Adapting to Change or Resisting It – Finding Your Choice Points
It’s June 1 and this is our first blog post of the year! It’s not our usual style to have such a lapse in communication with our readers, but there’s a good reason for it that we’ll touch on briefly.
We find ourselves in the same place so many people are in now-a-days, looking at how to adapt to changing life conditions. For some people what has changed is their house blew away in a tornado. For others, they have lost their job and they have to find a new way of making an income. For some it’s just an eerie feeling outside their peripheral sensors that something needs to change because their life just doesn’t “feel right” anymore.
But, no matter what the changing life conditions are, the challenge is essentially the same. That is, “How can I/we make the best choices for everyone concerned while staying true to our Soul’s purpose?”
When we first took our work from seminar rooms to teleclasses on the Internet and from our consultation room to telephone coaching, we had the distinct pleasure and privilege of learning directly from “the father of modern professional coaching” himself, Thomas Leonard (http://www.bestofthomas.com/blog/).
We ran across an article he wrote about a decade ago, that speaks to our current needs and it sparked some new thinking for us.
In this article he distinguishes the difference between living a life and having a lifestyle. He poses a key question worth asking ourselves, “How much of my life is being consumed by my lifestyle?”
Thomas suggests that “Lifestyles are expensive to support and can prevent you from evolving.”
He continues, “If you’re living paycheck to paycheck and supporting your lifestyle more than saving money, your lifestyle is too expensive. You’re trapped in it; you must keep working in the job you have, in order to afford your lifestyle. As long as you feel the pull to fund a lifestyle and you can’t afford to stop working, your rate of development/evolution will be much slower than it could be. Rapid personal development occurs when you have the time, space and reserves to afford to experiment with new ways of thinking, working and living. If you’re living wonderfully, yet close to the edge, you can’t really afford to progress in some very important ways, and you probably won’t be attractive. A lifestyle is generally seductive; a person is attractive. Take your pick. (Note: If you have plenty of reserves, enjoy your lifestyle completely! But if not, simplify.)”
To clarify the above, what Thomas means when he says “you probably won’t be attractive” doesn’t have anything to do with your physical attractiveness or the way you look. He’s referring to your capacity to attract what you want into your life.
Spoken like the true visionary financial planner he was!
The concern Thomas points out here is one that we are not only seeing in many of our friends, colleagues and clients of late, but we are also confronting this in our own life.
Sometimes we find ourselves in difficult circumstances due to our own shortsightedness, sometimes out of being thrust into unexpected life circumstances brought about by conditions totally outside of our control.
Who of us hasn’t witnessed the recent destruction wrought by the forces of nature? When events occur that are beyond our comprehension we usually are left to our automatic, reflexive interpretations, which isn’t usually the best approach!
It was about a year ago now that Paul experienced the aggravation of a hidden health condition that resulted in his not being able to work at his usual pace.
His health continued to be a problem throughout last summer and up to the present. One of the most frustrating things about that was the fact that not one doctor or health care practitioner could give us a definitive diagnosis.
One of the most alarming symptoms of Paul’s illness, besides the physical pain, was loss of memory and cognitive function, making it difficult to continue working in our business. Mounting medical expenses without positive results were also taking their toll.
Clearly, something had to give as this was (and continues) taking a toll on every part of our life — and our lifestyle. Only now are we in a place where we are beginning to have enough perspective to write about it.
It has long been our practice as teachers, coaches and authors to communicate as transparently as possible from our own experience. We are not academics or theoreticians, we are researchers, experimenters and practitioners, using our own lives and relationship, workshops and trainings, as our laboratory.
Having been in the public eye working face to face with groups large and small, our successes and failures, learning experiences all, were in plain sight for all to see. Everything became grist for the mill and real life teaching examples, all
In short, Paul’s illness has brought both of us to the limit of our resources financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Over the last few months we have moved from living on the edge to falling off of it.
We have some tough choices to make. Choices become clearer by asking questions.
Our questions are:
Moving from Santa Fe? As it turns out, Santa Fe is not the best place for Paul to heal. Should
we rent our house or let it go?
Change our work in some way? Should Layne find some corporate work or should we both stay focused on our vision to bring affordable evolutionary relationship education to the global marketplace via the Internet? Can we do both at the same time?
Change our lifestyle in some way? Well, that leads us to more questions. How? What could that look like? How can we stay true to our values of soulful relating, love and contribution to the greater whole, while we make some BIG changes in the way our life is designed?
Our question for you is:
How can you find the important choice points that will take you to a future of fulfillment AND also help you navigate the seas of change you find yourself in?
Even though it may feel like you’re on a big river as it accelerates directly into the rapids, and your adrenaline is high because there’s a lot at stake, it’s important to find the calm center inside of you and get some spiritual perspective. Clarify
your choice points by asking yourself and your loved ones some new, life changing questions. Be alert to the tendency to become gripped by any automatic, reflexive interpretations from your past that could limit your creativity and resourcefulness and could make things worse.
Here are a few questions you might consider to jump start your thinking:
- Am I working to maintain a lifestyle or am I truly living my life?
- Am I pushing myself so hard that it limits my ability to be present with the people and experiences I love – and that I say I am working hard for?
- What could I give up right now that is costing me too much, either financially or energetically?
- What couldhappen if I re-evaluated the choices that have brought me to this point?
Please share with us and our other readers some of the powerful questions you have asked yourself below.
And stay tuned for continued updates and new content . . .