Evolution Over Revolution
Change is often the sign of a well-needed growth spurt. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, mostly when we resist it, but also because where we end up is somewhere new. The unfamiliar territory can leave us feeling like we have no skills to deal with our new surroundings. “Evolution over revolution,” a friend once said, “is a much better tactic.” Let’s look at some of the aspects of change, from onset to closure, so we can be more peaceful with the process.
1. Notice When Change Is Needed
Through observation we have the chance to transform our behaviors and thoughts that block us from having a happy, healthy life. We may catch ourselves living from some old pattern and then wonder, how long have I been doing that?! When we bump up against that old part of ourselves that no longer fits, our body often feels it first and we know we’re close to the aspects that might need to evolve.
- Some symptoms that point towards needing a shift: agitation, feeling reactive, busy-body distracted, frustration, anger, pain and tension in the body or mind.
- Take the time to investigate what might be at the root of your symptom(s); that’s where the change needs to happen.
- Learn to acknowledge the emotion or memory that lies beneath the feeling and letting it go rather than identifying with it.
- Meditate at least a couple of times a week, it’s the perfect place to calm your mind and see yourself, your habits, your progress and your path more clearly.
- Practice yoga, it’s a great tool to push you to your ragged edge and evolve where you might be a little — or a lot — stuck.
- Breathe. It will give you perspective.
2. Evolution is Constant
We can’t stop change, though we waste countless hours, many dollars and lots of energy trying. Staying stuck, playing small and avoiding the growth that comes from evolving are ways of resisting the moment. Avoiding the moment cuts us off from all emotions, not just the ones we’re trying to avoid when we resist transformation. Remember, the present is where we find joy and happiness.
- Make sacred space for yourself, a place to be quiet and to be (at least, mentally) still.
- Welcome your feelings even when they’re painful, even if you hate having to feel them.
- Purge past hurts, then forgive yourself and others so you aren’t locked in fear and held back from growth.
- Use affirmations to welcome change: “I release my perfectionistic striving and accept the natural ups and downs of life.” or “I move forward by letting go of the past.” or “I participate dynamically in life” are good ones for allowing change.
- Breathe. Use deep breaths to process your evolution.
Once you’ve stepped into the new version of you, the landscape may feel unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Skills once used to cope or hide no longer work. Instead of reverting to old, comfortable, safe habits from the past, we would be better served by celebrating our transformation and staying open to the Now.
- When the “old” you arises, take note, then choose the “new” you that’s aligned with your current goals and deepest dreams.
- Others will likely recognize when you’re operating out of your old paradigm before you do. Ask a good friend or your significant other for help to lovingly point it out.
- The “new” you will attract different people and situations, when they appear, say a silent thank you to yourself and the Universe for reflecting your transformation.
- Stand up straight. Good posture instills confidence and will help you own the “new” you.
- Breathe. It’s one of the quickest ways to be present.