Thursday, May 9, 2013

Facing New Beginnings

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere. Frank A. Clark

Life is a journey of new beginnings, usually small ones, but sometimes the big ones mean major life changes. Some are happy ones, like a new job you really want, or moving someplace you always wanted to live, or sudden income that will change your lifestyle, etc. But others may be painful, like losing a job or home, a sudden illness or injury, moving to care for a loved one, even death of a loved one, etc. Either way they can take a toll on life if not handled with care.

At age 47, I wanted to attend UNLV in Las Vegas where I had lived and had friends, and then work in the mental health field. I had just enough money for the move from Florida and no money for school. My heart jumped with excitement, but my mind gave me every negative, scary thought it could muster up. But I did it anyway. I stayed with friends for a while, got a school loan and stipend, worked at Denny's on weekends to support myself, and accomplished my new beginning. But it took work to keep myself on the right path.

Look at life through the windshield, not the rear-view mirror. Byrd Baggett

New beginnings require work on the inner and outer parts of your life. It's a long process, from your first thought of a change to finally feeling safe and comfortable in your new situation. The following are some thoughts on how change can take place without having to put your head in a bucket to make it all go away.

1. Trust yourself and the still, small Voice inside for guidance, comfort and strength when you need it.
2. Be clear about your goals. Tell the negative, scary thoughts to take a hike, and keep your mind on your goals. When you talk to your thoughts, and you mean what you say, most of the time they will obey you.
3. Create a plan and ways to implement it. But keep your mind focused in the present as you go along.
4. Make a list of life strategies you've used in the past. Let go of those that no longer serve you, and replace them with new ones you need in your new situation.
5. Take one step at a time, and ask, "What can I do to accomplish my next step?" (When I applied for work at Denny's, there was no opening. So everyday I sat at the counter with my coffee and got to know the manager. I got the first opening)
6. Connect with others in your new place and/or situation. Seek help from people already close to you and from those involved in your new beginning.
7. Make a place in your heart for good memories, and give yourself some space and time to mourn while you're moving forward. If you feel lost or scared, dwell on the past, or doubt yourself, don't stuff your feelings. They're normal. Time and your own efforts will heal them. You really are okay, and you will survive.

A new beginning can mean a new way of life. It's worth the time and effort. Be patient and allow your new life to unfold in a peaceful way.

I wish you peace and joy on your journey.


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