At the beginning of the year, some share the hope that they are wiping the slate clean. We are taking the past, wrapping it up with a bow and saying, “See ya!”
A week or perhaps a month later, many of us feel like we did before we made this proclamation. We can’t figure out what went wrong or why things are still the same. We may get angry, frustrated or give up and figure life has failed us again.
The beginning of a year, a birthday or any other date we place significance on won’t be any different than the time previous, if we’re relying on factors around us to shift first.
If we want love, happiness and to experience a fulfilling adventure in this life, we’re the ones who have to shift our perception and our actions. When they’re not in alignment, nothing much will change in the direction we truly want to go. It takes commitment and courage to stick with change. We must want it in the deepest parts of our souls, so as to not settle for where we’ve already been.
Nothing outside of us grants us a new lease on life. Only we can do that by seeing where we spurn love, happiness, freedom, truth, adventure and so on.
If we place limitations, rules and expectations on others or what we’re willing to do in opening ourselves up, change will be more difficult to achieve, because we’ll be fighting to keep things the same.
Our comfort zone of the status quo can limit us from ever venturing out into a true clean slate.
We have to keep trying and sometimes that means saying ‘yes’ to doing something now which didn’t work in the past. Many of us use past experiences to close ourselves down. In looking back, the circumstances around the experience could be quite different than the ones that exist right now…so why not try it again?
“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
If we treat life as an experiential experiment rather than a serious illusion that keeps us safe we already move into freedom, happiness and adventure.
Now is the time to do something we’re never done.
Someday is not a day in this week, today is happening now, in the present moment.
So, let’s stop whatever we’re doing and ask if this activity is actually part of the greater experiment or our comfort zones?
Switch gears to do something we normally would’t do, such as: picking up the phone and calling that person, we’ve been waiting to hear from or we’re at odds with and state our truth; joining an activity we’ve hesitated to do; letting go of what we’re holding onto and so on. Risk emotionally, don’t play it safe.
The same routine everyday will lead us to the same ‘feelings’ about our experiences.
It’s not to blame our circumstances, but to look at where we hold the reins. If we’re afraid to get hurt, or let go of what already hurts us, we’ll continue down the same road and pick up new opportunities to do the same thing again and again.
Pressing repeat keeps us stuck.
Here are five quick ways to implement change today:
1. Take an emotional risk.
Don’t be attached to the outcome, be attached to the doing of it…it’s the action that counts.
2. Get clarity.
What do you really want? Really. No settling or excuses allowed. When you know without a doubt that you want to participate actively in this experiential experiment called life, to have more love, happiness and adventures—commit, focus on it and remain clear on the desire.
Try a different approach, a step out of your routine, say yes instead of playing it safe, do what feels good but scares you while keeping an eye on what you are truly wanting to create.
4. Take a stand.
Nothing confrontational here. Do what is needed for yourself—it’s not a decision for someone else to make for you. Don’t try to control the reaction of another to what you want for yourself. Look in the mirror and congratulate yourself for committing to a real beginning.
5. Remain uncomfortable.
Sounds counter-intuitive, right? Change happens when you continue to go further away from the familiar; it’s hard and uncomfortable. If you really want to experience this life then you have to invest in the new perspective—the one without limitations, the unknown, beyond the life circumstances that we believe control us.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Tracy Crossley
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Colourized at Flickr