Embrace Change: A Mindful Guide to Realignment and Self-Discovery
Have you ever found yourself wanting to hit the “reset” button? Craving change, but not sure what or how to start?
We all have moments when this feeling can arise. For some it comes with the changing of a season or time of year, for others uncertainty or restlessness can stir after a big life event or illness.
If this sense of wanting to begin anew sounds familiar it can be reassuring to know that you are not alone and that there are ways to bring in a little bit of mindfulness to help you navigate your way.
Getting to know yourself
Before seeking a complete reset it can be helpful to first take a look at what you value, bringing in awareness from a more mindful, rather than thinking, perspective.
Setting aside some time to do a reflection exercise in which you can pause and not be disturbed or distracted is a great start. This could be during a walk out in nature, a quiet moment of sitting or meditating first thing in the morning or even during a retreat.
Take a few breaths in and out. Allow yourself to imagine that you have a magic wand: What would you wish for in your own personal life? How could you envision your life being different than it is now?
If certain images or thoughts come to mind, allow yourself the opportunity to explore how it might feel to experience these things, as if they were already a reality. Can you sense what this might bring to your breath, body or emotions, if anything?
To know yourself in this way can require practice, self-compassion and sometimes a sense of humour! It can help to bring curiosity towards any challenges, reflections or insights.
Be clear on your values
Taking time to reflect on what matters, to you now and in this moment, can give you a glimpse of what you value and help you see if something is needed or missing from your current daily life or routines.
This could require adjustments to work or family life, making time for new hobbies you’d like to pursue or some other shift in how you use your time or energy.
To avoid feeling overwhelmed, choose one small thing that feels manageable and that will help you in the first steps towards one of your prioritized values.
Identifying concrete tasks that align with your values, rather than what you think you should do, can make it easier to feel motivated. Some examples could be: signing up for a workshop, retreat or course, setting aside more time to visit with friends, pending more time in the evenings with family, or something else that comes up for you.
Be free and adventurous with your ideas. This could be a good time to check out websites or community listings that you’ve bookmarked but never really explored.
Make a commitment – for you!
Once you have a change, activity or task identified, make your commitment. Discuss what you might need with friends and family, ensure other responsibilities will be taken care of and go for it! Sign up, make a shift and move forward in a mindful and determined way.
You may come across some obstacles, this is a normal part of the process of change. Don't let it throw you off course or stop you!
Be open to the experience and exploration. Not everything new feels comfortable in the beginning. Can you bring your sense of curiosity and beginner’s mind along with you? Being present in the moment and taking in whatever emotions, feelings and learning come?
Take your moment and be bold.
Creating meaningful change requires boldness. Seize the opportunity to realign your priorities and embark on a journey of self-discovery. Embrace the unknown, be open to exploration, and savor the experience. Here is a guided meditation that can help you in this process. This year, make a commitment to yourself and witness the transformative power of mindful living.