In this issue ~~
Change is something that happens all the time, whether we want it or not. Recently, we had some rather major changes thrust upon us. While many of us suffered painful losses and heightened fears to one degree or another, we also had incredible insights about our lives and our priorities. We saw new directions based on deeper values and made internal changes.
As artists, we came to a new awareness that our work is significant, both to ourselves and to others, a way that we can bring beauty and healing to the world. We want to grow as artists, infuse new life into our work and perhaps dedicate it to the service of those who suffered. We found a new boldness in pursuing and promoting our work.
But the chaos and confusion of the time led us to crave a return to normalcy and stability. And in that return, we can easily lose sight of the changes we made, or vowed to make, and return to old habits. Our day-to-day concerns begin to creep back into our consciousness and crowd out the new inspiration. The old fears and limiting beliefs set in again, and our new goals begin to drift farther away. The glow of our epiphany of insight wears off, and we fall back into habitual feelings and behaviors.
In order to sustain the positive changes we envisioned, we need to keep up the momentum. In the early stages of change, our excitement carries us through. But the nature of momentum is such that it needs a push every now and then to keep it going, or it will grind to a halt.
As we face the real-life requirements of implementing and sustaining change, the challenges, fears and discouragement that may arise put "speed bumps" in the road and slow us down. We need to consciously reinforce the change we desire, or the daily demands of our lives will push it further and further back on the burner, until it becomes a wistful dream.
While the events of September 11 were tragic, we can use them
to move us to a better place. Look at the changes you vowed to
make, reevaluate them and then find ways to follow through. The
best gift we can give to those who gave their lives, and the
best way we can thwart the terrorists, is to make our lives better.
If there's a change you want to make, plan a strategy. Start with your goal and work backwards, breaking it down into smaller, more doable steps that you can take over time. Then, take the first step.
". . . gradual change is usually more fruitful in the long run than is forced, ultra-aggressive upheaval. Undertaken wisely, steady transitions cultivate authenticity, groundedness, and virtues – like patience, compassion (for self and others), and perseverance. All these qualities improve your probability of success when, ultimately, you do figure out how to actualize your personal vision."
"Much as we may wish to make a new beginning, some part of us resists doing so as though we were making the first step toward disaster."
"Painful as it may be, a significant emotional event can be the catalyst for choosing a direction that serves us – and those around us – more effectively. Look for the learning."
(click on the book or tape graphic to see a description at Amazon.com)
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