Hello friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter.
More than any other topic, I get questions about stress and handling change. Change is stressful, and for lots of people 2013 has been a year of change. And big changes at that.
Just the other day I reminded myself to be patient with change. It seemed like Murphy’s Law was operating in my life over and over again. Murphy’s Law states:
Nothing is as easy as it looks, Everything takes longer than you expect, And if anything can go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible moment. It’s an annoying law because it reminds us that just when you think you have life under control, you realize you don’t. And of course it also reminds us that the one thing in life you can absolutely count on is that circumstances will continually change. What is unknown is when they will change. And it’s often the WHEN that we most want to know and control.
I find flexibility, in my thinking and planning, to be the antidote to all this. I simply can’t base my decisions on assumptions that everything is going to continue as it is now. It won’t. And I must remember that circumstances have a habit of changing with little warning. That way I won’t find myself caught off guard so often. Wisdom has taught me to be more flexible in my planning for my tomorrows.
I read somewhere that tomorrow never really comes because it always turns into today. I like that! It helps me remember that nothing lasts forever, and when I stay attuned to that reality I will likely feel less vulnerable to the inevitable bumps in the road. I don’t enjoy constantly being caught off balance and finding myself unprepared to make the rational decisions necessary to leading a peaceful, happy, and successful life.
I also find that my brain relaxes more when I acknowledge the reality that life has this habit of not cooperating with my plans. A relaxed brain enables me to better cope and prepare myself for dealing with adversity and change. My relaxed brain is better able to learn the lessons of having experienced change and I then take my new knowledge and prepare better for the next change.
And it seems there’s always a price to pay for that newfound knowledge. It’s usually time, money, energy, discomfort or a combo of these. I find the sooner I pay the price, the sooner I can get on with life. I think a lot of people get stuck and stressed during this stage. They put off paying the price, which sooner or later they’ll end up paying anyway. But in the meantime, knowing there’s a price to pay, coupled with not letting go of the past, becomes SUPER stressful and robs them of going forward.
I’m determined not to do this and so far, so good. I prefer a more long term solution approach rather than the short term patch-things-up approach. I find temporary patches require too much energy and anyhow, the problems only grow.
A reader sent me this quote from Voltaire, “Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.”
So when changing circumstances disrupt your best-laid plans, which of course we know they will, and your feeling displeased and disappointed, here’s my advice: laugh at Murphy’s Law, pay the price of change, and get on with finding JOY in movement!
I’ve kept this month’s Joyinmovement letter short because, heck, it’s July and summer is beckoning me to swim, hike, and enjoy the outdoors. Hope your July is full of fun as well!