Tuesday, September 16, 2014

five things you can change

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 As summer rolls into fall here in Ohio, there are so many changes happening - cooler weather, the Browns won a game {woof, woof!}, opting for boots rather than sandals, PSLs are back at Starbucks, the leaves are starting to turn hues of yellow, orange and red. Fall brings about some of the best changes, in my opinion, and it's the perfect time to revisit {and revamp} this post from my archives.

Today, I want to talk about the word...CHANGE.

Just looking at it may cause sweating, shaking, nightmares, or nausea. Consider yourself warned. Change can happen whether you plan it or not; whether you're ready for it or not. And the truth is, I am a proponent of change. There I said it. Call me crazy.  

I like change. When it's necessary. When it's done with intention. When it makes something or someone better. But it doesn't always happen that way. And I am still learning to roll with the punches. To be flexible and adapt. But that's not easy either. You cannot hide from change. Or will it from happening. No matter how much you pray. No matter how far you run, or how well you hide. It will find you. Because every blind squirrel finds a nut.

You may feel like you have no control over the things that have changed, are changing or will change in your life. I think that's what makes change so scary. Our fear of not being in control. So for all you control freaks, like yours truly, I offer you hope - a new perspective on the things in your life that you can change because you want to - changes you can control.

Here are five things you can change:  

Your Mind // And I mean this in every. single. sense. of the word. Only YOU live inside your own head. I know at times it might seem like someone else is in there talking, but rest assured, my friends, it's only you in there. Even if you don't recognize your own internal voice sometimes. Every thought, emotion, perspective, attitude that lives in your mind, you can control. And you can change. Anyone else get chills from just the thought of this? This might be scarier than change itself.

In my grad program, one of the biggest things I learned and am always working on with myself, is controlling and changing my emotions and perspectives. I think about how many times I feel all those negative emotions or have said "that pisses me off." Guess what? Whatever it is I think pisses me off is wrong. The person or thing that I'm mad at didn't in fact make me feel that way. Though it is easier to point the finger at someone else. The truth is, I made me feel that way. Think about that for a second. How you react to something or someone is completely within your control. If you don't like how you react to a situation or the negative emotions that you feel sometimes, You. Can. Change. It. Mindfulness. It is not easy to achieve. It requires being honest with yourself and being willing to see you for who you are - even the less-than-desirable parts. It means accepting and facing those parts of yourself that you try to hide, checking in with yourself to take inventory of what you do and don't like, and developing a plan to change those things. And that is powerful. And freeing. Imagine what your life would be like if you felt free. You are the only one holding you back. And you are the only one that can change you.  

Your Lifestyle // Everything about it, my friends. Whether you work out, eat right, any bad habits, anything you don't like about your body, your hair, who you hang out with, what you do on the weekends, what you like and don't like - yep, all of it. Whatever isn't working for you, you have the power to make a change. My advice would be to start small and set realistic goals for the changes you want to make. Change doesn't happen all at once. And quite frankly, I think it'd be overwhelming for most of us to change our entire life all at once. Hell, knowing we are in control of these changes is overwhelming enough. But you can do it! If YOU want to that is.

Your Priorities // You know what's important to you. What you do and when, and who you associate with is all up to you. Don't like your weekly schedule? Change it. I was {and still am to some degree} the queen of not being able to say no for fear of hurting someone's feelings, but I am learning that there are things I want to do that take priority over other things that I think I should do. And it's OK to say no. It's OK to re-prioritize your life even if it's been the same for so long. You can't worry about what others think you should do or who you should hang out with. You have to do what's best for you. Always. People will catch on. And you'll be happier for it.  

Your Job // Unfortunately, we spend the majority of our waking hours at work. And that is all the more reason we shouldn't be miserable in our jobs. But I know many of us are, and that's sad. Because guess what? If you don't like your job, you can change it. I know it's not easy, but think about it. When the pain of staying in the same awful job is more painful than making the change to a new job, well, then my friends, you have a decision to make. You don't deserve to be miserable, under-appreciated, or overworked. So don't settle because you think staying in this job is easier than looking for or getting a new one. You deserve to be happy. So be happy. You may never "work" another day in your life.  

Your Life // Making decisions to make changes in multiple, or even one, aspects of your life, will undoubtedly change your life. It's not always going to be easy. Frederick Douglass did say, "Without struggle, there can be no progress." But my hope is that each of us can make positive changes that are necessary and purposeful, and better our lives. 

We are pretty powerful, amazing people. Believe me, I understand that change is never easy, and that the idea of change is much easier than making the decision to change or actually making a change. But don't be afraid to work for what you want. Don't be afraid to be in control of your decisions, your emotions, your perspective, your body, your mind, YOUR LIFE.

And don't be afraid to let some change happen on its own. It's going to do it anyway. Remember, you can't control everything. So be open and flexible to the possibilities. We like to be in control because the unknown is scary. I'm scared to make changes I know are necessary in my life. But I'm also excited about the new opportunities these changes present, and that keeps me motivated.


Brianne Bracco said...

Great list and I totally agree. Change can be a very hard thing for me to adjust too, but I've learned most of the time it all works out for the better interest :)

Erin LFF said...

This post is speaking to my soul today girlfriend. You are such a great writer and always seem to have the words I need at the exact right time :) I always WANT change but never know how to start or how to get there.

shelbie muse said...

Great and inspiring post today! Just what I needed to get this week moving!

Kayla MKOY said...

I love this post! Your words are just beautiful!! Makes so much sense. We all just have to be open to change because one way or another, intentionally or unintentionally it's going to come. May as well roll with it :)

Shybiker said...

Great advice with sound insights. I didn't learn some of these until much later in life.

Lisa @ Two Martinis said...

I love change but sometimes I forget I'm capable of making changes! For instance, I feel like if I have a certain opinion one month, I need to maintain consistency by not changing my mind. Or if I tell myself something is a priority, I have a hard time allowing myself to re-prioritize it later, if that makes sense. I appreciated this post - great reminder!

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