Dance Your Way Through!
If you’re like me the New Year brings a sense of restored hope, coupled with a hefty dose of cynical optimism. For many of us, we find ourselves caught in a vortex between letting go of the familiar ‘what was’ and the uncertainty of ‘what’s next’, as we are forced to reinvent ourselves in every aspect of our lives.
The overwhelming loneliness of the holidays this year allowed me lots of time to think and reflect. I was left with the realization that my life is a new and blank canvas and I can choose to leave behind old behaviors that no longer serve me.
On several occasions recently, I’ve found myself with a choice between closing the door on what was and moving toward new possibilities. There is an old saying that people and situations come into our lives for a reason, a season, or for a lifetime. As a recovering ‘people pleaser’ who likes to feel in control, I find it hard to trust the process, facing change with excitement and grace rather than terror.
In 1992, I was discharged from an inpatient treatment program for an eating disorder and addiction. I was new to recovery and new to the idea of massive change in my life. I remember feeling disconnected with not much to contribute to the conversation over dinner with friends. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was feeling, but I sensed things in my life were growing and changing.
I realized that I was outgrowing my community and my needs were shifting. My old ways of life weren’t working, and I was struggling to find new tools for self- care, boundaries, and healthier habits. I was hyper aware of toxic behaviors like gossip and complaining, which prior to rehab, I participated in to make myself feel better. With the loss of most of my eyesight due to diabetes complications and no true friends, I had little to lose- it was time to peel back the layers of the onion and get to the root of who I was and what I wanted. The wheels of change were turning, and my desire was to live a healthier life.
For so many 2020 was a time for change, forced to let go of what was familiar, leaving an uncomfortable void in its place. Major life changes included changes in relationships and habits, forcing many into reinventing themselves. The year of 2020 was full of many hard choices and conscious decisions between succumbing to negativity and pity or choosing instead to be productive and positive despite the isolation. 2020 has been both weird and uncomfortable.
Embracing the unknown takes grace, patience, and a lot of self- care. If I learned anything in the process of learning to walk again, I know that everything happens one step at a time. When I find myself overcome with grief and loneliness, I allow space for self-care to rest and be quiet until the desperation passes and know that feelings are not facts. I remind myself daily to be productive and to surround myself with a positive and supportive community.
In the year of 2020, I was introduced to the random and amazing concept that things can be easy. Wow, how novel-things can be easy. Uncertainty doesn’t have to be hard.
Do you find yourself in between what was and what will be, wondering how you can dance your way through?
If you’re a trauma survivor like me then you know that trusting the process is uncomfortable. We are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. We often cope with uncertainty by staying busy and continue things that no longer serve us anymore just because we are afraid of what comes next.
As we navigate a global pandemic together and we have the power to decide how it ends. We can’t predict the future, but simple actions done daily are proven to yield big results.
Remember change and uncertainty is uncomfortable. Our brains are wired to protect us and when we don’t know what’s happening, we may feel dismayed or afraid. This is O.K. and it is also natural.
As a society, we are conditioned to crave instant satisfaction in all things. It’s hard to sit back and radically accept the process of change with patience and grace. Remember, all we can do is stay in our own lane, control what we can control, and leave the rest alone.
Take a deep breath, keep a schedule, and know that there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel. When I have recognized a need for a new community, job, a difficult relationship or support system, I attracted just that and so can you-even in a pandemic.
Three ways to manifest positive changes in your life
- Seek to surround yourself with those who are emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy.
- Realize you can’t possibly please everyone and let yourself off the hook to be perfect.
- Be mindful of how you spend your time and where your thoughts take you.
As I am consciously aware of making positive changes in my life, I am connecting with business colleagues that challenge me and new friends who are in alignment with an emotionally and spiritually healthy lifestyle. I am reminded that change is constant and what happens next will be exactly what is needed. Let’s really use this time as a springboard for an amazing new year.