We do not always actively choose change. Sometimes forces beyond our control inflict change upon us and we are required to rise and meet it.
As I sit here curled up in the early morning sun, with a steaming cup of cardamom tea in hand, I find myself curiously reflecting on how I came to be HERE, in this exact space, at this time in my life. My mind is busy traversing all the twists and turns that my 49.9 years of life have made in order to arrive at this exact destination in time. It’s difficult to contemplate the enormity of it all; life the ever-changing landscape that we call home.
It’s a curious thing to look back and wonder what life might have looked like had you chosen another path or stayed the course of an outgrown one. It’s curious to think that you may not have become the “you” you know yourself to be now. If anyone had asked my 15yr old self, a farm girl from the Midwest, if living and working in Europe and Asia was part of my future plans I would have laughed. At 23, on my wedding day, if anyone would have suggested that 2 years later, almost to the day, I would walk away and begin a new journey I would have thought them crazy. But here I am.
The one thing life has taught me is that change is a guarantee; it is the one true constant. It is dependable and inevitable. You can always bet on change and come out a winner; and with good reason. Change is the catalyst required to meet your truest, highest self on the deepest level.
In the grand design of life, change is what keeps us aligned and in sync with our highest potential. It nudges, encourages, and if all else fails, it forces growth. Without it we would settle comfortably into a life lived on autopilot and thereby miss the very essence of our existence. Change is a necessary component in our being’s evolution. Change is the perfect avenue for our “inner” higher self to tweak, align, and find harmony with the current “outer” version of oneself. Change shows us what we need to overcome, let go, or learn from. Change is often the subconscious messenger sent by our higher self to push us from our comfort zone and make us level up. Change is the secret ingredient to living the truest version of our life.
That said, not all change is welcomed with open arms. We do not always actively choose change. Sometimes forces beyond our control inflict change upon us and we are required to rise and meet it. We have no other choice. When I find myself in this situation I rely on a few conscious practices to help me navigate the uncertain path ahead.
Ask “What’s the worst that can happen?”
We are often unnerved by change because we are uncertain of the unknown. A good way to deal with the unknown is to imagine all of the possible outcomes and decide what would be the best- and worst-case scenarios. Write them down. Remind yourself of other times you handled change, after all, you have survived 100% of your worst days. This will be no different.
Ask yourself how much you can control
When unexpected change occurs it’s important to figure out how much control over the situation you really have. You may be surprised. Understanding where you are and what you can control will help you put things in perspective. To-do lists are a great way to ease your mind and help you feel more in control of the situation. Remember that you always have the power to control how you will approach the situation and the attitude you choose to have about it.
Accept and reframe
If the unwanted change is beyond your control, take a reflective approach. Accept that things are beyond your control and get comfortable with that fact. This will bring greater peace of mind. Choose to view this as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than as a setback. Even though this can be a tough task, focusing on the positives can help you manage change. Practice “fake it til you make it." Journaling will be a great ally in helping you note the positives.
Take an active approach. Once you have determined what you can control and have accepted the situation you can now use problem- solving or set small goals to proactively address the challenges. Focusing on the problem at hand, developing a plan of action, and seeking advice are useful strategies to help you move forward. Taking even small steps will give you confidence and help you feel more in control of the outcome.
Manage your stress
This is crucial. Practicing mindfulness, meditating, and proper self-care will go a long way in improving your ability to handle the stress of change. It goes without saying that a healthy diet and regular exercise are important aspects of managing stress. The better you feel, the easier it is to handle the unexpected things life throws at you.
Remember YOU are loved. It is normal to feel overwhelmed with change. Reach out to friends and family for support and positive encouragement. I would caution against repetitive pity parties, an occasional one here or there can be therapeutic, but remember that positive energy goes a lot further in helping you better manage the situation. Seeking professional help is also a great option. Remind yourself that you are not alone and be open to receive help.
Bob Goff wrote “Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have titles until much later.” Whether we welcome it or not, change shapes us; molds us over time into intricately divine, wise, beautiful, purer versions of our highest selves. It makes our journey mysterious, chaotic, and intriguing. Change is the quintessence of life.