Finding calm in the middle

The Aspen tree is a perfect example of positive change. Each year as the tree prepares for winter dormancy, its leaves turn a dazzling display of different shades of gold, red, orange and purple. The tree itself is stressed enough to drop its leaves so that it can direct its growth from the inside and emerge bigger and stronger in the spring.

“I’m in the process of positive changes.”

That affirmation from the beautiful and inspirational Louise Hay has been in my head constantly these past few weeks. Like many others, I’ve been experiencing a lot of change that has hit all at once. At times, that change feels like more than I can handle. And during these times of extreme change, it’s hard to maintain a positive attitude. In fact, it’s downright impossible some days.

When faced with extreme changes, affirmations can be a saving grace. Some people love and resonate with affirmations; others do not. I’ve had mixed results with them over the years but am reminded of their importance as I navigate these hard changes. Affirmations are starting points–they are designed to wake you up and help you take notice of where you are now and where you are headed. They serve as a reminder of the way life can be if you’ll only take notice and adjust your thinking.

The affirmation above does just that. When I start to feel stressed, angry, tired or when I simply can’t cope, that affirmation pops into my head. It helps me remember that all of life’s changes are indeed positive. Sure, my first reaction may be to deny it, mock it, or decry it, but affirmations work in subtle ways. When I notice I’m mocking the affirmation or not believing it, I quiet my mind, repeat it several times and then forget it. It’s enough of a pause in my conscious thoughts to remind me that the world is conspiring in my favor. It slaps me upside the head as if to say, “You may not see it now, but all of these changes will work out to your benefit. Be mindful of how you respond to these changes.”

Ultimately, change is good. Remember that and affirm it. You might not believe it or be conscious of it in this moment, but change is positive. Change is growth. With growth comes new opportunities, so seize change and allow it. Remind yourself over and over that you will come out in a much better place even if you can’t see it right now.

Two easy ways to use affirmations:

  1. Take a scheduled time each day to repeat a few affirmations quietly. Relax your body, focus your mind, tell yourself that for the next several minutes you will suspend judgment and allow yourself to believe the words you’re about to say. Say them  in your mind, say them out loud, or shout them to the universe if you feel inspired. Spend just a few moments doing this at a time that works for you.
  2. Throughout the day when you catch yourself feeling on edge, anxious or stressed, stop what you’re doing, close your eyes for a moment and repeat an affirmation that reminds you of where you want to be. Pick words that address how you’re feeling and reframe those emotions to more positive ones. Just saying this internally a few times can help adjust your thinking and emotions on a small scale. Sometimes all you need is a little push in a new and different direction to help reduce your stress and remind you of how great you are.

 

Maybe write them down…

Too often we spend a lot of time thinking about the things that are wrong with our lives. We regret the past, worry about the future and miss out on all of the good that’s happening right now. There’s a lot for you to be thankful for and a lot that you’ve done that you can be proud of. Each day, make a choice to recognize the things you’ve done right. Make a choice to remember everything you’re grateful for.

When you consciously remember these things, you automatically create the space for more to come into your life. You’re telling the universe, “I’m happy with this, thank you,” and “I’m really proud of this, thank you,” –and the universe hears you. Your ability to concentrate on and remember the good in your life means you trust life and yourself. You’ll affirm your perfect spot in the universe and revel in your own creation power.

Take some time, right now, to Honor Your Spirit by reviewing your successes and your list of gratitudes. You’ll thank yourself later.

What is life handing you today?

You are the chef of your life. It’s up to you to take the raw ingredients handed to you and create a masterful feast. Too often, we view some of these ingredients as “wrong” or “bad” or “unwanted.” We fight against what we’re given and complain to the deliveryman. We don’t always see that a seemingly “bad” ingredient may be exactly what is needed to make a masterpiece.

Today, take whatever ingredient you’re given and make the most of it. If it’s a bad situation, find the good in it. If it’s an unwanted surprise, learn the lesson behind it. If it’s exactly what you wanted and needed, celebrate it. You might just end up with something delicious.

Life isn’t always clear

Life isn't always clear

Sometimes life doesn’t look like we thought or hoped it would. Sometimes a cloudy haze billows into our thoughts, obscuring our once translucent dreams. But that haze serves a purpose. It allows us to see our dreams in a different light. It allows us to change our orientation, to look at our dreams from another vantage point. The haze can help us see the beauty and rightness of our current state and bring fresh perspective to what we really want. And when the haze starts to lift, we see a whole new world, ripe with possibility. Embrace those times when the world isn’t always clear because in the end, it will end up being spectacular.

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