The most popular question people asked me when they found out I just moved from a two-season to a four-season country was, “How do you adjust to such a drastic change?” For a while, I was careful in answering this question, concerned I might sound or appear to be arrogant, because I didn’t feel it was drastic. I was smoothly blending in and excited about exploring and embracing this new adventure in life.  I visited the US many times prior to my move. I, in fact, lived in one of the biggest cities in this country on my sabbatical year. Lately, I was reflecting on that period of big change in my life.  I have been humbled by the struggle some of my friends have to endure in this time of uncertainty; the social distancing, the lockdown, the feeling of isolation and disconnection.  I can understand the struggle because this change was forced on to all of us.  We didn’t plan it, we didn’t expect it, it was dropped on us.  My change, back then, was my choice. I could understandably flow with the excitement of an adventure.  Is that true?

There are at least two schools of thought about change.

On one side, some say it’s easier to embrace a change you choose. Even though the outcome may not be as planned, at least you’re more open, most probably in all aspects, to respond to it, because you chose it.  On the other, some say, regardless whether the change is your choice or a surprise, it isn’t so much about the change itself, it is about how you respond to it.  No matter how prepared you are, the outcome may still surprise you. And your response to it will determine whether you’re going to be miserable or hopeful.  Some people say, the older you are, the more difficult it is to change.  You have built such routine and habit that changing will be painful and challenging. I looked back at my younger self; I wasn’t at all open to change. I was a stubborn and rigid person. (I am now).

You can find plenty of philosophies about change, just search on the internet, tons of theories and wisdom out there.  They are all true, depending on which philosophy resonates with you.  I found one that I really like. Roy T. Bennett shared his wisdom by saying, “It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.”  When I started learning Yoga, one of the insights I gained was about expanding my comfort zone. Comfort can hypnotize us, without realizing it.  When I just started, striking a pose created days of soreness.  As time went by, I became better at mastering the poses.  Not only that I could strike a pose with ease, but it became so automatic that I could do it without thinking.  One pose flows into the next while my mind is wandering elsewhere.  That’s when the instructor hit me with the wisdom of Yoga.  When my muscles already mastered the poses, nothing new is gained from the practice, that’s why my mind begins to wander.  If I’d stay in the comfort zone, my muscles stopped growing. I stopped growing. The only way to grow is to challenge muscles I’d never practiced before, start working them, start embracing new soreness.

One way to do so, at a time like now, is to be grateful for what we have; the small things we seem to overlook, practicing the muscles in these areas.  Let me start …

  1. I’m thankful for the ability to breathe, for the abundant of air I can inhale. It’s so automatic, without having to plan or think about it, I’ve continued breathing since the day I was born.
  2. I’m thankful for Life and what it brings to me, how it helps me learn and extend my knowledge (including all the painful and trying ones – social distancing, limited mobility, etc.). I’ve come to enjoy being at home, more creative and productive. I don’t need to spend time on the road, find parking spaces, the office is only a few steps away.
  3. I’m thankful for all my senses that allow me to hear, see, touch, taste, and smell.
  4. I’m thankful for the people I cross paths with; those I just met (virtually), those who inspire me, those who do things beyond the call of duty (especially now), those who stay positive, respond with hope, act with courage and generosity.
  5. I’m thankful for family, for embracing the situation we’re in now with openness to explore. My husband has eight siblings, and each has extended family members. Today, we gather virtually, celebrate togetherness — sharing what’s up and good with each other for an hour – 29 people in one virtual gathering room (it would have been too crowded to spend Easter brunch in our small dwelling, in person).
  6. I am thankful for the opportunity to discover new ways of doing things, being nervous about exploring things I’ve never done before.

I’m sure you can extend this list infinitely because gratitude is unlimited.  Continue your list, and add to it daily … If you need someone to talk to, I’m extending my listening ears. Sincerely reach out to me, I’m available to chat for 30 minutes — my gift for you is my time.  Follow this link and let’s schedule our chat —

Change happens, regardless whether you choose it or not. I wish you, and your loved ones, the willingness and openness to explore, embrace, and enjoy what life brings to you.  Be well and stay well, dear friend.

#change #grow #growth #inspirationalquotes #stepoutofcomfortzone #transform #livingyourinspiredlife #ingemaskun