For so much of my life I remember looking forward to New Year’s Eve. It was the day to reflect and celebrate that I’d made it through another year of life. I looked at New Year’s Day as a chance to start over. What I know now is that all those symbolic events actually occur every day. We don’t need to wait for a holiday anymore than we have to wait for someone or something to “make” us happy. Yes it’s true that there are circumstances beyond our control. It is however our attitude about those circumstances that we have control over. When we stop to realize that our happiness and our misery are all self-created then we realize that every moment is a new opportunity. This New Year… If you want to make a resolution… make the resolution to become acutely aware of the power you have… every moment.
Celebrate the Process of Change
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but we rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” –Maya Angelou
Change is the constant companion of life. Some changes result in major transformations while many of our changes are minor. It is important to recognize that change of every type is a source of stress. Even exciting new beginnings create stress responses in the body. With this knowledge, it is advantageous to learn how to embrace the steps of change. Learning to make transitions smoothly reduces stress. Resisting and fighting change magnifies stress. The choice is ours.
Some changes are planned and desired, such as weddings, graduations, promotions, retirement, and so forth. What many of us overlook is that these new beginnings are also endings. One way of life is ending so a new way of life may begin. All beginnings mark the end of something. Even changing a habit requires that something must end.
There are endings that we don’t desire, for example, being fired from a job, loss of our health, loss of a home, the death of a loved one, and so on. Although it may be challenging to see in the moment, these endings mark new beginnings—a new way of life. Every change, large or small, includes an ending as something new begins.
I gained in depth knowledge regarding the process of transformation while serving as a certified hypnotherapist. There are three primary components involved in transformation; they are: what is ending, what is beginning, and the adjustment to the change. The challenge in managing transition is that all of these phases are occurring simultaneously. In most cases, you don’t have the luxury of handling one step at a time. In successful transformation, there is a dance moving us from one foot to another. Loss, adjustment, and new beginnings are interwoven.
Here are a few pointers that may help you move through changes in your life. First, recognize what is ending and do your best to honor the loss. This process may be long when the loss involves death or other significant life changes. Grief is a process that requires awareness, and it includes more than one phase. Realize that we grieve losses of many types. For example, welcoming the first child into the family is a joyous occasion. However, the couple loses the pleasure of focusing exclusively on each other. Even though the baby is welcome, the couple must adjust to changes in their relationship.
Second, allow time for mental and emotional adjustment to change. This adjustment period may be uncomfortable, and it could appear unproductive. For an unknown amount of time, depending upon circumstances, you are redefining, or perhaps even reinventing your identity. Consider the transition that occurs upon graduation. Your identity as a student suddenly ends, and the new lifestyle of career building begins. While you were a student, you developed a familiar routine around your identity. When school ends, a significant identity transition occurs. For a brief time, you may struggle to find yourself and develop new routines.
Whether the transition you are making is major or minor, be gentle with yourself as you move through the adjustment phase. The renovation period is often a time of insecurity. Sometimes we want to go back to the way things were before the change. If we didn’t initiate the change, we may feel angry and defiant. We might deny the need for the change. We might feel disconnected from others or ourselves. The good news is that this phase will pass. One tool that helps us through our momentary instability is to recognize the power inherent in renewal. Ask yourself, who am I in the present? Who do I want to be? Then, breathe deeply and remember that change serves us in many ways.
Next, remember what is beginning. Every ending and every change marks a fresh start. Find the creativity and inspiration present in each transformation. Feel the joy and excitement of change. This phase of transformation is a healthy celebration of what is arriving. Planned and unexpected transformations offer the opportunity for extraordinary growth. Remember that every moment offers the chance for a new beginning. To foster the creative spirit within, remind yourself that my life begins today.
In conclusion: change happens, adjustment takes time, resistance is stressful, and acceptance is helpful. In the face of major change, accept that you have closed a chapter of your story, or even a book, and you are starting fresh. Above all, be as mindful as possible in each phase of the transition dance. Be like the caterpillar: The process of transformation brings forth your untold beauty.
Easy Does It
I simply adore the concept of the New Year. Just the idea of it brings hope, happiness and the promise of a new day. I used to be the queen of New Year’s resolutions. I was adept at creating lofty goals for myself. I was going to lose 50 pounds (overnight); I was going to be more fun to be around; I was going to stop being so introspective and just enjoy life. I would resolve to be thin, smarter and have more money. I would imagine creating ways of living that were so far away from where I was.
I now realize that if I was successful in achieving my New Year’s resolutions it meant that I would be someone else. I wouldn’t be myself. None of my resolutions incorporated the idea of honoring or accepting who I was.
I suppose it is common for many of us to want to be someone other than ourselves, and there’s certainly no better time to start than at the dawn of a new year. Yet, once I healed for real, something unexpected happened – I didn’t want to be anyone other than myself. It was delightful! And when it happened, I discovered that my resolutions gently and effortlessly evolved to be simpler and more attainable. I gained the ability to create a tangible plan of action to achieve my goal rather than simply thinking with self-sabotaging broad strokes in the hopes of achieving an unattainable goal.
