Creative expression through the written word

Posts tagged ‘change’

The Moment of Change

We all have those moments where we are forever changed. From one breath to the next we are different people. The change can be mental, physical, emotional or spiritual but the moment still transpires. If we are lucky we are fully aware of the transition as it is happening. Often times, we are caught in the drama of the moment and don’t realize the change has occurred until after the fact.

I have had many moments where I know for a fact that I was changed. I think big moments are easier to recognize, like when I graduated from school, became a wife, and became a mother. Those are huge life changes and once you step over the threshold you literally cannot go back to being who you once were. But what about those moments that do not get such huge recognition and fanfare? Are they any less significant? I don’t think so.

Here is an example – Back in 1996 I went to work in a sales office in Denver, Colorado and on my first day one of the sales team walked into my office to greet me and this amazing thing happened. She took a seat next to my desk and we both just looked at each other with this awareness. Two souls recognizing each other. Literally I believe that is what one of us said to other, something like “there you are.” It was an acknowledgement of what was undiscovered but known between us.

We became fast and deep friends. The lessons she taught me about myself, my mindset, my spirituality, my finances and my business acumen are invaluable to me. She awakened me to truths about myself and in exchange I did the same for her. It was like being two sides of the same coin. Over time, life happened and we went our separate ways but this woman still remains, to this day, a milestone in my life. There is before I met her and after I met her. That may sound crazy to some of you but it is what it is.

Even to this day, I will wake up and have this sense that she is having a bad day, an emotional day, an extremely happy day. I feel connected to her even with thousands of miles between us and many years of minimal communication. The interesting thing is she inevitably reaches out to me when I need to hear from her the most. Again, two sides of the same coin.

This is just once instance that I can think of where these moments of change just occurred and I am a better person because of it. I must say, not all of my moments of change were inspired by happy things. Some of them have been sad, traumatic and emotionally devastating but I have come to realize that these moment of change are what make life such an interesting journey.

< Greater than

Life would be so much better if I did _____! Current life choices + _______ = me < (greater than) I was before. So yesterday I wrote about 5 things to do less of and today I am writing about 5 things to do more of.

I’ve been systematically working on improving my life for a year. Not that my life sucked mind you, more that I was aware of the need for improvement and change. So although I haven’t progressed to where I want to be. I am making progress. These are the things that I have been focusing on:

  1. Gratitude- practicing gratitude can really make a difference in your life. Every day before I go to bed I write in my journal one thing I am grateful for that happened that day.  It gives me time to think of all the good that has happened. I’ve also noticed that the more grateful I am the more I find to be grateful for. 
  2. Friendships- okay this might sound silly but focusing on my friendships has really improved my life. I have lots of friends but I wasn’t paying as close of attention to the relationships as I should have. I started calling people more, visiting, going to lunch, grabbing a cocktail or dinner. I started reconnecting with old friends too. I found I had been taking my friends for granted and once I started paying attention to the state of my friendships I found myself in a happier place.
  3. Recognizing happiness- so I read a book not long ago called The Happiness Project and it really made me take stock in what makes me happy. There were lots of things that made me unhappy and I addressed them but I also discovered the things that made me happy and I gave myself permission to do more of those things even if it makes no sense to anyone else. Now I’m aware of when something makes me happy and I try to incorporate more of it into my life. 
  4. Giving of one’s self- so for some people it is a requirement to volunteer and give back on some way to their community. I’ve never been a serious volunteer. That doesn’t mean I haven’t given hours and hours to projects, places and people in the form of service…it just means I don’t go out of my way looking for ways to volunteer. However, I believe that giving of one’s self can be done through time and talent. I can donate my time or my talents and skills to help others. I’m trying to do more of this on a broader spectrum. 
  5. Writing- okay, for me, my creative outlet is writing but for others it can cooking, art, music etcetera. By writing a little each day I fee better overall. Everyone needs a creative outlet. Spend time letting those creative juices flow. When you open up to creativity you also open yourself up to new experiences. It works. Really. 

Changing your life for the better can be as simple as making one small change. You don’t have to radically shift your whole life. Figure out where your life can improve and then find one thing to do that will head you in that direction. 

Three small steps

Topic of the day? What three small steps do I think could change the world? Go ahead….answer that for yourself because it’s not as easy as you think to come up with things you think will really truly change the world. 

So here is my humble attempt at answering this question. Bear in mind I  am thinking of these actions as a global requirement not just my little corner of the world. 

  1. Every person must volunteer. If you are required to spend a certain amount of your time every week volunteering and helping others it would open people’s eyes to the fact that we all go through things. We all need help and giving of ourselves genuinely on behalf of others is really helping ourselves grow. 
  2. Every person must participate in Active Listening. Yeah, you heard that right. Listening. Actively. It means listening to learn and understand not listening to respond. Huge difference! If you are actively listening then you are really hearing what another person is saying. If you are really listening then you are understanding where that person is communicating from. You understand what they are trying to express. 
  3. Every person must keep a Gratitude Journal. Yep. If you are spending time being aware of the blessings in your life as you go about your day, you begin to see more to be grateful for. The more you see, the more grateful you become, the more the universe gives you to be grateful for. It’s a beautiful cycle really. Not to mention that if you are walking around being grateful for everything it’s impossible to be in negativity, anger and fear. 

So….do you want to change the world? These are the places I think you should start. Try it and watch the world around you change. (Of maybe you just change and see the world differently.)

Being an agent for Change

I have a friend who passed away a year and a half ago and they were one of my closest friends. We talked about so much. It was so clear to me that he was an Agent of Change. He had this way of seeing people and working with people who allowed them to recognize things within themselves and create change. Real change. Lasting change.

