Whether you consider it to be good or bad, positive or negative, all change is simply a message from the universe
, directing you toward a more aligned path and inviting you to change course or begin anew. Change-resistance occurs when a person resists or fights against change in their life—sometimes literally, sometimes philosophically—because they perceive it as a threat. Otherwise known as fight or flight, this type of response is not entirely illogical
. After all, change forces us into the unknown. It can be unexpected or unwanted, transforming our relationships, emotions or circumstances in a way that can fundamentally alter our sense of security or even our sense of self. In a word, change is scary. Change represents a lack of stability. Big life changes in particular can shock the body, re-pattern our mindset and alter the way we respond to stimuli. When our mind is in a state of shock, we are unable to see situations clearly and may not make the healthiest or most productive choices as a result. And if you are chronically resistant to it, then any change, positive or negative, can lead to sadness, anger, depression, substance abuse or other isolating behaviors. That’s why it is critical to recognize patterns of change-resistance in yourself and work to transform them.
Sound like you? Check out the three steps listed below to helping you better invite change into your life and grow in resilience, truth and strength.
1. Begin to notice all of the change you already experience every day, without even realizing it.
Every day your body loses cells—hair, skin, nails—and grows new ones. And everyone around you does too. Every morning the view outside your window is slightly different than it was the day before. Perhaps there are fewer leaves on the trees or perhaps your neighbor trimmed their hedge. Every day the sun will be in a different place in the sky than it was the day before. Almost imperceptible to the naked eye, it inches along hour by hour, season by season. It will rise in the east in the morning and set in the west at night. It will be lower in the sky in the winter and higher in the sky in the summer. Maybe some days it shines brightly with all its might. Maybe other days it’s covered by cloud.
Notice how some days your coffee tastes stronger and other days your coffee tastes weaker, depending on which coffee shop you went to on your way to work or which barista was behind the espresso machine. How does that affect your day? How does your day seem to go when your coffee tastes just right? Maybe you encounter lighter or heavier traffic than usual on your morning commute. Maybe you are forced to take a detour. How many times would you have to take that route for it to become familiar? How many times would you have to take that route for it to no longer feel like a change?
While you may not love all of these small, subtle changes, chances are they won’t send you into a total tailspin. Life has a natural rhythm of change to it and in many ways, your body already knows and accepts change as a constant. It may even depend on it. Without even realizing it, you are probably already accustomed to tolerating small changes to routine throughout your day or your year because subconsciously you know change is a natural part of life. The key is in learning how to encounter life’s big changes with the same tolerance you do the small ones.
2. Make a daily list of new changes you encounter. Or start a “Change Journal.”
For each change that you record, ask yourself: Why did I respond to this particular change in that way? Did my response serve my ultimate well-being or did it make my experience worse? How do I wish I had responded? What do I need to work on so that I can respond differently next time? Try to tune into where these small changes seem to be leading you. Once you’re comfortable noticing the smaller changes in your life, start to tap into the bigger ones as well. Be prepared to accept that some changes you may feel more excited about than others.
3. Break your experience down into manageable categories like daily, weekly and yearly change.
In our life sometimes we receive change and sometimes we get to make change. Begin to think about what changes you want to actively make in your life based on these timelines. While change may feel uncomfortable at first, you will know you are moving in the right direction when you feel more motivated, valued, empowered, productive and confident in your decision making. Trust in the universe and where it is guiding you, even if it’s not obvious to you right away. You will feel like you are moving closer to your goals and dreams when you are operating from a place of worthiness and light.
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