Change, even if creating something you truly desire, can be challenging. Why in the world would anyone, especially when in your 70s, choose to go through change? Well, growing and learning are a type of change; growing and learning are essential for well-being and longevity.
Feelings of vitality, of aliveness, arise from embracing change. The real question is why in the world would someone in the seventh decade of life (and beyond) NOT choose change?
Change can happen to us and around us – health issues, someone dying, kids moving, etc. These are the kinds of change that are a natural part of life’s ebb and flow. We are called on to accept what is and to care for ourselves as we navigate them.
Then, there is change that you decide for. Reflecting on what we want, we may feel resolve, hope, desire, and often have a vision. You might decide to get more fit, spend more time in friendship, commit to love, take up a hobby, learn a skill, volunteer or use your professional skills in some way.
Here’s my new video about taking your journey through change.
As noted in the video, we make a change in our lives by deciding and committing, having a very clear sense of what we are creating and who we will become, then taking consistent action toward what we desire.
The important aspect is to commit without reserve and to spend time daily experiencing the person you are becoming, reflecting on what you are undergoing in your heart through emotion. This practice remains important throughout the entire change process.
Once what you have decided for begins to unfold in your life, some of your routine will be disrupted. Expect this. More friend time might mean losing some personal time or adjusting your schedule to do something for someone.
Getting more fit not only means the changes in your diet and exercise routine, but it is also navigating new clothes and others noticing the change in you. Taking up a hobby or volunteering may mean being obligated to more of a schedule than you are used to.
Falling in love can be a seismic shift in identity and require focus on who you need to be to make a relationship truly work. The disruptions can be at a deep, even identity, level. Do you feel fear or excitement, or both?
The tendency may be to ignore or deny what you feel. The key is to acknowledge and explore feelings that surface so you can focus on what you want rather than reacting and questioning.
You may begin to question what you believed you desired. Even if the reason behind the change you have decided for is important to you, our tendency is to resist, or not commit fully, or just fall into amnesia about why you wanted to make the change in the first place.
The risk is we ending up right back where we started, that is, living with the unmet desire or dissatisfaction that inspired the choice to do something differently in life. Your resolve is supported by the daily practice of immersing yourself in the vision of the life you are creating.
The journey may take weeks or years; it depends on the depth of the change and its process. For example, becoming fit enough to hike five miles may only take a few months, while expressing your true creative spirit may take a bit longer as you explore. If you follow the steps consistently, the change will become reality. Then you are “in” the change in contrast with creating it.
The moment of realization that you are living your new reality can take your breath away, even if it was created in small increments. It is like arrival in your destination city to discover what it is really like to be there.
The feeling of arrival, of living what you desire, is not the time to stop your practice of engaging with your personal vision. Life in a foreign city, the food, language and customs can be different, and you may yearn for home.
Hold on to your dream. Learning to be a loving partner may feel like a challenge sometimes. That does not mean it is better to go back to being uncommitted and independent. How you are treated as a fit woman may feel awkward and unfamiliar. Saying “Yes” to a social invitation may disturb your personal routine. Remember the value of what you have created – and learn to live that life.
The most important practice is to be grateful for the rich life you are living and creating.
If you are ready to consider the change you would love to create in your life, visit Ardith’s website for a free pdf guide that will help you envision what you desire.
Are there changes you want, but they seem too big or difficult to do? Have you made a big change in your life? What was the experience like?