He sometimes hated that chaos and disruption tended to follow in his wake  but he didn’t see that we cannot change if we are comfortable in the status quo. We need disruption, we need challenge and trial to prompt us out of our comfort zone. You can’t grow if you are happy where you are. If you aren’t growing then you are stagnating.

It has taken me a long time to get to the place where I welcome change. To the place where I face challenges with an eye to how I am going to grow through the situation. It has taken me a long time to accept my active role in the creation of my life, good or bad but since I have I am realizing that being an agent for change is a really good thing. If I can help bring about change in other people’s lives then I am assisting them to grow and if I am an agent of change in my own life then I am allowing myself to grow.

I refuse to look at chaos as a bad thing anymore. Chaos is simply the universe shaking things up so I can see something in a new way, experience something in a new way, learn something that will better myself. It isn’t easy to face life this way but it is so much more rewarding than to think I am a victim to circumstances and have no control over my own life.

 

Poverty Mentality

My topic of the day is “A mistake that helped me grow”. Not exactly a topic I’m excited about. I mean, who wants to go shouting about their mistakes to the world?

I’ve decided to be courageous and talk about my mistake and how it helped me grow because I know that everyday, people make mistakes. Hopefully they also learn from them and grow as well.

I’m going to talk about “Poverty Mentality”. So, several years ago when my kids were little my best friend took a risk and told me one day that I was teaching my kids to have a poverty mentality and that I needed to stop and fix their ideas about money and finances. To say that I wasn’t angry would be an outright lie. I was pissed! I was beyond pissed but then I really spent some time thinking about her words.

She was right.

I was teaching my children to think in a poverty state of mind and once I realized I was doing it I set about changing my own perception and attitude so I could change my children’s as well. It was no easy task but I spent a long time, several years in fact, working on this and I have to say that it made a profound impact on myself, my spouse and our kids.

I had been teaching my kids poverty mentality by saying things like, “We can’t afford that….” and “there isn’t enough….”. I was teaching them to see themselves as victims to circumstances. To believe that struggle was the only way to live. I was teaching them to live from fear. Talk about feeling like a failure as a parent.

So….I started saying things like, “We can get that later, just not at this moment” and “Let’s figure out how we can create this as a possibility”. I watched all my negative speaking and only allowed myself to speak positively in front of my kids. To come from a place of empowerment and love instead of fear. Positive words and affirmations didn’t miraculously change my life but it changed my attitude about life which allowed me to be open to opportunities and that changed my life.

It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and to be honest….I didn’t realize how much my family had changed until a couple of years ago when I had an opportunity to be around a family that was “Poverty Mentality” focused and I literally found myself remembering feeling like they did, coming from the same place as they were but I couldn’t go back to that place and I wanted so badly to shake them and make them see that life could be so different if they were willing to change their mindset.

Choosing change is never easy and as I said, it took years to fix the damage I had done but change is worth it in the end and a better life for my family was more than worth it.

Step Up, Step Forward, Step Out

“He who is outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him” – Dutch Proverb

I love this proverb. I guess I love it because it reminds me that sometimes the biggest challenge to accomplishing something or being successful is just showing up. It’s about taking action instead of sitting on the sidelines. Over the course of the last year I realized that all too often I wait for others to do things. I wait for people to take action. I mean, can’t they see the same need that I see? Don’t they want to be involved in the same kind of group? Doesn’t everyone want the same thing accomplished? The list of questions could go on forever and what I realized is that I wasn’t doing anything or having certain things in my life because I kept waiting for someone else to step up and take action.

So, this last year, I did my best to step up, step forward, step out on a limb, speak up etc. I can’t tell you how radically it shifted my life. Has it been scary? Sometimes. Have I gotten myself in too deep…taken on too much? Sometimes. Have I added significantly to my life? Absolutely. Have I learned something? Every single time. Do I regret any of it? Not one bit.

I’m not saying it is easy to put yourself out there and in some scenarios, put yourself in a vulnerable position, open to ridicule but the pay off for having done so will outweigh the fear. The personal growth you will experience is priceless. The people you will meet, the relationships you will develop, the skills you will acquire are worth it all. So, if you really want to start making changes in your life then it is time to embrace this proverb and get to the real understanding that sometimes…its all about stepping outside your own door.

What Inspires Action?

I often wonder just how people come by their inspiration. What word or thought or deed triggers an inspiration that literally changes a persons life? I’m not talking about big dramatic moments although what I am talking about could lead to those too. I am talking about those little decisions that spark a whole series of changes within someone…creating a whole person (good or bad).

I am an avid reader and I often find myself wondering how the author of the current book I am reading got the inspiration to write their book. How did someone got inspired to write a play? an Opera? a movie? What inpires someone to draw, to paint, to sculpt? What made someone pick up an instrument? What made someone learn a new software program?

Lets take it to another level. What inspires a person to change their eating habits or they way they dress? What makes someone decide to handle their money better or get more organized? What do you think makes a person reach out to another and offer their hand in friendship or in help? What makes a person take the first steps toward change, toward something new and unknown in their life?

Perhaps the biggest question of all is why do some people take action and others do not? If two people take a class and learn the same thing then why does one person walk out unchanged and the other embraces change and does something with the information? Why do some people take inspired action toward their dreams and others do not? I don’t know why there are times in my life when I am inspired to take action and embrace change and at other times why I am inspired but never do anything with it. Does anyone know the answer to this question? Can anyone tell me why they get inspired to take action?

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