“Nothing is secure but life, transition, the energizing spirit.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
We often speak about children going through phases, but we sometimes forget that as adults, we too can go through phases. Transition is a phase. Life is full of transitions, and so we must go through phases at least here and there. I am going through a phase. I have taken this phase in several steps, in true (recovering) type-A form: step 1, step 2, oh, darnit, I-can’t-control-things-step 275, and where was I??? Can you relate to this feeling?
We cannot control our surroundings, certain events or the weather, but we can be in control of our reactions. We can direct and re-direct our mindset, change our perspective and even choose whether we “bite” when introduced to bait. So when we go through a phase, what can we do to get to the other side with dignity and self-respect intact?
Obviously, we can rise to the occasion, rise above, be strong, and so on, but how? I say we need to take a walk on the wild side and LEAP into the next chapter. If you watch a dancer leaping across a stage, you see that he floats gracefully at a height that seems to defy gravity. You can defy gravity; you simply need to lace-up your “grace shoes” and take the LEAP toward what you see on the other side of the road/fence/hurdle you are trying to cross.
I have been thinking a lot about phases, transitions and patterns lately because of some personal life events that seem to have bundled a whole host of patterns together and wrapped it with a not-so-pretty twine knot. After worrying that I’ve not learned my lessons and am repeating patterns on what felt like endless replay, I’ve realized that if a pattern repeats and we are aware enough to take notice, then we are blessed with the aptitude and readiness to work thru it, right now.
I will share with you how I worked through this phase, how I have gotten to the other side of what felt a bit like a run on a treadmill going nowhere. It is, of course, simple and organized into a few steps.
Step One: Shift your focus. View the return of the pattern as an opportunity to set yourself free. In my case, freedom meant changing self-destructive thought patterns that kept me from taking steps toward my best and most successful self. There it is. I named it, I recognized it, and so, now what? Now for the “declaration of independence” from the unhealthy pattern. Get ready to leap across the stage that is your life, start to live out loud and be proud of your accomplishments, whatever their size.
Step Two: Choose to end the pattern. This is a place where many feel stuck, but it does not need to overwhelm. Just saying to yourself, the room, your journal, God/universe/higher power that you want to make a change will do wonders for you. You do not need to take action or do anything beyond making the following declaration, “I choose to end this pattern that does not contribute to my overall well-being.” That’s all; you do nothing more until you are feeling courageous and have laced-up your “grace shoes” for the next step, which requires courage. I’m not an adrenaline junkie, but I will tell you that being courageous and seeing what you can conquer with courage and a little effort is a HUGE rush! So, let’s do it together.
Step Three: Take the LEAP and FLY. You have named it and made the declaration that you want to change the pattern. You are now ready to LEAP and FLY into the next chapter. FLY means “Finally Loving Yourself” (as inspired by the FLYLady, who helps overwhelmed perfectionists let go of their unrealistic expectations and be free to enjoy life) and I am using it exactly that way: Finally Loving Yourself. What a concept! You have already made a grand love gesture by proclaiming that you choose to end unhealthy patterns. The next step toward Finally Loving Yourself takes courage. I recently said the following to someone I coach:
“It can feel scary to take steps for ourselves because we have not done that before, but the truth is, we are über capable people! Look at what we have endured, conquered and taken-on, willingly or by default. Now as a mature adult, we can look objectively at the task at hand, which when broken down, is not as monumental as it once seemed.”
Shoes laced? Feet & legs ready to go for it? Good! Now it’s time to LEAP, which is whatever you choose to help you get there. For me:
Let go of the past
Embrace the unknown
Accept myself as I am
Project my best self
LEAP might require other words that help you free yourself. Whatever you choose, this is absolutely the key to your success, a jumping-off point. This can be an affirmation or mantra, which you will find yourself referring to on occasion, so write it down, put it somewhere you will see it regularly, and watch and feel yourself soar.
You are the only one who can set yourself free, so take that walk on the wild side. Commit to change the patterns that hold you back from reaching your true potential. You are the only person who can effect change. If you think others will do it for you, you will not reach the desired outcome, and you know you are too strong for that anyway. I often hear, “Close your eyes and take the leap,” well, I say OPEN your eyes wide and take the LEAP. As you FLY across your life stage into the next chapter, take-in the sights and feel the rush of freedom as you land firmly in the next chapter.
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.