some excitement at the possibilities that lie before us. We get to choose whether we resist and stay wrapped up in our comfort zone, or we can choose to fly. This year, I’m choosing to see the world from all angles and embrace the unexpected. I hope you will, too!

Advertisements

Bending One Branch at a Time

“The most rigid structures, the most impervious to change, will collapse first”.  ECKHART TOLLE, A New Earth

When I think about change, I think about a tree that, despite being rooted in the ground, has the ability to sway and bend its branches in all directions. The greater the winds and storms, the stronger those branches become.  So can all of us, if we make room for a little flexibility in our minds. 

I thought I’d end this week with a few questions for us to think about. 

  • What change(s) could you make that could potentially bring more excitement, growth, and opportunity into your life?
  • What is the last major change you made in your life?  Was it a scary?  Looking back on that change, has it been beneficial?
  • How have you handled unexpected changes in your life?  How did those experiences shape you? 
  • 

Have a great weekend!

 

7 Ways to Embrace Change

If you’ve ever resisted change in your life (I know that I have!), you’ve likely chosen to as a result of fear – fear of uncertainty.  Change is scary, even if it’s change that you’ve been seeking.  It’s even scarier when you haven’t expected it and your life is turned upside down.  There are many of us who let our fear of change trap us into a life that is unfulfilling and unhappy.   As a result, we are not really living, but rather staying tight in our buds. 

Arina Nikitina, in her blog, talks about an acronym for F.E.A.R. which really spoke to me.  It stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.  We create this “evidence” in our minds to keep ourselves from going with the flow.  We lose sight of our goals and, thus become immobile.  If you want to overcome your fears and learn to embrace change, Arina gives a few great tips.  I’ve added hers, along with some of my own from experience.

1) Stop and take a Moment

When change is unexpected, it is oftentimes traumatizing.  Take the time to breathe and nurture yourself as you process through what is going on.  Nothing has to be done right away, and actually sometimes it’s best to sit with it for a while.  That little bit of time can allow you to create an action plan for next steps.

2) Take small steps 

Create short-term goals first.  They should be attainable and specific to you.  Write them out and review them daily, so they become a part of your subconcious.  You have to be willing to create shifts from the inside before they can arrive on the outside.

 3) You are your own worst critic. 

Remember, no one judges you with the intensity that you judge yourself.  Often, you fear this false judgment as you seek approval or wonder how you will be perceived.  No matter what change is happening in your life, you have to be true to yourself.

 4) Stay positive and focused.

Envision positive changes and expect them to show up.  You must continue to do the work and be focused on the direction you want to go.   If you’re not sure, keep asking yourself until you get the answer.  It will eventually come.

5) Accept failure as part of change

Things do not always go our way. We will fail. It is not the failure that we should focus on but what we learned from the experience. Change your mindset to look at failure as an opportunity to grow and to learn.  The most successful people have used their failures as expected stepping stones to climbing their ladder.

6) Allow change to happen.

After you have done all that you can within your control, you have to surrender. Sometimes, there’s no other way but to step aside and allow things to happen.

7)  Know in your heart that change WILL move you forward.

There is a lot that is unseen, unknown, and uncertain in this world.  It doesn’t always make sense.  But in the grand scheme of your life, there’s no doubt that change will always transform you in some way.

From Caterpillar to Butterfly

If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.  ~Author Unknown

A friend of mine gave me a beautiful card last summer when I was going through some transitions in my life.  You may have read it somewhere before, as well.  It stated, “Just when the caterpillar thought its life was over, it turned into a butterfly”.  I thought it to be such a fitting analogy for life.  It got me thinking about the 4 stages, or transitions, of the life of this intricate creature from caterpillar to butterfly.  In order to eventually arrive at the stage of butterfly, the caterpillar needs to change – not just change, but it has to embrace this change.  There  is a difference.  Imagine if the caterpillar resisted the inevitable fact that its purpose IS to change.  What if it stopped eating and thus failed to expand enough to have the strength to build its cocoon?  Change was part of it’s DNA whether it liked it or not.  If it did not morph into who it was supposed to become, it would die.

As I stated in one of my earlier posts, change is truly the only constant in our lives.  Do we all struggle with change to a certain degree?  Absolutely.  But, like the caterpillar-butterfly, change WILL happen whether we want it or not.  It’s how we handle it that will determine the outcome of our lives.  It can either happen to us without our knowledge or we can actively seek it.  Either way, it happens for us.  It gives rise to opportunities that we can’t yet see.  Through the caterpillar’s struggles, it develops wings. We can also find that, through our own struggles, we will develop new skills and be engaged in a world we never thought possible. 

In our lives, we are constantly morphing and changing.  Sometimes, that process is painful, like a sunburn, as we shed our outer layers to give rise to a new a skin beneath.  This happens on a physical and mental level.  It is a necessary process that is embedded within us, allowing us to grow.  The poet, Nikki Giovanni says, “Embrace the change, no matter what it is; once you do, you can learn about the new world you’re in and take advantage of it,” she says. “You still bring to bear all your prior experience, but you’re riding on another level. It’s completely liberating.” 

