I received Marci Shimoff’s newsletter in my mail today and had to share it with you. I’ll leave her to ‘speak’ to you as she did to me.
May you be inspired – everyday!
Has this been a time of huge change or challenge for you? Does life seem a bit surreal these days?
Well, you’re not alone. In the past months, virtually everyone I know has experienced some kind of major transformation or loss-death of a friend or family member, eelationship break-up, illness, move, or job loss.Even my friends who’ve always been rock-solid steady-Eddies are feeling shaken and broken open in the process.
In my own life, just in the past year I’ve been through a divorce (mutual and loving, but a loss, nonetheless), the selling of my family’s home of 58 years, and the deaths of four people very dear to me, including my beloved mother. Add to that the economic and planetary challenges (including the Gulf oil spill), and life seems shakier than ever.
If you can relate, take heart. You’re not imagining things. According to many ancient prophecies, these times of radical change have been predicted. While some interpret events like the ending of the Mayan Long Count calendar in 2012 as catastrophic, others think it signals a shift into a new and better era for humankind.
I believe the latter is true-we’re going through a global shift in consciousness that’s opening us up internally, as it shakes things up externally.
I’ve seen this in my reactions to the losses in my life. At first there’s pain, pure and simple. But, as I relax into my feelings rather than resist them, they bloom into something else: Gratitude wells up for the past and present; peace emerges about the future; love fills me with a beautiful depth and sweetness. And I feel a tenderness for all of us here on this earth, facing the uncertainty and inevitable changes of life.
The Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron writes: “We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to
what scares us.”
I want to let these experiences soften me and to emerge from the “fire” of change a more compassionate, open, and loving person. The key, I believe, is to take time to feel the fear or sorrow and to trust that all that happens is ultimately for good. I love this phrase a friend recently shared with me: Life doesn’t happen TO you, it happens FOR you.
Here are some ways to turn losses into openings in your life:
1. Hold the perspective that everything is happening for your greater good. An event may be disguised as a “bad” thing, but can you really know that? Remove the label “bad” from whatever is happening, and look for the gift or blessing in it.
2. Remember that you’re not alone-get support from those around you (not the misery-loves-company kind-the wise and loving kind!).
3. Take time to feel any fear or sadness. Don’t be afraid they’ll overwhelm you. Feel them fully and have a good cry, if needed. Then take a deep breath and go out and do something you love to do.
4. When feeling contracted, think of the word “soften.” Just that little reminder can make a hard place inside melt.
I feel a deep compassion these days, and I’m grateful for it. Let’s allow the changes we’re experiencing to “tenderize” our hearts-and welcome the sweetness that brings to every moment! This is how we can stay happy for no reason, no matter what.
Marci Shimoff is a celebrated transformational leader and #1 New York Timesbest-selling author. To learn
more of her powerful techniques for establishing deep and authentic happiness and well-being, visit
A lover of words. A self-acceptance blogger. A blogging coach. A book reviewer. A woman happily journeying through midlife, moving from self-improvement to self-acceptance and enjoying being herself.
Corinne writes at Everyday Gyaan, reviews fiction at CorinneRodrigues.com and encourages writers and bloggers at Write Tribe and offers offline coaching to writers and bloggers at The Frangipani Creative, located in Secunderabad, India.