Change is inevitable. It happens whether you want it or not. Change is rarely exciting, nor welcome! Most often it is met with instant fear or terror in some cases! We are physiologically programmed in many ways for that fear reaction -- but it's Neanderthal programming! Our amygdala (the fear response part of the brain) only knows one reaction -- EEEK! NO -- don't do it! Any change you encounter is usually met with our amygdala's very limited habitual reaction.
Sometimes we go looking for change. Maybe you are stuck in a dead-end job, maybe you are tired of the fact that the only adult you talk to all day is the one you see in the mirror or maybe you just feel the need for something more in your life. In which case, change is eagerly anticipated -- like a holiday! Whether you are thrust into a new and perhaps frightening situation, or you are actively seeking something different for your life, the change presented to you could be the pathway to the life you want. Too often, when we fear the change, we can keep looking to the past where we feel our security is -- or at least what we are used to. But that "rear vision mirror" approach can lead you to missing the best thing that ever happened to you!
If you keep your heart open, life's serendipitous moments could offer you the perfect opportunity to transform your life. Think of a past relationship break up in which you were devastated. You were convinced your life was over -- you would never meet anyone as perfect as this newly ex partner. Six months later, you looked back and thought "wow -- that was a lucky escape!" What you didn't realize was that your TRULY perfect partner was around the corner -- just waiting!
Regardless of what you are seeking, keep focused in the present. You have to let go of the past to allow the future to come toward you. And if you are absolutely present to all that is around you, you will see many doors! Open some of them -- or all of them and see what the spiritual realms are offering you. Imagine a butterfly reminiscing about being in its cocoon and thinking about how easy life was when it didn't have to flap its wings to fly. If the butterfly keeps looking back and focusing on how good life was back then, it's likely to fly into a wall and not appreciate the astonishing world it is now in -- as opposed to the black hole it came from!
By holding onto past experiences, resentments, disappointments, mistakes and failures, you can close the door to joy. It's impossible to have a heart full of misery and a heart full of gratitude at the same time. Having a spirit of gratitude allows you to forgive, to turn negative situations around, to be an energy-giver and recognize -- and actually appreciate -- opportunities for change.
Amanda Gore is an author, award-winning motivational speaker and joy facilitator. Her philosophy is that Joy is an Inside Job. Finding joy is the secret to more productive, creative, successful and happy humans -- at work and home. Amanda is also the director of The Joy Project.