If there’s anything you can count on in the world today, it’s change. Relationships, careers, health, finances, where you live, how we communicate – every aspect of life is subject to change and evolution. The key question is whether you can embrace change and evolve and thrive in the process.
The speed and magnitude of change in today’s world is undeniable. I know I’m dating myself here, but let me give you an example. I remember being excited about the innovation of a special “type ball” for my typewriter that allowed me to write using different fonts (one “type ball” per font, of course, so I only had two)! Now I can write with my computer, change the fonts to anything I want in a nanosecond and share my writing with thousands of people around the world in a matter of minutes.
One of my favorite authors, Neale Donald Walsh, has written a wonderful new book on this subject called When Everything Changes, Change Everything. As he observes, “You’re not going to stop change from happening simply by not making any changes yourself. All you’ll do is stop change from happening the way you want it to happen.”
Many people get stuck and resist change. Why? ….For one thing, change certainly isn’t comfortable! It is usually scary and brings up all your doubts and fears. Change requires new types of choices and decisions. Anyone who’s ended a relationship, moved to a new city or started a business knows this to be true.
So is there a way to find grace and flow in the face of change? Absolutely! Here are some strategies to help you embrace change.
1. Realize there is a Purpose to Change
One of the most powerful tools so you can master change is to realize that there is a soul’s purpose to change. In the face of change you learn to tap into strengths, internal resources and talents that you perhaps never knew that you even had. Embracing change actually serves to unleash the brilliance that is within you.
As an example, certainly going through my divorce was painful and difficult. Yet I discovered new depths of courage, creativity and love within myself as a result. The result today? I am at peace and in gratitude for that profound experience of change and have spent the past few years sharing my insights and teaching others to do the same.
Tip: As you face whatever challenge is in front of you, and know that to move through it things must change, ask yourself “What can I discover here? How can I grow?”
2. Get Off the Fence
Managing the gap from where you are now to where you want to be can be tricky. One trap people make is not committing to a decision. Should I leave this relationship or can I settle for it? Maybe my boss will appreciate me more, or maybe I should leave. Sitting on the fence of indecision inevitable creates some painful splinters.
Tip: Commit to making a decision of some kind so you can get off the fence. Articulate and decide what you want to move toward. Decide what thoughts, beliefs, relationships or choices you must leave behind in order to achieve what you want.
3. Choose to Surf
When faced with change, what kind of experience do you want to have? Some people choose to be resistant and act out by blaming others or retreating into passivity. But as Jon Kabat-Zinn said, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” Change is inevitable, but how you flow and grow with it is up to you.
Tip: Choose to work with your experience instead of resisting it. Bring your curiosity, a sense of surrender and an open mind to the transition you’re in.
In “Embracing Change, Part 2: Unleashing Your Brilliance”, I’ll share my strategies for how you can harness change to tap into your soul’s purpose and brilliance.
© 2009 Carolyn B. Ellis
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