21 July 2015

The Middle Passage - Answering the Call

It was one of those months where people show up in your life because the encounter is supposed to happen. Some may say it's hocus pocus but I happen to believe that there is so much about life we do not understand.

As a woman who has questioned her sanity a time or two, heard the call for change, took the leap and got a toehold on the other side, I love looking back to holler at the sisters and brothers who are faced with what James Hollis refers to as the middle passage. Change can be so frightening but the reality is, it can also be rather fantastic.

Here's a few tips I learned on the journey and we've only just begun:
  1. Letting go is key. This time of flux can make us question our own sanity. Part of the reason is because we love to be in control of our lives and change is all about letting go. But we have to freefall a bit to get to that new place. Let go!
  2. You will make new friends. There are benefits and burdens associated with all change. Not everyone will support your decision to change or like the new you. You will make new friends and your old friends will have their own transition. The ones that are important will be with you in the new life. This change is natural. You're not supposed to hold on so tight that you can't grow. So let go!!
  3. You will amaze yourself. You can do so much more than you ever imagined. We grow across our lifespans. Once you stop fearing change and actually embrace it as a necessary part of life, your life will be amazing again. So let go!!!
No matter what put you in this situation, know this - only you can take you to the next level.

12 July 2015

Grateful for this? Really???

My friend Renee recently gave me a beautiful gratitude journal and I treasure that gift. Truth is, she was as excited about giving me the gift as I was about receiving it. Gratitude at times like this is a fairly easy practice.

But what about those times when life isn't going so great? Let's say your life is a mess at the moment? Can you feel gratitude when you're in the middle of a real crapstorm?

Your child tells you she hates you. You're on your way to sign bankruptcy  papers and you are going to be couch surfing because truth be told you can't afford to get your own place right now.

Gratitude is no warm and fussy matter. It is an essential ingredient to creating a better life even in the middle of all of the mess that we sometimes need to call living.

Here are a few tips that worked for me when the days were dim. Hope they work for you.

1. Suspend your disbelief. Sit with pen and paper and take a moment before writing to acknowledge that you are not feeling very grateful right now but you are going to suspend your disbelief for the duration of your writing.

2. Mine for gold. In the midst of my own turmoil,the cat making it too the litter box was often the only thing that I could find to write about.  If being grateful puts you in the right mindset, humour greases the wheels a little. Look around you, there are things going well in your world.

3. Keep at it. Don't give up the practice just because it appears that things are not going well. Like most new tasks, you get better by doing.

Don't give up before the miracle happens. I'm grateful for you.