Are you stuck in how you used to be or what you used to have?
Are you still hanging on to the old ‘normal’?
In a crisis, can you change quickly and adapt?
Are you able to reinvent yourself at the drop of a hat?
One thing is guaranteed: your life will change many times with or without your permission.
There will be disasters, catastrophes, deaths – and many good and wonderful things, all of which add to the quality of your life.
The measure of your good mental health is being able to adapt to circumstances in the shifting sands of time.
You might, however, want to return back to a place where you thought things were going well, even if someone drops a brick on your head each time you go there.
You may blame everyone and everything for the change and be caught up in the diatribe of wishing things were how they used to be or protesting at the change. You want to go back to ‘normal’ or in reality what you perceived ‘normal’ to be.
Newsflash – there is no normal; it’s an illusion
Everything is transient and changing all the time, non-stop.
Such a statement may feel brutal and cruel to you because we are all reaching for some kind of security and permanency, whether it be family, love, friends, a job, career, the law, money or financial security.
When you accept that everything is changing all the time, you may experience two different reactions.
Firstly, you might feel panic but this will not allow you to get a handle on life so you live in a state of anxiety, abandon your abilities to take control and resent change.
Or you could choose the second reaction where you fully embrace the present, look for everything good in it and resolve to be active in creating your own future, not passive in resenting change as a bad thing and struggling to keep everything as it was.
There is an opportunity of a lifetime in every breath
If you adopt this attitude to change, you can move forward in a positive and constructive way, no matter what happens.
It all depends on the way you program your mind to see life. You have a choice even when terrible things happen. It might seem like a hard choice at times and you may feel you’re deserting, betraying or hankering for the past but the past has gone and the only thing you can really do is embrace the present.
Embracing the present opens your eyes, ears, mind and heart to the new possibilities.
Here are some tips to help you do this:
► Enjoy good memories of the past but don’t dwell in it for it has passed
► Let go of any anger that happens when change is thrust upon you because anger is unlikely to benefit you or help you handle what’s happened
► Accept that change has happened and embrace the new story
► Appreciate everything you have and experience it in the present moment with gratitude. Do this regularly, for example as soon as you wake up in the morning, or before you go to sleep at night – or both
► Look for the opportunities that emerge as a result of the change
► Take charge and create those opportunities strategically, dogmatically and with enthusiasm
Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH, BHSc, ND, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist. Counsellor, PACFA registered Mental Health Professional and Naturopath in Sydney. You can get help by booking an appointment with me at the Australian Health & Education Centre. I am the author of the Amazon No 1 Best Seller Inspiration for Survive and Prosper: Personal Transformation Out of Crisis.