Posts tagged ‘change’

January 1, 2017

Leap into 2017

Happy New Year everyone!

I offer the following quote in honour of my brother, who is making a major career change in 2017. Thirty-something and newly married, my bro is leaving the world salaried work to strike out on his own. It’s a path that he’s been talking about for years, and in 2017 he’s finally going for it — obstacles and unknowns be damned. My brother says that the following words from American naturalist John Burroughs helped ease his anxieties as he made his decision:

Leap, and the net will appear.

That is: Only when you take that first step off solid ground and launch yourself in the direction of your dreams will the ideas, solutions and options that you need — but could never see from the comfort and safety of your old position — reveal themselves. Plan you leap as much as you can, then go for it. The answers will appear over the course of your journey.

This year, I encourage you to take some leaps of your own. Do something that scares you but has been calling to you for a long time. Listen to your heart and act on it, even if you don’t know what the end result will be. Trust — trust yourself and your abilities enough to simply go for it.

Your net is out there, but it can’t catch you unless you leap.

Happy 2017!

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January 15, 2016

The bright side of endings

Thought of the moment, courtesy of Marilyn Monroe:

Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.

This is a perspective on change and endings that we often don’t think about. The end of something “good” really might be the start of something so much better.

❤

October 20, 2015

Observed on the street: time for a change

I found this little sign in a gift shop in Smithers, British Columbia:

20151019_TimeChangesEverything

Time changes everything. Does it? And if so, how? Is the secret in the simple fact that “time heals,” or does the passing of time allow us to gain a better perspective on life, loss, value and what really matters in the long run?

Time changes everything. I want to believe that it will, but I’m looking for the proof.

August 30, 2014

Credo for a life well lived

At the end of her memoir The Second Journey, author Joan Anderson shares a list of personal guidelines that she wrote to remind herself how to remain grounded, present and open to continual growth in today’s over-busy, over-achieving society. Consider the list a permission slip of sorts: YOU have the right to these things, too!

Embrace change — knowing that life is always being reconfigured.
Befriend the person you are striving to become.
Welcome new paths. Enjoy the detours.
Strive to go deeper rather than just forward.
Know that most unnecessary demands come from the unfinished parts of self.
Beware of speed. It is often one’s undoing.
Wholehearted is the way. Half-hearted will kill you.
Harness your evolvement.
Let go of what is outlived to make room for the unlived.

If I have learned nothing else, it is that the journey [of life, of self] will always be unfinished.

March 17, 2014

Make friends with the winds of change

Thought for the day, courtesy of artist and author Mary Ann Radmacher:

Lean forward in your life . . . . Catch the best bits and the finest wind. Just tip your feathers in flight a wee bit and see how dramatically that small lean can change your life.

We are often so afraid of change, so afraid of having good things happen to us. Just for today, lean into the winds of change with a smile, and allow those winds to blow good things directly into your open and deserving arms.

January 23, 2014

The paradox of change

Thought for the day, from American psychologist Carl Rogers:

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.

Accept who you are, be gentle with yourself, and you will open yourself to positive change: this is a theory that I’ve heard applied to several aspects of life.

Learn to love and accept yourself and you will then be able to find a loving and respectful relationship. Accept your fears and you will then be able to detach from them, rationalize them, overcome them. Accept your limitations — learn to work with them rather than against them — and you will then be able to overstep them. Accept that you are OK just as you are in this very moment, and then, miraculously, you can grow beyond that moment.

Acceptance is key to so much in life, yet it can be a tricky beast to master. We often set incredibly high standards for ourselves, and we are certainly our own worst critics. So be gentle with yourself. Become your own best friend, your loudest cheerleader. Start letting go of the need to control how everything turns out. Work on acceptance, and, slowly, it will flower within you, empowering you to transform your self (and your life) into so much more.

January 9, 2014

Change lives within you, always

A gentle reminder for the month of January, author unknown:

I don’t have to do it the way I did it yesterday.

You are never stuck in any single pattern of behaviour. You are never limited to act or respond in a certain way, even if you’ve done so many times in the past. What happened last time doesn’t have to happen again. You can change your direction, your approach, your perspective at any time. Ruts don’t exist, unless we let them.

I’m reminded of another quote — one of my favourites — from film director Cameron Crowe:

Every passing moment is a chance to turn it all around.

You are always free to carve out a new direction in life. Nothing holds you back but yourself.

