Many people say that they want to change their lives. I'm sure they mean what they say, but sometimes I wonder: do they truly want to make a change or does the idea just sound good at the time? Many changes look quite attractive in the imagination; the experience of creating them can be very different. While life transitions can be exciting, and can bring you magical experiences, miracles and joy, they also potentially can bring fear, confusion and frustration along the way.
The clearer you are about why you are making a change, who you want to become, and what spiritual source you are drawing from, the more pleasurable your transition will be. I want you to have a wonderful life, and a smooth transition. So to consciously begin your personal change process, I want you to answer the following question:
What do you want? What do you really want?
Our minds love to gather information. But in the process of doing their job, they often confuse and overwhelm us by bringing in too much information; pointing out all of the things that we could potentially have. Watching TV, reading magazines and books, seeing what others have and do: If we allow all into our consciousness, we start believing that we must have everything. Especially on a bad day, everything out there looks much better than what we have; of course we want a change.
Much of what we think we want, however, is just "surface" desire. We imagine things to make us happy, while in fact they are not the substance of what we are looking for. To make the changes in your life that will truly make an impact at the deep level you desire, you must wade through many distractions and find out what is most important to you. Then, and only then, can you make the decisions that will point you in the direction that is right for you, and provide the staying power needed when the change process gets challenging.
Let's begin with an exercise for you to play with as you begin to explore what changes you really want to make in your life. In your special journal (you have bought a special journal for this adventure, haven't you? Ok, paper/computer works too) write:
"What I want is ________"
Now list all of the things that come to mind as you fill in the blank. Make your list as comprehensive as possible and as long as necessary. Brainstorm with nothing barred, even if what comes to mind seems impossible, would raise some eyebrows or might invite judgment from others. Include the following areas:
1. Material things that you are pining for (more money, a new house, great stereo)
2. Experiences that you would like (more travel, bigger social life, special relationship, good health)
3. Emotions you would like to be feeling (happiness, expansiveness, generosity, self-confidence, love)
Some of you may have trouble making your list. Don't despair. Sometimes we have become so focused on what is not working in our lives that our brains refuse to think about what we might like in future. We have stopped allowing ourselves to even hope. Let's wake up the enthusiastic dreamer by working from the other direction. Fill in this blank: "What I don't want is ________." Then write the opposite. (Example: What I don't want are my current financial worries; reverse to what I do want is to wake up in the morning in a positive, hopeful frame of mind.)
Now, review your writing. Dream a little; enjoy all of the things that you have listed. Revel in the feeling you would have if all or even some of these things were in your life. Go ahead: feel it, taste it, be it.
Now we're going deeper. We are not interested in the fantasy game that you have played many times before: you make a list, say "wouldn't it be nice" and then go back to your usual life. We want to get to the richer, deeper part of you that knows what is needed, that yearns for what would really satisfy your soul.
Take a deep breath. Be relaxed. Now, staying in your reflective, meditative space, write the following sentence:
"All of those things on my list are great. But what I really want is ________________."
Write the first thing that comes to mind. Once again, do not edit or block what comes from your pen or fingers. Don't be surprised if you feel a sudden surge of energy, a click of relaxation or contentment. If your soul has allowed itself to speak, you will find that what goes in this blank is most likely what you want and need from your transition. This is the change that you most want to make. After all of the other brainstorming, this is what will be worth your time, energy, risk and dedication.
When we think of changing our lives, what often comes to our minds first masks the essence of what we really want. Yes, you may want a different job, but it is because you really want less stress, more free time, or recognition. More money would be great, but adventure, peace, or love may really be what you are looking for. Once you identify the essence of what you want, there are many different ways to satisfy it. Understanding this, you don't change your job and move to a different state, only to depressingly find that you still have too much stress, and are never at home.
As you identify the true essence of what you need, you will spend less time on outer goals that don't bring you the results you desire. As you allow your inner truth to speak, you become clearer on where to spend your time and what things to change.
In the next few weeks, pay attention to what you do each day. Notice where you choose to spend your time. Do your actions reflect your answers to "What I really want is _______"? Reflect on what you value most. You are beginning to create a life that is truly you.Explore posts in the same categories: Inspiration, Making Life Changes