March 25, 2017
Where does the time go? It's Springtime again; and for many, it's a time to take inventory of both our physical surroundings and our internal experiences. It must be something about the seasonal transition (although in New Orleans, you'd hardly notice) that causes us to take pause and examine our lives a bit closer: What is working? What's not? What do I need? What can I throw out? What gains have I experienced this past year? What keeps annoying me and refuses to leave me alone?
Although our names stay the same, although the person in the mirror looks more or less the same, we often forget that we are most definitely not the same as we were last year, last month, or even last week. As living beings, we never stop growing. Just because the growth is usually imperceptible (think watching grass grow), it doesn't mean we haven't changed.
Every time we stop to organize ourselves, we are presented with a golden opportunity, a chance to make a choice regarding our next step. If we don't know what has worked for us and what hasn't, how will we know what to do? How can we avoid making the same mistakes if those mistakes aren't brought to light?
Springtime seems to be a time of taking responsibility, not just for finally cleaning the dust off those ceiling fans or throwing out that shirt you haven't worn in three years, but also for examining why we find ourselves where we do. You might complain that you haven't made any progress, or lament that you haven't accomplished your goals, but is that entirely true? I doubt it. Again, as constantly growing, living creatures, that seems impossible.
Try two things: 1) Find at least one change in the past year that you are grateful for and give yourself credit for it, because it could not have manifested without permission from you on some level, and 2) challenge yourself to take more responsibility for the things that seem to be causing you pain, and not in a self-critical, cruel taskmaster kind of way, but in an objective, reassuring, non-judgmental way, like a kind, nurturing parent. If you do these two things, you will start to recognize how much power you have in creating your own experience. You will cease to blame your problems on someone or something else. Rather, you will gain resolve in realizing that you are the commander of your ship, you are expert on you, and you have the ability to effect changes in your life once you retake control of the helm.
The fact that you are reading this shows that you are at least in the "contemplation" stage of change, and that must be recognized in order to continue to fuel your self-determined growth in the direction that you desire. Getting your life moving in the direction you want doesn't necessarily mean you have to make drastic or dramatic changes. Often, just changing or tweaking a few small details here and there can cause amazing differences (think the Butterfly Effect).