Sunday, January 15, 2012

Embracing Change Makes it easier to Accept

Gail Sheehy, the feel-better guru who wrote a number of self-help books that assist women in navigating the many changes life throws at us, said, “Changes are not predictable; but to deny them is to be an accomplice to one’s own unnecessary vegetation.” We all know people caught in this trap. But, we live from life that attitude makes all the difference. If we dread something, we are apt to put it off and not make the changes in our lives that we should.

Always Changing but Always the Same

Some changes are more predictable than other changes, such as winter is coming whether I like it or not. My remedy for being concerned about the cold weather I dislike (that I thought was peeking over the seasonal horizon but instead cascaded right in ahead of time as a noreaster), is to go to the ocean and soak up the sun and atmosphere.

I did that some weeks ago to consider some major changes coming in my life even bigger than winter coming, most of which I welcome with open arms. The universe served me well and dished out some perfect weather if a little cool. There is something mysterious about the pull of the ocean, that has always spoken to my spirit. I find the routine of the waves and the tides so reassuring. Always changing but always the same.

Storing Inspiring Scenes for Later Viewing

I walked the surf and filled my mind’s eye with clusters of scenes that I can recall later when I need them. I have always believed in the connection between body and mind. I have done this in the past. If in the middle of winter when I could allow myself to become depressed, I would rather close my eyes, pay attention to my breathing and let the vision of sun and sand and warmth warm my body. This reminded me of a trip to the Rhode Island beaches earlier in the year. This too was a great beach day with a warm sun and a constant soft breeze and not too many people. The seagulls were aggressive and didn’t want to leave after they finished my leftover lunch. This trip being earlier in the year provided some different scenes. One toddler, wearing only sunglasses, was running back and forth teasing the surf and squealing with delight.

A fashion statement was very noticeable – the two-piece swimsuit for women is back. Unfortunately, it is not a very pleasing sight on some women!

Dealing with Inevitability

I watched as a group of children desperately tried to save their sandcastle from the changing tide. They, of course, were not successful. Some things in life we cannot keep from changing; we grow older, our children grow up, the tides keep changing and the seasons revolve.

Helping others is a Good Life Focus

I talked to an elderly man scanning the beach with his little metal detector, who said he had found $600 so far this year. More important to him was that he helps people find valuables. He recently helped a young couple who had just become engaged that morning find the engagement right that had been lost in the sand. (Was that an omen?) He was happy he could help and refused their offer of a reward. 

We cannot hold back time, the seasons or the end of a day at the beach. Nor can be avoid the many changes life forces on us. We can, however, approach them with an open mind focused on the positive. In the meantime, the sights, sounds and impression I recorded in my journal that day are memories that will keep me warm this winter. And here we are in the middle of January and the first really cold weather is here but SPRING IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER.

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