Navigating Change

Big changes in life are often opportunities for growth, but they can also bring about an intense sensation of fear. Perhaps you are graduating from school, leaving (or losing your job), ending a relationship, (death of a spouse) or heading into retirement. In my case my mother’s death had change my life and sent me into the orbit of a new life. While these life and death events, can open new doors, you may find yourself being terrified of the unknown. So, what can you do if fear arises?

“The most important thing about working with fear is to be very calm and sit with the fear.” This is according to Robert Svoboda, who is considered one of the brightest minds in Eastern philosophy, the first to be licensed to practice Ayurveda in India, and has written 11 books, including the best-selling Prakrite. He suggests doing a simple daily meditation practice:

Start by sitting quietly in a comfortable up right position. Then select a memory of a moment in your past when you felt confident, focused and fearless. As you breathe evenly and deeply, use your exhalation to release the fear you have inside, and your inhalation to summon that feeling of self-assurance that you had in that past moment.

Do this for a number of cycles until the majority of the fear has dissipated (some fear is likely to remain in the background). Envision yourself addressing and confidently handling your forthcoming major life change. At first, the initial effect may seem minor, said Svoboda, but with daily practice you‘ll be able to transform your fear into a feeling of empowerment.

As we are embark on a new path, what can we do to feel “all right” and how can we be in touch with our inner true self?

I have decided to find the answers as well as methods that can help me and would like to share them with you. Even if feelings of devotion don’t sweep you off your feet, keep making an effort. Everything you do whether it’s a prayer, chanting, reading scriptures, meditating — is a step closer to being aware of the Divinity residing in your inner heart.

Prayer is a simple but very effective way to connect with the Divine. There are two kinds of prayer: ego-centered prayer and genuine prayer. In ego – centered prayer we approach god to petition for favors. Genuine prayer, on the other hand comes from within. We pray for not any favors or gifts but rather for the strength to face with serenity all of the many problems that fill our lives. Such prayers which are selfless and pure are always answered. Genuine prayers include gratitude for the simplest things like clean water, sunlight and laughter.

Chanting is a powerful way to channel the emotions. Singing the praise and glory of the many names of the divine lifts and purifies our spirit. Gospel singing or Kirtan artists, electrify packed concert halls with sacred sound, opening minds and hearts to a higher reality.

Contemplation: Start by studying an inspiring scripture, such as the Bible, Bhakti Sutra, or the Koran. You can reflect on the versus alone, or choose a commentary and read a chapter a day. Contemplate how these teachings create a philosophical framework for viewing your life in a larger spiritual context, and how you can put the teaching into practice.

Japa, or recitation of mantra creates a deep positive impression or groove in our unconscious mind. By strengthening the habit of our mantra daily, both in seated meditation or through our daily activities, our negative thought patterns start to weaken. Mantra gives your mind a one-point focus in meditation, allowing you to deepen your connection to the divine. Open yourself to receiving divine love and wisdom. Practice releasing all your worries and concerns to the Divine and let yourself be nurtured and guided.

Inner listening

To discover your heartfelt desire, reflect on or write about the following four questions. Let the mind settle and become spacious. Cultivate the attitude of listening and welcome whatever feelings, images and thoughts might come in response to these questions.

What is something I really want in my life?

How do you think having it will make you feel? Looking back over the course of your life, has some form of this desire always been present?

What is the most important goal in my life right now?

What have you been working toward? What desire is behind that goal?

What should I be devoting my energy and resources to?

At this stage of your life,in, what direction do you find yourself being pulled toward? What stands out as the biggest opportunity or responsibility in your life?

What is my biggest dream for me and my life?

Is there a dream so big, a vision so bold for your life that you wonder if it is possible? Is there a deeper longing that feels risky to the conditioned mind, and makes you feel vulnerable, open and tender?

To translate this desire into a specific intention, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What actions can I commit to that are consistent with this heartfelt desire?
  • What needs to happen in the next 6-18 months to move me toward on my path? What is the first step in this direction?

I have summarized the above helpful tips that I found from “Inspired intention” by Kelly McGonigal PhD, who teaches yoga, meditation, and psychology at Stanford university and author of Yoga for Pain Relief. I found it to be very helpful in pursuing my new change of life. I hope this is helpful to you too.

I wish that you live your life with passion and be in charge of your own health. Ignite the beauty within you!

May

Comments

  1. Rita Chairpairini says:

    Thanks, May, for this beautiful advice. I intend to take it to heart and be focused on keeping my heart as diligently as I focus on good nutrition. I seem to be at a crossroad in my life and with wisdom I hope to make the right choices and take the right steps.

  2. Mary says:

    Your post was informative and full of good advice. I enjoy everything you post!

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