September 27, 2013

Book Recommendation — “Have Mother, Will Travel” by Claire and Mia Fontaine

It’s a book for women of all kinds, but it’s especially a book for mothers and daughters seeking insight into their own relationships. In Have Mother, Will Travel, mother-daughter (and author) duo Claire and Mia Fontaine embark on a four-month journey around the world together. The ultimate goal of their trip is to revive their flagging relationship, but along the way, 51-year-old Claire and 25-year-old Mia gain fresh insight into their own life journeys, as well as new appreciation for what they each have to offer — to themselves, to each other and to the world. Well-written, funny and very reflective, this book is definitely worth picking up!

havemother-final-cover

“Have Mother, Will Travel: A Mother and Daughter Discover Themselves, Each Other, and the World” by Claire and Mia Fontaine

Here are a few of my favourite quotes from the book:

I’ve become very clear that finding my way forward in life isn’t going to come from figuring out what I want to do, but by staying grounded in the person doing the wanting. The very core of my being, my essential, authentic, whatever-you-call-it self, never has any trouble knowing what she wants, and certainly never worries about how she’s going to get it. (Claire Fontaine)

Sometimes I wonder if we make big moves because we underestimate the importance of smaller ones. Years are just an accumulation of thousands of hours, and what we choose to do with each of them matters. (Mia Fontaine)

Adulthood isn’t a destination, it’s a process, and, as women, we are always coming of age. (Mia Fontaine)

There are some advantages to stumbling around lost for a while. It allows for discovery. (Claire Fontaine)

Change happens in the small moments, when a sliver of light finds its way through the cracks. (Claire Fontaine)

All relationships happen in stages, with varying depths, multiple layers. You invariably reach a point where you hit the ceiling of a certain level of intimacy and then have the option of staying there — which risks the relationship becoming predictable or stale — or you can take it to the next level. (Mia Fontaine)

August 21, 2013

Instructions for Life #2: How to build a house that lasts

Today’s bit of inspiration comes from fellow blogger Daniel, whose blog Grow Up Proper I was lucky enough to stumble across today:

You cannot flip a switch and change your life, but you can change yourself and your life will change accordingly.

Many people are searching for that “magic bullet” solution to their problems, for a quick and easy “switch” that will bathe their lives in instant light and rescue them (once and for all) from pain, suffering, discomfort, smallness or what have you.

Important note:  There is no magic bullet solution to any problem worth solving. Even if there were, I wouldn’t advise that you take it (tempting as it may sometimes seem).

The major changes in life — those that involve personal relationships, career situations, health, day-to-day happiness and other things that really matter — are going to require work, and lots of it. They’ll also require focus, dedication, perseverance, courage, trust and consistency. You will have to put in significant time and significant effort, and you’ll have to put up with periods of stagnation as well as periods of progress. But if you do this steadily and in good faith, you will slowly move forward: you will slowly “change yourself.”

As you begin to gently reshape certain parts of yourself — your environment, your body, your perspectives, your outlook, etc. — your life will begin to change as well. You might not notice the change at first, but one day you will wake up and remark, “Wow, remember when I used to be like THAT?” or “My goodness, I’m so much happier these days than I have been in years!” That’s when you’ll know the changes you’ve made have taken root.

Change like this is not a quick process; it takes time to build a new house in which to live comfortably. You need time to learn how to effectively build and maintain strong foundations, time to weed the short circuits out of your wiring, and time to paint and repaint your interior spaces until they match the colour of your soul. You might not have a clue how to build a house in the first place; in that case, you’ll definitely need time to acquire and practice the skills you’ll need. All this is perfectly fine — and perfectly normal.

If you’re still wishing that you could just snap your fingers and have the whole house go up before your eyes, remember that you get what you put in. A quick job would inevitably have weak foundations, faulty wiring, and colours chosen by some person you don’t even know. You wouldn’t have a clue how to maintain the place, either, since you wouldn’t know it from the inside out. It might last you a while, but it would eventually crumble away and leave you homeless all over again.

So do it right the first time: take the time and make the effort to build your new life as you would take the time and make the effort to build the house of your dreams. It might be a slow process, but it is a process of love, and the end result will be something solid and stable that will last you a lifetime.

August 2, 2013

Instructions for life (#1): Do the things you love NOW

Do the things you love now, because you never know when the possibility or the ability to do those things will be taken away from you. As improbable or impossible as it may seem to you in this moment, you could very well wake up tomorrow and find yourself unable to write, sing, run, speak, walk, swim, go outside, dance, see, hold your children, or what have you. Do the things you love now, while you have the ability to do them. Don’t waste this time, for it is a time-limited gift, and it will not be available to you forever.

Prioritize the things you love above all else. There is little point in frittering away the time that you do have on lesser activities or pursuits. Do only the things that give you true joy, do them often, and do them whole-heartedly. Do not feel guilty about this. This is your life, after all, and the best way to spend it is in doing the things that make you feel the most happy.

Remember that even if you are forced to give up some crucial part of your life because of circumstances beyond your control, you will survive the loss. You will. There are other parts of yourself, as yet explored, waiting to be shown the light. The old parts of you will live on in fond memory, and the new parts will carry you forward into the future.

There are many chapters in your book of life. Not all chapters will be easy or fun to read, but all chapters will be meaningful. Live each chapter fully, while it is before you, because eventually — perhaps at a moment you least expect or desire — that chapter will close for good, leaving you with an entirely different set of words and sentences from which to compose your path and craft your identity.