Change is a part of life so since you can’t avoid it you might as well learn to ride it with grace & ease. So here is an E.M.B.R.A.C.E. method for handling the twists & turns life brings you. These counter intuitive techniques have the power to break you free from the grip of the chaos of endlessly spinning in confusion and dread.
E – Expectations
“Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole world changes in an instant! “ ~ Tony Robbins
Expectations of how things should be keep you in a perpetual spin cycle of disappointment. By focusing on the outcome you focus on variables you cannot control. This is a way of keeping you from feeling 100% responsible. One way to shift this is to take control of how you approach situations by focusing on what you can control – your focus.
Ironically, by fixating on appreciating every aspect of an experience you shift the outcome. This may seem counter-intuitive because we are trained to look for problems, expect the other shoe to drop, and use worry as a distraction. But by appreciating we stay present and active in the process so the process and the outcome are more enjoyable and less reliant on artificial constraints.
M – Mulishness
“Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Dealing with your stubbornness is essential to cycle management because with change comes discomfort. It’s not wrong, it is just part of the process. But because of our reticence to embrace discomfort we dig in our heels as an avoidance technique. We close the door on possibilities and opportunities we didn’t expect. Even in the face of alarm bells and total defeat we cling to our original path because a known discomfort is more palatable and less scary that an unknown one.
B – Broadcast
“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.” ~ Patrick Rothfuss
We all broadcast a vibration that is encoded with the story we tell ourselves about our life. We interpret the information we get and then broadcast a vibration based on our interpretation. So if we have a filter that life is a hard place then our experiences are going to be flavored by that vibration. It is like every cycle is a plain bowl of rice and the vibration we broadcast flavors the rice – so it can be bitter, sweet, uncomfortably hot or comforting like vanilla & cinnamon. We are in charge of the flavor profile so we can turn the knob up or down by noticing what overlays we are putting on the information the Universe is giving us. For example one person stuck at a red light might be angry at the delay and spend the time recalling other past annoying events, thus flavoring the rest of their day. Whereas the person in the car next to them might be grateful for the moment of pause and use the time to take some deep breaths and relax, also flavoring the rest of their day.
R – Rituals
“There is a comfort in rituals, and rituals provide a framework for stability when you are trying to find answers.” ~ Deborah Norville
Rituals offer us a framework of support. Sometimes we pull away from structure because we think it will restrict us but in fact it can offer just what we need, if we build it correctly. The secret to creating the proper structure to help us through changes is to create structures that complement rather than constrain us.
For example, if your new cycle includes starting your own business you might shy away from having a business plan because you feel the traditional document does not speak to you. But don’t give up on the support it can give you – just create one that speaks your language. So instead of Income Projections plan the impact you will have with your new venture. Instead of an Executive Summary define your vision and your mission. Instead of Marketing & Sales map out the actions you intend to use to carry it all out.
A – Anxiety
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” ~ Charles Spurgeon
Managing your anxiety about your newest life cycle helps make it a less bumpy ride. Again, do the counter-intuitive thing: instead of turning away from your anxiety go toward it, full throttle. When you catch yourself having an anxious thought like, “If I lose my job I might lose my home” when you think about possible lay-offs at work, instead of skirting away from that thought dive right into it. Repeat it 20-30 times. Think of nothing else – just pause and repeat it like a mantra until it looses all charge. You almost even get bored with it, thus signaling your freedom from it.
“People always ask me, ‘What is it that you regret?’ And I say, ‘nothing, because I could not buy what I’ve learned.’ And I apply those things to my life I learn. And hopefully, hopefully it helps me to be a better human in the future and make better choices.” ~ Katy Perry
You can prolong the pain associated with change forever by not making any choices, but why would you want to? We get paralyzed by decisions by either fretting about not having enough information or distancing ourselves from our intuition. But the most paralyzing aspect of making a decision is the thought that there is a right choice. If you can let that thought float way like a like a balloon then you will untether yourself from the weight of making a mistake. If instead you could face each decision with the knowing that just by making the next decision you are moving forward. If you have to make a different decision in just a few steps then at least you’ve begun the journey.
“Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.” ~ Roger Ebert
The most counter intuitive aspect of our emotions is they are all good for they are all sending us a message, as that is their only job. The question is can you hear its song? For example, if you are envious of a new opportunity one of your friends just got then what is this negative emotion of envy mean for you? If you peeled back the wrappings to the core you just might find that the discomfort you feel is at yourself for dreams you’ve given up on or projects you’ve been avoiding. This envy, if really listened to, could be the message you need to move you forward toward your big vision of your impact in the world.
Change rolls in on the little cat feet of discomfort of newness. But you can be comforted with the knowledge that in your E.M.B.R.A.C.E. lays the answer to smoothly rolling along with the cycles of your life. If you have been stuck in a whirlpool of spinning confusion, unease or negative emotions then break free by employing these counter-intuitive tactics. Once released from that buffeting grip you can then ride the wave of empowerment.