Hi Readers! I never got around to sending this newsletter out due to a lack of time and too much responsibility in the fall, but am happy to share my thoughts and experiences with you now, even if a bit behind schedule. I have truly learned a lot from these past six months, and although challenging, I am actually happy to have been through such an obstacle course, as it has taught me many needed lessons, and given me a new sense of hope and faith in the universe. And now I share these with you…
Well, I don’t know about you, but it has been a busy, stressful, and hard-working summer for me. I have been focused on accomplishing goals and problem solving barriers to achievement, and cannot believe that we are already midway through September as I am just feeling able to stop in the midst of my chaos and peek out at the world around me! What a relief!
Looking back at the process I went through this summer and into fall (both physically and emotionally) I can say I have learned a lot about myself, how I cope with things, and what I need to be mindful of moving forward. This summer provided experiences of stress and frustration that forced me to look at my perspective on life, my expectations, as well as my level of acceptance, and to realize that what we experience emotionally effects everything and is rooted in our thinking. While this may not be a new idea to you readers, I wonder how many of you have actually been through an experience that affords you this wisdom?
In facing my emotions (including my resistance about something I DID NOT want to do but ultimately needed to do) I was taken through a process that forced me to truly challenge myself to let go of my expectations and find new ways to deal with frustrations and limitations in life. I realized that I was clinging to a desire to control things, so as to feel safe, secure and “responsible”, but was allowing this need for safety to keep me in a situation that I was unhappy with. Then of course (either ironically or appropriately depending on your view) the things that were contributing to my feelings of control and predictability started to waiver too and I found myself having to adjust (both my plan for the future as well as my goals in the present) in order to accept my lack of control and to follow the path I needed to take to arrive at my intended destination.
Admitting and then doing something I did not want to do was extremely hard for me. I have never liked having to do anything, and have often throughout life rebelled against such “requirements” or “rules” (and everything really, but that’s a story for another day). I do not like when others tell me what to do or how to do things, and being in a situation where I was forced to do something that goes against what I believe in (fairness) I had no other choice but to confront my emotions, and work through the overwhelming sadness that arose in reaction to having to do this unfair thing.
I had been taking particularly good care of myself through eating and exercising, and immediately stopped doing these things consistently (or at all really) once the emotional distress arose. I spent a lot of time trying to find ways to get out of taking the necessary steps, as well as denying the requirements, until I was faced with having to either commit to taking action (and allowing my pride to be injured) or refusing to act (protecting my ego, but causing myself a major delay in the accomplishment of this crucial goal). Logically I knew that I needed to let my emotions go, and get out of my own way, but emotionally this was quite a struggle.
In this struggle I learned something important that I knew but could not quite achieve insight around: Sometimes we have to do something, but we can be creative in how we do it. I realized that creativity is not always about working outside of the box, but finding flexibility inside of the box. That it isn’t what we do, but how we do it. Once I accepted having to do this thing I did not want to do, then I was able to work out how to do it in a way that actually does work for me, and changes the meaning of having to take this action. When we can see where we can make a situation work for us, then we can resist it less and increase our satisfaction in having to make such an effort. I initially did attempt to think positively about the situation, but being able to sort the details out so that my life was not extremely altered, and having awareness of opportunities for progress and positivity, changed my whole perspective, and allowed for additional rewards to come my way.
This required action has in many ways led to the positive change I was seeking, just not in the form I was expecting it to arrive in. And while this was a summer of stress, as the seasons change and I settle into my new routine (reflecting these required steps) I am aware that life feels calmer, I feel happier, and the adjustment period is slowly turning into a sense of satisfaction with how these changes have positively impacted my life although I initially resisted them. I now know within myself that the hardest things are the ones worth addressing, expressing, and facing, for in healing them we achieve a wealth of rewards. The change we resist can be the best thing for us, and can be the change we desire.
Within the past month things have totally changed in certain areas of my life and while I was not ready for these changes, I am so thankful that I was open to allowing change into my life, as I feel my balance slowly coming back. The fall always feels like a time of change and new beginning for me. With the New Moon, Labor Day, and Rosh Hashana in the early weeks of the month, September has felt like a new beginning for me. A new year with a fresh mind, fresh emotions, and open perspective. I am aware that the challenges of the summer have opened me up to experiencing change without fear, but rather with a sense of possibility and un-attachment, since control is an illusion anyways. I sense that changes are going on in the lives of others all around me, and although these do bring adjustments and discomforts, I hope that you are all embracing the needed changes in your lives, whether or not you accept them. Change is one constant that we can rely upon, so it is key that we can make it our friend instead of our enemy, as we travel along life’s path.