Riding on another level……isn’t that the truth!  Remember, a butterfly can see the world in a way that the caterpillar never would.  By embracing change, you can, too!

Deepali’s piece of wellness:  Don’t be afraid of change.  Use it and let it steer your course.

Belief in Spirit

Every year millions of us blow out our birthday candles and make a wish.  We pray for a loved one in the hospital.  We have those visceral signs that guide us in making big life decisions.  The common denominator in those instances is that, for most of us, we believe there is a power outside of us that is accessible through hope, faith, or prayer.  Be it God, the universe, or a higher Spirit, we feel a sense of peace when we hand over many of our trials and tribulations over to something greater than ourselves.

Our spiritual wellness encompasses the deeper part of who we are – it encapsulates our core values and beliefs, our life purpose and the meaning it holds for us.  That awareness we have brings us closer to the divine “higher” power we believe will carry us through.  In essence, it lives within us.  Studies have already shown the benefits that spirituality plays in our lives.  Those that practice accessing the deeper parts of themselves and believe that the Universe/God is on their side, have been noted to have reduced stress and lower blood pressure.  I think it is definitely a contributor to our wellness quotient.

I know that lately I have attempted to access my spiritual energy and reach for guidance from the Universe.  I am having to make some big life-changing decisions and have been in a frenzy about it.  There are inevitable fears, doubts, frustration, and resistance.  I’ve been forced to ask myself some difficult questions.  Chatting with some good friends over ice cream last night, I was reminded of  my ability to choose my thoughts.  Negative thoughts often brew negative outcomes.  It’s that simple, self-fulfilling prophecy, or the Law of Attraction.  Why not be excited at the opportunity of something new and live in the light of the life ahead?  How would that change the perception of my reality?  I know that by silencing my mind, through yoga/meditation/prayer, I will be able to find the answers.  I just need to trust and take heed to the signs that will present themselves around me.  And I trust that you all will, too!  ****More on Spirit Wednesday!

Deepali’s piece of wellness:  Believe in a power greater than your physical self…..there is more to you than meets the eye!

Top 20 Letting Go Quotes

I came across a great list of quotes to live by.  I know that I will think of these as I move forward in my journey.  My hope is that they will provide you freedom and peace!

Top 20 Letting Go Quotes, as per Edward K Hoo

1. “When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell

2. “We can never turn back the pages of time, though we may wish to relive a happy moment, or say goodbye just one last time, we never can, because the sands of time continue to fall, and we can’t turn the hourglass over.” – Unknown

3. “Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.” — Herman Hesse

4. “One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us.” – Michael Cibenko

5. All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” – Havelock Ellis

6. “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” – Albert Schweitzer

7. “Change is never easy, you fight to hold on, and you fight to let go.” – The Wonder Years

8. “There’s no need to miss someone from your past- There’s a reason they didn’t make it to your future” – Unknown

9. “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” – Headstone

10. “Every exit is an entry somewhere.” –Tom Stoppard

11. “True love doesn’t have a happy ending, because true love never ends. Letting go is one way of saying I love you.” – Unknown

12. “There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.” – Unknown

13. “Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” – Ann Landers

14. “We need in love to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily–we do not need to learn it.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

15. “Every breath is an opportunity to receive and let go. I receive love and I let go of pain.” – Brenda MacIntyre

16. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu

17. “Sometimes you have to let go to see if there was anything worth holding on to.” – Anonymous

18. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

19. “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

20. “The Tao Te Ching says, When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need. Have you ever struggled to find work or love, only to find them after you have given up? This is the paradox of letting go. Let go, in order to achieve. Letting go is God’s law.” – Mary Manin Morrissey

My first post…….

Welcome to my blog!  I’m very excited to begin.  When I thought about the title I would use, I thought about what the word “wellness” meant to me.  It’s certainly the buzzword all over town these days.  Being of East Indian descent, I wanted to use a word from the ancient language of Sanskrit to describe how wellness pertains to all of us.  The word “kriya” fit.  Kriya literally means ‘the action of the soul’.  We are all on this journey to live our fullest potential – from the aspects of mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. The soul is always evolving……it is, therefore, always in motion.  In yogic terms, this starts with our breath.  The wellness kriya, to me, is the process by which we all strive to become more of who we truly are…….that perfect, authentic self that  lies deep within us.  We accomplish this by engaging and incorporating 7 actions  – the ingredients that I feel make up, what I call, our wellness quotient.  Those seven kriyas are:  Exercise the Mind & Body, Take a Risk, Feel Gratitude, Be Present, Believe in Spirit, Embrace Change, and Let Go.  Living our lives with these actions in mind will increase our wellness quotient and allow us to follow our truth.  Each week we will look closely at one of these categories.   My purpose is to empower others to believe in themselves and to provide teaching tools for unleashing their true potentials.  Let’s start peeling down the layers and get to the core!