Every year I feel as though I am dealing with a sea of change, a constant movement of my life that takes readjusting and reframing. It is the continuous chaos that follows behind many of us as life shapes itself, and we begin to reawaken to the idea that life is change, and that nothing stays the same.
My life experience and my spirituality conflict here. My childhood taught me that change is a bad thing; stability is what we strive for. In a constantly changing world, we are looking for financial, medical, relationship, work, health and even housing stability. Without this balancing factor, the world often feels unpredictable and uncertain. In many ways, we want to be able to control parts of our experience in the world to decrease chances of hurt and pain.
My spiritual world explores change as a means to growth. It is a beginning to a road that we have yet to experience or understand, and while sometimes our experiences appear to be the same the lessons are usually not. This conflict between the desire to grow and the need for things to stay the same, brings about a strange dilemma. It is the understanding that I must live through the discomfort and fear to get to a place of personal movement, that I cannot avoid change . The false sense of stability that comes from keeping all things the same is an illusion that I have become quite aware of and yet quite comfortable with.
This summer was a time of great discomfort for me. I am growing as a professional, and as an individual but it is a painful growth indeed. After intensive changes in my job, and some experiences that were very hurtful and heartbreaking, I am no longer working on one of the sites I was assigned to. The transition left me confused, stressed and emotionally sore. This transition did lead into a promotion, which I am grateful for.
This experience was compounded by other stressors and aided in what felt like a runaway summer of change, stress, chaos, and uncertainty. For most of the summer I felt detached from my spiritually significant core, and lived in the place of fear, overwhelm and concern.
I am still slowly recovering, and I am climbing back out of the rabbit hole to a place of comfort again. The closer I get to comfort, the closer I am to living in alignment with the challenge of harnessing the love I generate from my spirituality and with the ever changing current that is life.As a result, many things have changed for me, and I have made some conscious changing for myself. I am eating differently after a health scare this summer, I am trying to sleep more, I am decluttering my life, and I am increasing my ability to say no. I am excited about my new promotion at work to Assistant Program Director, and this allows me to balance some of my individual counseling duties with some macro work. Less time in the field has also supported me in finding a balance after the storm.
All of those things are practical and actionable steps that I have taken, but they are spiritual as well. Taking care of ourselves is one of the most spiritual acts that we can take. I am learning how to recognize myself as a part of the equation that is ultimately a spiritual connection to the Gods, and that I am not sitting outside of that dynamic. What happens if I take care of my mind, body and spirit as a means to honoring the Goddess that I walk with and the Goddess that I am? I am working on it.
So while change is scary, and can be overwhelming and exhausting, it is also the vehicle that helps us to enact choices that are physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy. If things always stay the same, we have no reason to question or evaluate what is happening around us, or to us.
Tips for self care that supports spiritual wellbeing:
- Increase time doing things that feel happy and whole. Go to the movies, read a book, spend time with friends, or spend some extra time in the garden. Purposefully insert activities that support an increase of good in your life.
- Spend quality time with those that you love. So often we are busy doing what we have to do that we forget to do what we WANT to do with those whom we care about the most. Make a decision to schedule activities that are good memory generators with those whom we love. Sometimes we end up giving our best energy to others and do not save any for our family and friends.
- Increase your spiritual chores. Meditation, spiritual study, ritual, being in nature, journaling, and other magical workings are all tools; Use them.
- Your body is sacred. Eat healthier, take a walk, increase your sleep and make sure to laugh when you can.
- Go to the doctor. Do not dismiss your physical needs, and make sure that you are taking care of your health.