There’s one particular thing that often stands in the way of any desired change; and, its partner has near-equal influence. Do you know what these are?
Consideration about the ignition switch for real change started with an email from an associate saying he was in a state of flux and it didn’t feel good. I emailed to check on him a week later and he responded that he’d made a decision to focus on one specific project he really wanted to engage, rather than all the opportunities being presented to him.
My thoughts about this are that the opportunities had become like “shoulds” swarming around his mind—each an external influence vying for his attention. Their “buzzing” distracted him from listening to his inner guidance that would lead him to head and heart alignment. He resolved his inner and outer conflicts by heeding the message of his true feelings (inner wisdom) instead of “should logic,” which allowed him to make a decision appropriate for him at this time. Absence of a decision based on head-and-heart aligned feelings is what often stands in the way of our starting down the path to a desired change.
The second happening that inspired me came when I took my cup of coffee outside early on a Sunday morning. I sat on the ledge by my kitchen door and gazed down at a small patch of wild ground cover and its tiny white flowers, still closed, as they do at night. I’d glanced away for a moment; and when I looked back, saw that one bud had opened; I watched its gradual unfolding. A few minutes later, another opened then another and another, until only one bud remained closed. I went inside to refill my cup, turn on my computer, and then went back outside. The bud was still closed. I kept watching it; it seemed to take a long time to open—though, I believed it would.
While I waited and watched the final bud, I thought that although a decision, as described above, is the first component to real change, it’s followed by right timing, which is different for each of us. These tiny white flowers are all members of the same root system; yet, each opened at different times—when the time was right for them. Right timing applies to decision-making, as well. Some decisions are made quickly; while others, usually about something likely to create significant change for or in us, are made once we move whatever is buzzing us out of the way so we can listen to what our true feelings tell us.
Each bud’s opening was silent—no fanfare, but glorious in its own way. Isn’t that how true change happens inside of us? We may tell others about it, but the moment we make a decision right for us, the moment we feel a true shift within us, is silent and glorious. Poets could use their wordsmith skills to create an image most could relate to feeling-wise, but many of us would be hard-pressed to adequately describe how we feel at such moments. Probably like the buds, we feel the spontaneous opening up—like a welcome inhalation after holding our breath through a long night—followed by a gradual, natural unfolding of our true selves that allows us to give AND receive gifts.
We think of right timing as a matter of external events lining up then showing up, but it starts at the inner level. The client mentioned in my recent article about “shoulding” on ourselves, on her own, saw the impact “shoulds” were having on her inner and outer experiences. Just as my associate’s “opportunity buzzing” pulled his attention away from his inner wisdom for a while, events in my client’s personal life competed, and necessarily so, for attention required by her professional life. She juggled a lot of issues at once. All of us know what that’s like.
Amid all these matters tugging at her, she paid attention and made adjustments. This is why in one of our coaching calls we tweaked a few perspectives, but the real “work” that led to meaningful shifts happened between our calls. One significant thing she did after our call was decide it was time to relax her energy, which invited an external event to line up on her behalf. Quite soon after she chose to relax and feel good about how well she was actually doing, a desired opportunity “knocked at her door.” She was able to greet the opportunity as a calm, gracious, enthusiastic hostess rather than a harried one. This is what opportunities appropriate for us do: they wait for our energy to be inviting.
Both of these individuals provide excellent reminders to us all to listen to our inner voice, and to trust when it tells us that something is out of balance and what would feel better or appropriate for us. They remind us that when we feel pulled at by life’s events, and even possibilities, that pulled feeling is our signal to pay attention, to observe and listen to feelings that lead us back to the ability to make a decision right for us, rather than listen to the mental “buzzing” that distracts us; and then to allow right timing, as needed. The result is peace of mind; and you can’t put a price on peace of mind.
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer
This week’s State of Appreciation is powerful, if I say so myself! Guest Articles: Complain Your Way to a Breakthrough! by Margaret Lynch; Intimacy . . . We Say We Want It, But Do We Really? by Lynne Forrest; and Just Sit by poet Wendi Romero: http://stateofappreciation.webs.com