by Catharine Craig
Re-blogged from: Wake Up. Tune In. Create Awesome.
My favorite part of a new year is hearing people announce what their, “Theme of the Year” will be.
It’s a pretty bold announcement to make through facebook, twitter, or to one’s family and I have wild respect and admiration, riddled with intense curiosity about the themes chosen.
One friend announced that 2014 will be her year of “Building.” A family member thoughtfully articulated that her theme for the year needed to be, “Establishing Healthy Boundaries.”
Choosing a theme means that one is dedicated to seeing his/her life and impending choices through a new paradigm for a certain time frame. A friend of mine used to, “try on ideas” before really agreeing to pursue them. The idea of a theme seems like “trying on” a new world view.
I like it.
Pretty interesting idea anyway isn’t it?
What if 2013 was really bad? Or what if there were just so many changes that happened during that time you don’t even know how to stop your head from spinning long enough to decide what your “theme” might be?
What about this…
What if 2014 is your year of transition and transformation?
Transition comes to us all the time in all sizes, shapes, colors and feels. New job, new home, new town, lost a job, marriage, divorce, death, changing personal role, changing identity, becoming a parent, losing a parent, parenting a parent, and these are just a few common transitions we commonly make our way though.
For people, transition is a road we walk.
If 2014 is a year of transition for you. Know this, like an adventurer that heads out on a quest, there are some practices and “tools” you should consider bringing along with you on the journey. There are also those special guides that are educated and trained to help you out along the way. Maybe you already have an exceptional mentor in your life that serves as travel companion. If not however, maybe 2014 is the year to recruit one to your team!
There are all kinds of “coaches” out there available to work with you on whatever path you’re currently walking. Looking for meaningful work? Try a Career Coach! Have a health or wellness goal? What about hiring a personal Trainer or Wellness Consultant? Having an existential crisis or truly want to deepen yourself spiritually? Consider finding a Spiritual Advisor! (Spiritual crisis tends to rear it’s attention seeking head in all kinds of ways that can also include career, health, personal relationships, and general quality of life.)
My dear friend Carrie Wood is a Spiritual Advisor that specializes in walking with others on the path of transition. I was blessed to reconnect with Carrie 14 years ago and she has been one of the most valued and trusted friends a girl could have. In the spirit of the new year, and for those of you facing a year of transition she kindly volunteered to provide some helpful hints, tools and ideas to empower you as you make your way.
Transitioning & Stuck? 5 Spiritual Practices To Get You Moving Again
Guest Post [on Wake Up. Tune In. Create Awesome.] By Carrie Wood
Transition or Change comes in many forms and can be experienced in many categories of one’s life; the loss of a loved one, a new job/career, recent separation, or a new move. Luckily, your search for help has brought you here! Many of these major Transitions in life hit on the top 5 most stressful events one can experience in life. If you happen to be experiencing more than one of these stressful changes, then it’s no wonder you may feel like a chicken with your head cut off or completely disjointed.
These 5 Spiritual practices that can aid you through Transition and may even shed some light on what seems to be blocking you.
1. Get Grounded or Centered: While we are in the midst of change we are in need of people, places, things and activities that are a “constant” in our lives. If you don’t have one, then create one. Walking is very grounding! Any single-pointed, focused activity such as drawing, knitting, playing darts or ping-pong, cooking or practicing an instrument are excellent ways to get you out of your head space and back down to earth. You can’t chop wood AND go over your To Do lists at the same time. .. that’s just a bad idea. Avoid Video games and T.V. if you are suffering major stress symptoms due to your transitioning as they only amplify the stress cycle: especially before bedtime.
2. Breathe! Breath is a marker for one of our “VITAL“signs that doctors, nurses, and EMT’s will use to ascertain whether a person is alive or dead or how “critical” their condition may be. . . But we very rarely listen to this vital as a marker of our general health or well being, both physically and emotionally. Running a 5K is good, obviously, but do you maintain that same healthy deep steady breath when you are at work or dealing with family?
Many Eastern practices of Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Yoga, and Martial Arts recognize the value of harnessing one’s breath for various reasons. To calm the senses, or heighten others, to redirect our energies or maintain focus. The Karate kid practiced “paint the fence” and “wax on, wax off” without realizing the inherent value until Mister Miagi related his work to the art of Karate’. It was the intention of “self-defense” that shifted the purpose and use of his breath and movement.
3. Forgiveness the key to freedom: when we are in the midst of change we are not our usualselves… we are generally our most stressed out, freaked out, fearful selves because everything is different. If “old” issues creep up in your thoughts and actions while you are in the midst of transition, then you may not have discovered the root, yet. However, we need to be forgiving of ourselves as we struggle through these changes and know that most people do not hurt other people’s feelings out of malice. People hurt other people’s feelings because they are hurting, themselves or because they have inadvertently poked an open wound of yours. Forgive them, and forgive yourself. When this is particularly difficult for you, start with the prayer, mantra.
“I want, to forgive ____________.”
4. Get Creative! Get coloring, painting, writing, watching Sci Fi movies, read children’s books, play “imagine“ with your kids…or someone else’s kids ( within good reason 😉 anything that expands your mind beyond what you see with your two eye-balls. Let’s face it, they don’t see so far! You wanna stay stuck?… Just keep looking at the same old crap day after day…metaphorically or literally. It is our creativity that fuels hope and new possibilities. We don’t always credit the Arts for cutting right to the heart of a matter but how quickly just the right song, poem, or piece of art can awaken a well of emotions and memories. Just give into it and go with the flow. Art Therapy, baby!
5. Talk it out: I myself am not a Catholic; however, I appreciate the idea of “confession”. To pronounce how I actually feel, what my inner-most thoughts, sins, desires or concerns are to another human being is freeing! There is something to be said about speaking to someone outside of your normal circle of friends, family, acquaintances that provides enough anonymity to really address the authentic core of who we are and where we want to be. If you don’t know of someone, give me a try, I’d love to help you! and if not me, cuz this felt like a total plug for my business, which this little bit is and it just disgusts you, I get it. . . just talk to someone!
If something you read above strikes you as helpful or true give Carrie some feedback and let her know!Leave your comments here or contact her through her website at http://www.tomakewhole.com/ If you have decided 2014 is a year of transition and you understand yourself well enough to know you want additional support please connect with Carrie or another coach that can meet your needs.
Sometimes we all need a little extra support and someone to shine a light in the darkness.
feature photo credit: http://blogs.uww.edu/career/tag/office-services/