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May 14, 2020

Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”

 

Change, in any aspect of life, is uncomfortable and can cause tremendous anxiety.  The “unknown” creates an environment for hasty decisions, leaving little time to ponder and plan for the future.   There wasn’t an option to have this pandemic and it is certainly something most of us have never experienced.  There are so many variables to consider and each day seems so uncertain.  Waking up every morning unsure of which direction to go is exhausting.  Every day is different for everyone.  Change is occurring at a rapid pace and some are struggling to adapt.

 

So, what do we have control over? How do we embrace the change rather than resist it?

 

We do have control over how we receive the world around us.  We cannot control others or the events that are naturally unfolding, but we can control how we react.  Instead of allowing emotions to be drained by the negativity and grim prognosis streaming from the media, why not redirect energy to being productive in awakening creativity?  There is no time better than now to add flavor to the world.  Ask yourself “Do I want to be in the audience reacting to the performance, or do I want to be on stage dictating how the story unfolds?”

 

Figuring out values and desires isn’t always easily determined.  There are numerous free exercises online such as the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), The Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), The Wheel of Life- just to name a few.  Getting to know yourself results in better decision making and allows for more self-control when exposed to unpleasant stimuli.  Tolerance becomes built up because an understanding of why a behavior is expressed has been explored.  Less inner conflict results in less stress all the while promoting a healthy form of self-care.

 

Discover the passions that lie within.  Add a little bit of authenticity to life by exposing the creativity that has been suppressed throughout the years.  Once ignited, that passion will evoke joy and the happiness that accompanies it will provide adequate justification for emersion.

 

Then, dive in headfirst.  Set a schedule based on natural biological settings.  What environment allows for the most focus?  What time of the day elicits the most energy?  What settings evoke creativity?   Find that time slot in the day and decide how long to devote to whatever task is set.  Write it down.  Keep notebooks and pens accessible in multiple locations to jot down ideas when they pop up.  For the more technologically adapted, use an app on an electronic device.

 

Then, show up every day, just like you would for a job.  And just like any other profession, there will be days that showcase a stand-up ovation and others that will look like a Pinterest Flop.  Keep showing up.  Most importantly, have faith in the creativity that flows from within.  Whatever you are creating is good enough- because it brings you joy.  Roll with this change by changing how you operate and adapt with it so that it works with you, not against you.

A great recommended read: Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D.


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December 9, 2019

Making lasting change is hard.  Whether it is to eat healthier, lose weight, quit smoking, manage a chronic illness, or just make life a little less stressful, the idea of establishing new habits and creating a strategy for success can be daunting.