“Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.” Byron Katie
I like to believe that I accept being in a constant state of reinvention! With that beginner’s mindset I am always learning. This year I have been schooled on the law of impermanence and the necessity of casting off that which no longer serves me. Not to say I haven’t been aware of these things before, it’s just that this year I took the graduate course!
A couple of big takeaways from this past year:
- Nothing is permanent.
2019 has been a year of big transitions, some planned, some, not so much! You know what they say about the “best laid plans”!
Two members of my family did battle with critical illnesses; one survived thankfully, but the other passed away.
My husband and I moved forward on a 2 year plan to purchase a small home in Florida. He would continue to work for the next year and we would use the income to do some work on the home. It would be a lot of work but we could do it. Shortly after we took the step, he was downsized!
Despite some rocky moments, it helped me to remind myself that nothing remains the same; not the good or the not so good. I practiced focusing on gratitude and finding joy in the present moment. These mindful practices helped me reduce the feeling of fear and stress that accompany change and not knowing.
- Don’t wait to remove things from your life that are no longer serving you.
This year I cut ties with some people, things, projects that have been sapping energy, providing negativity or causing anxiety. Why did I wait so long for some of these things? I let a few things go on longer than I should have. I knew they weren’t working, but fear stopped me from making those tough decisions earlier on. I freed up a lot of energy by making those tough calls.
Learning these life lessons, I have doubled down on some things. I have spent the year reordering priorities.
Changes I made due to lessons learned:
- Changing the way I work.
I am more selective about the type and number of clients I work with. I have spent a good portion of my career working with “involuntary” clients, first in child protective services and later with “formal” clients referred by their employers due to some workplace issues.
These experiences honed my ability to engage with just about anyone. But this is hard work! Now if someone is ambivalent or just plain prickly or hard to get along with, I just say “No thank you.” I know I could do it, but I don’t want to do it, and that’s ok.
- Doing more of the things that bring joy.
I spend more time training and competing with my dog. We have accepted more types of therapy dog gigs and spending more time volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House. He won’t be with me forever, nor be able to participate in the activities we both enjoy.
I make time to see and speak to people I care about; I can’t assume that they will be around when I have time. Or that I will be around! Work and projects can wait.
- Eliminating excess baggage.
I have purged a lot of excess “stuff” and tackled some projects that have been causing me anxiety for years! Wasn’t that hard and I feel like lots of weight has been lifted off of me.
Ended a few casual relationships with individuals who sapped my energy. Always complaining and talking about themselves and their problems. As I politely listened, I realized these relationships went one way! These folks demonstrated time and time again that they had absolutely no interest in my life. You know the saying “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
2019 has been a time of intensive learning and expansion of my comfort zone! However, these lessons bring the confidence that I can navigate the changes that are always coming along.
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