As a quick preface to the rest of this post, I don’t claim to be any expert when it comes to creating change in your life. I’m not any sort of life coach, and I certainly won’t claim to have my life totally together. I can only speak from my own personal experience, from a place of contentment, and share my perspective in the hope that I can provide just a morsel of value that you can use in your life.
I want to talk about change, positive change. That process of moving from where you are to where you would rather be. No matter where you are in your life right now there is undoubtedly somewhere else you’d rather be. And I think that is totally ok! This doesn’t have to be a physical change, but to changes in behaviour, or skills. Becoming aware of a gap in our understanding highlights an opportunity for growth.
I’m not suggesting that you want to do so out of unhappiness for where you are now but from the desire to improve and grow, to be healthier and happier. You can be happy and still desire change, something more. I think that is a beautiful place to create from.
I tend to think that all change begins with awareness. First of all awareness of the self, your thoughts and feelings in response to your environment. If you’re constantly living in a reactionary state, letting people and circumstances hijack your thoughts and feelings unknowingly, you’re not in control, you’re being controlled. Becoming aware of the influence of your environment, the people, places, and situations, and your reactions to your environment puts you in a position to change.
I don’t think it comes naturally to us to stop and think about how we are feeling and to take responsibility for it, to realise that we have the ability to change it at any moment. It takes practice to not get swept up in the moment of what he/she said, or did. It’s harder still to shine the light on years, decades, of conditioning, to face truths that we have held for so long they have become a part of us.
For a time, I would imagine, there would be a feeling of loss when you come to the realisation that everything you thought you knew to be fixed and true about you turned out to be just a thin veneer hiding a beautiful Jarrah surface. There will be resistance at first, a kind of better-the-devil you know situation than to face the uncertainty and unknown of change. But once seen it is hard to unsee.
There is a quote by Jim Carrey that I am reminded of.
“Ultimately, we’re not the avatars we create. We’re not the pictures on the film stock. We are the light that shines through it. All else is just smoke and mirrors. Distracting, but not truly compelling.”
I’ve heard it described another way. Imagine a ball with a million little holes in it and a light shining through them. Each one of these holes representing an experience, belief, or thought. Many of us would think we are the ball, the sum of our thoughts and beliefs, but actually we are the light that shines through the holes. We’re the light on the inside.
The first step to change is becoming aware of what is, and realising that what is may not be all that there is, that there may be more, that you want something different, to be better. Once you’re acutely aware of where you are you can begin to imagine where you want to be and plot how to get there. But I’ll save that for another time.