Friday, June 10, 2011

Change What You Can

Change What You Can©2011 Joan M. Newcomb

I've been reflecting on how I've gotten through difficult times before, as I'm facing the new challenge of going to DC to assist my mother, who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  Most of my Mystic Musings have been more spiritually focused.  How to hover above a crisis in order to navigate through it.  It can work for many situations, like being in a dysfunctional workplace or visiting family at the holidays (!).  Sometimes, though, whatever's come up is right-in-your-face personal, and the only way past it is to dive through.  Here are some basics that can help:

Slow Down
Hardly anything needs to happen right away.  Whether you're given a diagnosis of cancer, or an ultimatum in a relationship, you can always take time to get clarity.  My rule of thumb is to sleep on it.  Give yourself time to reflect and research. Many possibilities open up in the space of 24 hours. 

It's amazing how a situation transforms when you look at it differently.  "This isn't a crisis, it's an event," was a mantra that got me through my dog being poisoned the weekend I was moving, just before I had to go in for an MRI.

Do The Next Indicated Thing
When things are totally crazy, it's impossible to try to control what's going on around you.  When in the midst of chaos, just do the next indicated thing.  Focus on a complete the task in front of you, and eventually everything falls into place.

Ask For Help
It's funny how this can be the last thing one thinks about.  We're all trying to be SuperWoman or WonderMom.  The phrase "God Doesn't Give You Anything You Can't Handle" doesn't mean you have to handle it by yourself.

An Intelligence Greater Than Yourself
My best thinking often gets me into the pickle I'm in.  It's comforting to realize that there's an Intelligence Greater than my own brain.  This goes hand in hand with asking for help.  Sometimes that Greater Intelligence speaks through the mouth of a friend or advisor.

Give It Time
This goes hand in hand with Slowing Down.  Sometimes the truth needs to be revealed.  Sometimes the solution needs to evolve.  Sometimes you have to sit in the 'not-knowing' of the situation to let what needs to happen become evident.

All of these things are tough to do if you are racing around madly trying to solve, fix, or control something happening outside of you.  You can't actively change people, places or things.  But people, places and things *can* change when you change yourself!

Your Perspective
My firstborn child is totally unlike me.  He recharges by being with people, I renew my energy by being alone.  When I recognized we were different, neither he nor I were bad or wrong, it transformed our relationship.  He got easier to deal with, simply because I saw things differently!

Your Attitude
Sometimes we make things harder on ourselves through resistance.  By resisting what it, we stay stuck in it.  Accepting the things we cannot change, often changes *our* experience of it!  We make relationships more difficult through resentment.  When we resent someone for what they did or didn't do, the atmosphere in the relationship can be downright deadly!  Letting go of resentment (and judgment, as well) clears the air.  Behaving differently towards someone else often creates them behaving differently towards us!

Take Nothing Personally *or Seriously*
People's reaction to us usually has very little to do with us and everything to do with them.  Give people the benefit of the doubt when encounting bad behavior.  What we think is going on rarely is.  Think of being laid off, or dumped as a Divine Intervention - the Universe was giving an opportunity to expand and grow!

Apply any of these suggestions to what is happening in your life today, and see how your life transforms!

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