Fall is the time for transformation and forward thinking. The beauty in fall lies within the leaves changing colours, the smell of crisp air, sweaters, no sunscreen and pumpkin spiced lattes. The difficulty in fall for many people is mourning that summer is over and the looming feeling of upcoming winter. So how do we enjoy our fall? Embrace the change. See change as an opportunity for growth and transformation. This is a new beginning. What is it that you want to change? What have you been thinking about for awhile? The process of change can be complicated and unique for each individual and for each change. In my practice and my own life I notice a pattern in the way people change.
First, we learn about something new. Our new lesson can come from many sources a class, other people, media or inspiration. Second, we intellectually understand the concept and decide that it can benefit our lives. Third, we decide we would like to put this information to practice in our lives and begin to plan how to do so. Fourth, we put our plan into action. Fifth, and finally we maintain this action into our lives, abandon it, and often we start, stop and revise things till the change is lasting and effective. What does this look like? First, I read an article that said only twenty minutes of walking three times a week can make a huge benefit on overall health. Second, I think about it periodically throughout the week, believe it, and think walking could work for me. Third, a week has gone by and I decide that I want to start walking; I talk to my spouse about how we can fit this into our schedule and make a plan to start. Fourth, the next week I start walking every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Fifth, I miss a few days when things get busy, then a week; then I rededicate and change the times and days to adjust to my ever changing life and schedule. *
Does this sound familiar? Probably to most people. This is a natural process to start, stop and revise-one to be praised and not critiqued. As long as we keep trying we accomplish something. Every little step in my walking is better than no step at all. An important thing to remember is that the process of change can take a long time between the finding new information and application phase, and even longer in the fourth and final stage of start, stop and revise. In fact, in lasting change we spend the rest of our lives making revisions so our lives change. Next week I’ll discuss how to start making changes, the feeling of looming winter, and what to do about it.