Help for Moving Through the Discomfort of Change

When all of this is over, or at least as we start a return to some sense of “normalcy,” my hope is that we have If there’s anything 2020 is teaching us, it’s that we are adaptable. And that we can make big changes in our lives that, 6 months ago, we may have believed were impossible.

You might have also noticed that this process of change can be really uncomfortable! It has to be. Because growth and change don’t happen in the comfort zone. 

But there are three key factors that can help us move through this uncomfortable space with more grace and ease than we otherwise might.

First (and probably foremost) is self-compassion. We may think that self-criticism motivates us to be better or do more. But self-compassion expert Kristin Neff says this is not the case. Self-criticism instead creates anxiety rather than progress. And that self-kindness is a more successful motivator and brings along with it other benefits such as improved life-satisfaction, more calm and more confidence.

Change is disruptive by nature, and it can put our ego and nervous system into a panic and cause us to make unhealthy decisions. So another key skill in making change more gracefully is knowing methods of calming ourselves and bringing ourselves back to our center. Methods may include anything from breath work and meditation, to spending time in nature or doing yoga. What’s important is that you know, and practice, what works for you on a consistent basis. 

And lastly, we must have community and connection. This was something I struggled with for a long time, believing I was better off doing things on my own and that personal growth was a “private” affair. Turns out we really don’t thrive that way. We need connection, because we are all connected. We need support because we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. Some of us may need bigger communities, others may need smaller communities. But we all need to tap into our sense of belonging. And we also need to understand that we are essential to the communities we belong to. 

I’d love to hear what you think of these ideas. Is there one or more of these areas where you would like to improve? Or where you’d like more support?

These key factors are all a part of the work I do with clients and course members. If you’re curious about how I might be able to support you, let’s chat. You can schedule a complimentary call with me to talk about what you’re looking for in the next phase of your life, and we’ll discuss potential strategies to help you get there.

In the meantime, be kind to yourself, stay calm, and stay connected. We’ll all get through this and I’m hopeful that all the inner and outer work we’re being called to do this year is making us better humans.

Empower Yourself with This Simple Mindset Shift

It was beautiful here in Los Angeles this past weekend–and if the beaches hadn’t been closed, I would undoubtedly have been there. I admit it was frustrating. But I was able to shift myself out of frustration, as I have had to do many times during this pandemic, because of the concept in yoga philosophy that tells us: Whatever we focus on expands.

In other words, I could have focused my attention on my frustration which would have only increased my sense of feeling less in control of my life altogether. It would’ve created more stress and ultimately put me in a foul mood all weekend. Yuck. 

When I decided to shift my focus on what I CAN do and what I DO have control over (such as, I can sit in my backyard and enjoy the beautiful weather, I can connect with others through technology, I can cook and eat nourishing food) suddenly my weekend got a whole lot better.

That’s not to say any of us should pretend that difficult feelings aren’t there. Acknowledging frustration, sadness, and fear, and giving ourselves space to process these emotions is one of the most loving things we CAN do for ourselves right now. 

And when we focus our attention on the things we can control, like nourishing and taking care of ourselves, processing our emotions and practicing gratitude for what we do have, we put ourselves in a much better position to:

  1. Feel better and create a healthier environment for ourselves and whoever we may be sheltering with.
  2. Stay healthy and strong.
  3. Have a more balanced perspective on the whole situation which will help us endure whatever lies ahead.