My life has been ridden by major, at time joyous, at times catastrophic, changes. In search for meaning and growth, I have either fled unhealthy situations and/or pursued joyful environments and situations regardless of the past. Either way, my modus operandi has been that of revamping my whole existence time and again whenever necessary.
When these kinds of changes occur, whether we are the ones initiating them or not, our whole system goes into shock. Since man is a habitual creature, when his environment is disrupted his Survivor Self goes into frenzy. Loud bells go off everywhere, and pretty soon his head is filled with anxious thoughts, his body stiffens and his spirit is… well, crushed by it all.
During these times everything becomes confused, scary and nebulous. Feelings and thoughts from similar past experiences want to take over, and we have to fight hard to distinguish which feelings belong to what and utilize our most-recently acquired wisdom.
In an attempt to help us navigate through changes with integrity, I’d like to offer the following guidelines:
We are made of Body, Mind and Spirit, but rarely do we keep all three in balance. When stressed out keeping a balance can be hard, but it becomes essential that we try, as follows:
– Body: the body is the portal to feelings. When we move our bodies we feel, we connect to our passionate Self, we discharge accumulated energy.
Suggestions: Embrace disciplines like yoga, hikes in nature dancing, or anything that will give you joy, calm your anxiety and help you feel enlivened.
– Mind: our minds are most treacherous because they take us where we would not consciously care to go. Before we know it, we are transported to far away lands, populated by monsters and scary scenarios. Cliché as it may sound, calming our minds is paramount to everything else, especially during changes.
Suggestions: Read my Blog on morning routines for centering practices, meditate as much as you can, even with your eyes open while waiting in line a the grocery store (the simplest technique is to breath long, deep breaths while mentally reciting a simple mantra like Aum several times), take long hikes in nature until no thoughts come to you anymore. You will feel a peace which will supersede everything else and will carry you for several hours.
– Spirit: Spirit is the part of us that is immortal and travels through several life times (if you believe in reincarnation as I do). Your Spirit is your Soul, and it is connected at all times with the Divine, the Universe, God. Our Spirit needs to be aligned with the principles of Love and Light, as all the spiritual and religious disciplines teach us that God, any God, is Love and Light. If we implement this basic principle, we will feel light-hearted (no pun intended) and blessed even while traversing the rough waters of major events and changes.
Suggestions: be kind compassionate and kind towards yourself and others. Keep positive thoughts at all costs, and train yourself to act sincerely, speak with integrity, and never judging yours or others’ actions.
In our fast moving, all-consuming society we do way too much. We whip ourselves into shape by dictating endless lists of things to do on a daily basis, and we feel guilty if we don’t accomplish them all.
While this is not entirely our fault, rather a consequence of a patriarchal, intellect-based culture, we need to remember that during changes it is vital to slow down. Our emotions need an outlet and space to exist, our whole Being needs to rest more and be self-loving and compassionate.
Make a list of what you’d normally want to achieve in one day, then cut it in half and stick to this shorter list no matter what.
TAKE IT ONE STEP AT A TIME
In extreme cases we may feel like we are barely surviving. Sheer panic may even choke and/or immobilize us, and we may fall pray to illnesses and/or blindly act out our fears.
It is in these times that we need to call upon our Wise Self to comfort the little person we have inside of us, and be disciplined, even if fragmented and disassociated. Since our minds can and will function independently from the rest of ourselves, we can and should appeal to our minds to remind us of what we need to do to love ourselves, including simple tasks like brushing our teeth. The important part is that we take it one step at a time and congratulate ourselves for having achieved even the smallest task.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SUPPORT AND LOVE
Most important is to gather support from friends and family. Stay away from people who drain your energy or speak ill of everything and everyone (caution: there are people who say all the right things yet, upon leaving them, we feel drained and less happy than before. These individuals carry negative energy, which is hard to detect because it is not matched by their verbal clues and/or behavior). Hire a therapist if you can afford it.
No one said it was easy, but the journey to Wholeness is well worth it.
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