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Natural Awakenings

5 Ways to Welcome Change in the New Year: Some Resolutions to Consider

Jan 01, 2009 03:00AM ● By Elizabeth Lesser

Raise your hand if you’ve had a crazy year, with lots of changes—good, bad or otherwise. Just as I thought: We’re all in this together.

The most difficult change I’ve been dealt in the last couple of years was my sister’s serious illness. Sitting by her bed one dark day, I came across words by the great Sufi master, Hazrat Inayat Khan: “Walking on the turning wheel of the Earth, living under the ever-rotating Sun, man expects a peaceful life.”

Reading them, I had an “Aha!” moment—I let go of my demanding that life be predictable, easy or peaceful. It was such a relief! I decided to make my New Year’s resolution about welcoming change with a willing heart. If you want to join me in this, here are some helpful ways to proceed.
 

1 Expect Change
Because we live in a changing universe, expect change:  good change, difficult change, destructive change and transformative change.

2 Make Friends with Change
Try not to fight change. Make unconditional friendship with it, in whatever form it arrives.

3 Relax into the Mystery
There is much more to this life than we can ever understand with our tiny brains and fearful hearts. So, in times of big change, it’s good to be gentle, kind and patient with yourself and to relax. The best peacemakers are those who are at peace with themselves.

4 Receive Change’s Message
Be still and listen deeply for the truth that is carried on its winds—information about the past, wisdom about the present and direction for the future.

5 Come Alive
Join forces with the dynamic flow of life. The African-American theologian Howard Thurman said: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.”

And so, as the old year changes into the new year, ask what makes you come alive, and then go do it—for your own sake, and in service of the greater good.
 

Elizabeth Lesser is the co-founder of Omega Institute and author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow. See www.eomega.org and www.BrokenOpenBook.com.

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