Awakening to Saying Yes to "What Is"
A Journey to Positive Change
By Cindy Harpe Hively - 11 May 2012: We are living at a time and place where our comfort level, our security, the worry of "what next" is eating at our very being as women, at our very soul. I know this...I too feel this way. I asked myself why, why, why am I having these pesky mind thoughts looping in my mind. I then had to find out the answer so I could move on and replace this negativity with an open space for something good to take the new space. This is what I discovered for me and I think also for most women, we are hard wired to take on the emotions of the "what if's" and pick up the pieces when things do become difficult. We intuitively know life at times will be difficult, it is a no brainier. We also are bombarded by constant doom and gloom from all media, which even makes our thought patterns worse. Two months ago I decided to try an experiment on myself to see if my mood and vibration level would change and go up. Another words will I be happier, worry less, feel more empowered. The experiment was no television, no newspapers, no discussions about how we are all going to hell in a hand basket. The outcome to this experiment was extreme positivity. I felt wonderful, I had more time for me, I had more time to help others, I had a change of loving all beings and felt more connected with life in it's purist form.
When a recent event such as a job loss, end of a relationship, an illness or any life difficulty has shaken you to the core, what do you do? Do you embrace the road you are now on or do you resist, react, and avoid change at all costs? It’s a choice that will either paralyze you or propel you forward towards self-growth.
Being on the verge of impending change is probably one of the hardest places to be. At every fork in the road there are decisions that need to be made and questions about the outcome. The slate is blank and the only choices are to stay where you are or move forward. What choice will you make? To get to the point of life-changing transformation, we need to do the work. And change, good or bad, is painful. It is the ending of one life and a beginning of another. How you do deal with that fear of the unknown? Do you jump into the next phase of your life allowing the “what if’s” to consume your thoughts and dictate your actions? Or do you open yourself up to something different? Ask yourself how often you make unconscious decisions about your future that end up propelling you into self-sabotaging behavior? You could turn the other cheek and continue doing what you’ve always done or you could open your eyes to its gift. That gift is the opportunity you have to create a conscious, healthy and rich life (as in soul rich), the life that you really want for you, your family and all beings. It’s a life that comes out of self-growth and life-changing transformation. How do you get there?
Here are six things you can do that writer Brandy Ann Uyemura shares in the midst of uncertainty to choose differently that will ultimately change the trajectory of your life. These are so simple, familiar and yet there is difficulty, what is it? The difficulty is choosing to say yes to what is, you have to say yes to what is. That choice is what will get you through, just say "YES" to change.
1. Don't Panic
When you’re first taught how to swim, what was the first thing you learned? “Whatever you do, don’t panic!” Panic is one of the reasons people drown. It’s also the reason why you make disastrous unconscious decisions that dictate your life and why you get stuck in limbo not wanting to make a decision either way. The ocean becomes symbolic of our lives where those who survive take a deep breath and go with the tide, and others who panic are swallowed by the waves of their own fear. A way to interrupt the flow of fear is to just notice it. Refocusing your attention on your physical sensations, your heart beating, your shoulders tensing, may help to shift your mood and prevent you from doing something you might regret.
2. Don't React
So what do we do when we don’t know what to do? First, stop, take a deep breath and don’t do anything. Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author of Stillness Speaks says to “become at ease with the state of ‘not knowing’.” It is having faith and trusting what you do know in the unknown.
Knowing, for example, that the tide will recede, the vast encumbrances of our lives will pass. Sure you may not know if you’re making the right decisions, but there are no guarantees in life anyway. In all situations, there is an undercurrent of change and risk lurking just beneath the surface.
Learning to accept your situation will help you develop a sense of empowerment over the unknown. You may not know, for example, what the future holds, but being present and focusing on what you can do today, gives you control over your future decisions. In addition, trying to run, avoid, or distance yourself from fear, only transforms it into a bigger monster. Meditate, talk to friends, family or a counselor, and express yourself through art, exercise, and spirituality and in those activities, you will find the space to express not repress your emotions. Then with time, patience and self-compassion, you will eventually find acceptance in your situation.
4. Reflect on the past
Another activity is to recall times in your life when you were faced with an unknown. Then, think about how you handled the situation and how the events of your life eventually unfolded. More times than not, our worries and anxieties are unnecessary and are unfounded. Remembering these incidents will remind you that you have gone through difficult situations before and that you can do it again. Use your past experiences to bring you strength, to lift you up and to remind you what you are capable of.
5. Make conscious decisions
When fearful, our options seem limited but when we are at peace, more possibilities open up. Go over your list of what ifs again and see if you can incorporate a more balanced list of the best and worst scenarios possible. Then talk to love ones about what you would do in each situation and the choices you do have. This is the use of others that will help you see with more clarity. There may be options you overlooked and friends and family may be able to put your situation in perspective. Sometimes our greatest worries begin to dissipate once we begin expressing them. Lastly, give yourself a timeline. Create a goal for yourself and make conscious clear decisions about where you want to go in your life and when you want to do it.
6. Befriend your fears
We often perceive fears as our greatest enemy, yet they provide us with an enormous opportunity for self-growth. What if we were to see them as friends who want to help us become a better person, a person who isn’t afraid to be more of who we really are? Let your fears help you instead of hurt you by asking them, “Why are you here? What are you trying to teach me?” Then, write down what comes to you. You may be surprised by the answers.
I believe that every situation, especially the challenging ones, provides us with an opportunity to grow as the women we are meant to be, if we let it. Not grow as women that we think everyone else thinks we should be. At the surface, change and the unknown, a seemingly daunting duo are actually disguises for two loving teachers who really want us to transform into the strong, authentic and powerful women we already are. The sooner we’re able to get that, the sooner
we will truly live with freedom and grace in the life we have chosen and that has been so beautifully gifted to us. All of us experience change in our lives. Change is the one constant in our lives. There are changes that we look forward to and change that we fear. However, one thing is for sure. Things will not stay the same no matter how much we would like them too. When a life change occurs, we have two choices in how to respond. We can despair that a change has come and assume that things will be worse, or we can look with excitement at the new possibilities that the change presents.
Letting go and holding on
Author: Martha Turner
Oh how I love life,
walking outside in spring and summer
and smelling the honeysuckle floating on the warm breeze.
Couples walking hand and hand,
smiles of happiness from being in love
owners walking their dogs,
kids laughing and playing,
birds chirping and singing all day long
each and everyday the world continues on.
I get tired of it's confusion
tired of the pain.
I'm tired of the emptiness from hearts I've parted from.
Tired of wishing for more but not knowing which way to turn
and sometimes too scared to look back.
To let go completely of yesterday,
and grasp a hold on the hope of tomorrow.
A hope that if tomorrow gets here, it won't be like yesterday.
Yesterday's holding on to the hope of a lost love
yesterday's disappointments of the same ol' routine
yesterday's wishing bills didn't exist
so there wouldn't be any living from check to check.
Yesterday's empty dreams of a fairy tail ending,
Wanting an end to all my struggling.
OH... holding onto the hope of tomorrow...
A tomorrow filled with pure happiness
knowing that this direction on the path is the one and only way...
A tomorrow filled with the reassurance that your headed for better days.
A tomorrow with a love that was sent to you from the heaven above that will only grow deeper and deeper as time goes by to last forever.
A tomorrow that will complete and fulfill yesterdays wants and dreams.
A tomorrow that will conquer all my hardships and troubles.
I grasp the thought of what wonderfulness tomorrow could bring.
Cindy Harpe Hively