Finding Peace in Sea of Change

Your life is changing. Whether you’re the catalyst behind the metamorphosis or change has been thrust upon you, it can be an unsettling time. There’s an uneasiness in letting go of the familiar and stepping out into new frontiers. How do you find balance and peace amid upheaval?

Hakuna Matata

You may recognize this Swahili phrase from the song in Disney’s Lion King. The phrase loosely translates to “no problems” or “no worries.” A problem-free life is an unrealistic goal. You’re going to have setbacks and challenges, even if you’re on a path you’re excited to pursue. The philosophy in practice, however, is more about how you handle those speed bumps. Are you wallowing? Are you focused on the negative? Are you only seeing roadblocks? Take a deep breath and look at things from a new perspective. Is this challenge the end of the line or just a detour? Is it hopeless or an opportunity to grow in a new direction? Will you worry and relent or dig deep and expand?

Be Full of Abundant Gratitude

When all else fails, focus on gratitude! No matter what your current circumstances are, I am positive you have something to be thankful for. Every experience in your life gives you an opportunity to learn and grow. Allow yourself to appreciate the experiences you’re having, the things you’re learning and the people you’re meeting. One of my favorite quotes is by author Melody Beattie. She said: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Go ahead. Give it a try.

Be real

When we’re excited (or nervous) about a change, we sometimes cultivate unrealistic expectations. We imagine the process will be faster and the results will be bigger than either ends up being. The disconnect between our imagination and our reality can leave us feeling unsettled. Real change takes time. Don’t get so caught up rushing to the finish line that you don’t enjoy the ride to get there. Do your due diligence. Set realistic, measurable goals with defined milestones. Know where you’re going, why you’re headed there, and what it may take to accomplish it all.

Be flexible

There’s nothing more stressful than rigidity. Trust me on this one. It’s impossible to accept life’s curveballs when we’re too locked in to bend and go with the flow. Think of yourself like a skyscraper. These tall, majestic, seemingly rigid, structures are anything but. They move with the wind. To quote a Gizmodo article on the subject, “Nothing, according to physics, can be infinitely rigid.” Set off on your journey with goals and a plan. Part of that plan should include opportunities to check-in and reevaluate. Are you headed on the right path? Is this the right way to get there? Are these timelines and achievements realistic? Do I need to make any adjustments?

Be kind

Change is messy, even when it’s something we desire. Be kind to yourself. Celebrate your wins along the way: the big wins and the little ones. Plan for the future. Live in the moment. Appreciate the road you’ve traveled. Dream. Stretch. Know your limits and where you can reach beyond them.