Take a good look at your goal for this year. Does your goal allow you to embrace who you are right now? Does your proposed improvement feel like a warm and nurturing blanket around you? Is your goal manageable? Will your improvements or refinements be in alignment with accepting yourself? Are you willing to be gentle with yourself as you incorporate a new habit or two?
The beauty of looking at your goal from these points of view allows you to get a real good glimpse of the state of your personal union. And when you assess, simply observe it without judgment. Your observation might be something like, “Ah, I’m feeling really jazzed about it and can already imagine my cool and adventurous journey to get there.” Or, it could be similar to this, “I am kind of agitated about it because I want it RIGHT NOW!”
Either way you understand where you are in your relationship with yourself. If you find that there’s something you believe is truly lacking, imagine yourself already having it … a lot of it. Allow yourself to feel energized. Pretend that all you think having that thing in your life will bring you is already present. Your ability to imagine it, to understand it, to know it and to feel it is in your power, here and now. By shifting your resonance, here and now, you allow yourself to achieve that feeling, now.
When you are feeling jazzed and excited about your goal, easy does it. Be patient. You can manifest your goal by doing something in support of it just today, then to your “just today” on the next day, and on the following day. Staying present and doing your best “just today” gives you the ability to take nice, easy and gliding steps in achieving what you want. It honors and supports you. The adage to under-promise and over-deliver can be such a wonderful gift to give to yourself.
Beginning anew is inherent within us and is reflected so beautifully in our world. With our renewing cycle of night following day following night, we are gifted with the opportunity to begin anew at any time. When you decide, truly decide, to begin anew and take one lovely bite-sized step just today, you can find yourself effortlessly and lovingly manifesting what you desire. Any day can be the beginning of your new year, with all of the hope, happiness and promise that it brings.
First I would like to extend a warm and Happy New Year to everyone. I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season.
Some of us in the northern hemisphere are going to be donning coats and gloves for a few more months, while others get to bask in the warmth of the sun.
No matter where you are, it is a time for renewal. What a perfect time to look forward and create even more health and wellness for 2014.
Ask yourself, “How much more can I improve my health? How fit can I become? What would I really like to achieve this year?”
It is good to remind ourselves that no matter what we have or have not done in the past, it has no bearing on what we do from this moment forward.
Why not dream big? What is it you want to create?
If you are stuck for an answer, try this: Ask yourself “How would it feel to be really healthy? How would it feel to be really happy? How would it feel to have an overwhelming sense of wellbeing?”
Before you ask these questions, quiet yourself down and close your eyes. Then ask the question(s). Give yourself time to feel what it would be like to feel healthy, happy, well.
Most folks start the New Year with best intentions but no true connection to what they want to create.
We see it every January when the gyms are full of people who are dieting, working out, and putting all that effort into what? Getting healthy?
But you see, most, if not all, have no idea what that really means for them, or better said, they have no idea what that is supposed to feel like.
When you go within and begin to feel what it would be like to be healthy and happy, your subconscious will effortlessly respond. It already knows, even if you have never felt it yourself. This may seem ridiculous, but in fact you are tapping into your higher self which knows no limitation.
Let go of the resistance and fear of what is possible for you. You can be healthy and happy.
Our bodies are designed to heal themselves and be vibrant. They do the best they can, but you have to help by integrating just a few simple steps as part of your lifestyle.
It is so easy that most folks ignore them and think they have to beat themselves up on a treadmill or lift heavy weights.
I would suggest putting down all the fitness magazines with photos of fitness models doing exercises. Also stop trying the next-best diet. Stop listening to people at the gym, and for goodness sake, stop listening to infomercials.
Here are the six fundamental factors to health and wellness. They may seem familiar. Well, if they do that’s because I have given them to you in previous articles. The question is: Have you been listening and integrating them into your life?
Are you ready? Let’s start a new year.
- Happy thoughts! – You must focus on bringing joy into your life. Contemplate what makes you happy. Let go of thoughts that cause pain, fear, anxiety, and drag you down.
- Breathe – Proper breathing heals. You’re doing it anyway, so why not do it right? Look into diaphragmatic breathing.
- Hydration – Drink water! Half your body weight in ounces everyday is a start, more is better. Nothing else replaces water. Not coffee, not tea, not SODA, or fruit juices.
- Nutrition – Only whole foods. Please, if you are not sure of this, visit my blogs.
- Sleep – Do not skimp on sleep. That is when your body heals and recovers from all you put it through.
- Movement – Your bodies are meant to move. Go easy at first and pay attention to posture and form of the exercise. If you are a beginner, hire a qualified trainer.
So what is your new life for 2014 going to be? It is up to you to decide and then step forward into it.
Everything you’ve done in the past is in the past. No need to do them again.
How about a new you, a fresh you.
I am here to help.
I wish for all of you Vibrant Health!