“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer
It has been a month of change. Majorly cleaning out my personal possessions (I think I have gotten rid of close to 60% of what I own). Selling my house. Moving into a temporary situation since my new place is still under construction. Living out of boxes – some things with me and others in a storage unit. Developing a new routine. Adjusting to a new commute. Truly the only constant in my life at the moment seems to be change.
In a perfect world the construction would be done, I’d move into my new space and be able to set everything up right away and only needing to develop a new routine one time. But that’s not how real life works, is it? No, there are always bumps in the road, unforeseen twists and turns, and some challenges that make things all the more interesting. It could be frustrating. It could be stressful. It could be enough to make me rethink my decision. Except it’s not…because I have made the choice not to allow it to be any of those things. Oh, I have had my moments when I have gotten close to feeling stressed or frustrated, but I have worked hard to catch myself before things spiraled to that point of no return.
When I work with people inevitably we spend a lot of time on the choices they make surrounding how they respond to things that happen in their lives. Simply put, it is a practice and it requires you to be present in each moment so you can notice how you are choosing to react/respond. The same event can take place in your life yet you can choose to respond to it in any of a number of ways. The choice is yours. I recommend to the people I work with that they choose a response that elicits the feeling(s) they desire to have in that situation. If you don’t like feeling stressed or frustrated, then choose a response to the situation that won’t make you feel that way. Yes, that can be easier said than done…that’s why it is a practice. If your attempt to choose your response didn’t work out the way you planned this time, then next time you can try again. You will notice over time, if you truly are trying to be mindful and notice your choices, that you get better with each passing choice you make. You will never be perfect…we are human, so perfect isn’t in our DNA, but you can get better with each new opportunity.
“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” – Nathaniel Branden
And so I have taken my fair share of deep breaths through all these changes which allows me a chance to reflect on how I want to feel and respond accordingly as things transpire…especially the things that are not happening as I might have preferred for them to have. Ultimately I try to keep it everything in perspective. I like things neat, orderly, and in their place – which is exactly why the universe is giving me a healthy dose of the opposite. It’s a chance to learn and grow – to practice making better choices in my responses to what life is throwing at me.
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass