The sun is definitely sitting much lower in the sky these days, and on this Saturday afternoon at 4 PM, everything takes on a golden hue. That tells me we have moved into Autumn. Several of the deciduous trees on my block are beginning to turn a variety of lovely reds and yellows. The nights are getting cooler, and my sleeping is therefore getting sounder. I just love Autumn and the change it brings to my life.
If only all change we experience could be this pleasant. As a physician, I often find unanticipated changes unpleasant, even a source of anxiety and resentment. (Yes, even coaches are subject to negative attitudes from time to time.) At times such a those, I have to remind myself that, as a wise coach-friend of mine often says, “acceptance is the key to one’s happiness.” While that comment always irritates me when I hear it, I have come to understand that he is correct. One of the greatest challenges in life is learning to decide which battles to fight, and which battles to LET GO of. That is our CHOICE. We can choose to expend a lot of negative energy, anger, resentment, or obsession trying to change something which is beyond our control, or we can consciously decide to accept and let go of that circumstance. The more I can learn to accept and embrace life’s events, the happier I am.
That is not to say that we must all roll over and play dead, or simply give up in the face of difficult circumstances. But it does mean that when we hit difficult situations that “trigger” us, it is well worth the effort to sit with the problem in solitude for a while. Is this something I have the ability to change? If the answer is “no”, then I have the choice to accept and let go. If it is something that I do have the chance to modify or change, then I can choose to honor myself and stand up for what I believe in. Remember the operational word here is “CHOICE”. When we remember we always have a choice, we become frustrated and angry much less often, which permits happiness to shine through much more.
The corollary to this rule of life, is that in order to maintain our happiness, and balance, we must also learn to LISTEN. To listen to the still small voice within. That is the voice of our inner wisdom. We all have that wise voice inside, if we can only learn to access and hear it. Call it what you will: your “gut feeling”, your “intuition”, your “third sense”, your “inner voice.” To hear that voice we must develop a spiritual practice. A practice by which we connect with ourselves.
That spiritual self-connection can occur in many ways. For some, it happens when they pray, or meditate, or keep a daily journal, walk by themselves in nature, cast a fly line in a raging river, or simply sit by oneself in silence. What works for you?? Do you have a spiritual practice which you engage in frequently?? In order to reach relationship balance, one of the components of work-life balance, we must first establish a relationship with ourselves.
Are you interested in exploring the possibilities of a spiritual practice for yourself? Do you need better strategies for dealing with change? Call or email me at CPPR to get started! You will never regret such a decision.