Kelly Spencer - Happy Healthy YOU
(A wellness column by Kelly Spencer: writer, life coach, yoga & meditation teacher, holistic healer and a mindful life enthusiast!)
In a mythic Tarot card deck, the card of “death” isn’t a literally ending of life but rather the end of something, as it currently is.
It doesn’t necessarily symbolize a “bad” ending. The experience of irrevocable endings can accompany such joyful events as marriage or the birth of a child. The events not only connote a new beginning; they also mean the death of an old way of life, and that is to be acknowledged.
Transitional celebrations such as Stag or Bachelorette parties are rituals to acknowledge the loss of single life while celebrating the step into the partnership of married life.
Sometimes the changes occur more imprecisely and questionably.
I woke up the other day with some anxiety. I couldn’t pin point the cause but it was peppered with stressful thoughts and fear, as I step in a new direction in my life. While I will still be running my holistic wellness centre and teaching yoga, I am also getting ready to publish and launch a few books, as well step into the world of public speaking more. I feel really good about these upcoming transitions and feel confidently guided to this place, so I have to wonder, why the fear and stress about this new chapter?
After messaging my friend about feeling very raw and vulnerable with an uncertainty of the root cause, she shared she had been feeling the same.
I told my son, who is preparing for his second year at University along with just starting his second season of CIS football, the feelings I was experiencing. With a little shock at my disclosure, he declared he was just discussing this with his friend and roommate. They were feeling the excitement of the new chapter, but also experiencing some feelings of overwhelm and anxiety.
There is an anxiety in the air which often accompanies change and transition. If we think of all the changes we may be experiencing as the summer ends, routine of the professional goals or return to the school year or perhaps there are changes in your relationships whether that is a marriage or challenges or ending of one.
Subtle and severe weather changes occur this time of year, as we have seen globally with historically devastating typhoons, hurricanes and flooding in USA, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh and in our own country, Windsor, Ont. and parts of Quebec.
When there change is big or there are a lot of changes at once coming from all angles, it can be overwhelming, create stress and fearful thoughts.
Sometimes, the angles it comes from can be astrological. I turned to another friend that is a Master Vedic Astrologist. He travels internationally and hears from many people from all over, especially when times are challenged. I asked him if he was noticing an astrological change that was creating these feelings. His reply, “Oh yeah, it certainly is in the ethers. It's been like that since those eclipses occurred. I am waiting for Mercury to move forward (this week) and hopefully with it inner anxieties decrease somewhat.” He also let me know that big change is in my personal astrological chart, starting September.
“Turn to face the strange.” - David Bowie, song 'Changes.'
In some cases though, change does not necessarily mean bad. The unknown can stir up lower vibrational thoughts and feelings, if we allow it. Like the tarot card of “death”, is the image of the inevitable changing cycles of life which can endings and beginnings, how we feel is up to us.
We cannot bring with us, our previous patterns and attitudes, which may have given us security and allowed us to remain in the comfort zone of the known. Our attitude and intentions that surround the inevitable changes we face, is everything.
As we “turn to face the strange”, we can offer ourselves certain practices to alleviate the antagonistic crunch of unease. Once we understand and accept the mindfulness of current strains of transitions, we can fuel thoughts and feelings that feel good.
If you are feeling the challenges of change, try these tips:
1. Know how you feel. Instead of randomly feeling stress, worry or anxiety as your go through life on auto-pilot, stop and know how you are feeling. Actually give them a name such as, sad, mad, scared, or happy.
2. Understand and accept your feelings. You perhaps don’t know the root cause of certain feelings but we can still understand, acknowledge and accept that this indeed the way we are feeling.
3. Give your feelings breathing room. Giving space and validation for our current situation(s) can be done through journaling, chatting with some you trust and/or just sitting with the feelings and giving them space to breath for a few moments.
4. Nurture yourself. Find healthy ways to comfort yourself. Spend time in nature or laughing with friends. Go mini-golfing or curl up with a book and your favorite organic herbal tea. Walk at the beach. Do things that feel good and nurturing.
5. Lighten up. “Note to Self: This is just a moment, that’s all. Maybe it’s a big steamy turd of a moment, but it will pass. See what I did there? You can still make crappy jokes. I did it again! Ok, back to the regularly scheduled madness.” - Nanea Hoffman, founder of Coffee & Sweatpants.
6. Find the ease and grace. My friend offered the intention for us all to send healing energy to everyone involved in transitions and change, including ourselves, asking for grace and ease to be our intention.
7. Write out a mantra that allows this to happen for you. My mantra this week, which I meditate on each morning is: “To keep myself authentically aligned, I take care of my body, mind and spirit. I reach for a place of joy and happiness as I trust the abundance of all things. I trust my choices and I trust my life to guide me when I am aligned.” For me, this actually turns my apprehension into excitement.
Change and transitions can be challenging but it doesn’t have to consume or devastate us. While honoring the “old”, we can allow the formulation of the “new” to be taken with both hands, with faith in that invisible creative power which has generated this new path... with intentions of ease and grace.
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