Making Changes

February 2008 Newsletter

Hello dear friends! Well our new year is in full swing and things are going to be exciting. This year is a time for us all to expand, make changes and live with more enthusiasm. I am so thrilled and thankful for all the wonderful feedback I have received from my first newsletter! Thank you to everyone who took the time to tell me my words were helpful and to those of you who just sent it over the airwaves as well. Message received!

This month I am going to share some tools for making changes in your life, at your own pace and through your own awareness. As always I hope you find the information useful.

Also we have some announcements that are at the bottom of the newsletter or just use the links at right. Enjoy and remember to find your enthusiasm! It’s your right!

February’s Topic: Making Changes, Gaining Courage

Everyone has things about themselves they’d like to change. Accomplishing your goals, as we discussed in January’s Newsletter, involves inviting change into your life, however sometimes the simplest goal involves much more change that we had ever anticipated.

Change is hard.  We are all afraid of making changes in our lives and there are few exceptions to that rule.  Sometimes we can feel a kind of excited anticipation of a change and other times it is shear dread.  I believe this comes from change feeling like we were stepping into the unknown and nothing is more scary than that.

This fear of change can keep us from making any changes at all.  I have more than once in my life experienced that kind of spiritual quicksand where I was not enjoying my current situation but felt powerless to do anything about it.  It was not a pleasant feeling.   If you are feeling stuck in an area of your life you might try the following steps to gently give yourself the information and motivation you need to make some different decisions.

Observe Your Own Behavior

Information is power. This is a phrase that is not only true in business but in your personal life as well. No savvy business manager would make changes to their business process without first taking stock of the situation at hand. Why then do we often feel as if we should sally forth and change things in our own lives without first taking a moment to really understand the current circumstances.

Observation, by definition, is a dispassionate process. It is intended to be a neutral inventory of a situation so that we might gather data in a non-judgmental manner. We can use the information to our own advantage. I define “to our own advantage” as moving us toward more harmony, connectedness and enthusiasm.

If you were doing the exercises around goal setting from January select one of those goals now in your own mind. For instance, maybe you are interested in making a career change, but don’t exactly know how to go about it. First it is important to observe what you do and don’t like about your current situation. You can use the tried and true tool of a pro & con list to start. Let your mind put on paper what it knows about the situation in these simple columns.

Next, to take it a step deeper, try answering these questions as they pertain to your current situation:

1. What about my current situation makes me feel unhappy, unworthy or unfulfilled?

2.  What about my current situation brings me joy, pleasure or stability?

3. When engaged in my current situation, do I feel anxious, unsure or confused? When or with who? How do I handle these feelings?

4. Have I ever been in this situation before? When, where and with whom? How did it change?

5. What would I tell my best friend to do if s/he were in my situation?

The process of writing is intended to be an exploration of your own feelings about your situation. Answering these questions can give you some insight on the deeper nature of the matter. If you are moved to write more then do it! You, yourself, have all the answers you need to find what you are looking for. Even when you don’t feel like it! The trick is to give yourself a place to find them.

Get Support & Gain Awareness

Now that you have some of your own information it is time to get some neutral outside input. Good decisions are not made in a vacuum. A fulfilling life is in part the result of personal determination, patience and the ability to seek information from others when necessary. The most accomplished people have not gotten there alone. They have created a group, sometimes very small, of people who support and encourage them. Here are a few suggestions on this task.

Find Someone Who Has Accomplished Your Goal: Look for people in your environment who have what you want! To continue our earlier example, do you know someone who is thrilled with their career? Ask them how they did it. You might be surprised at some of the answers.

Keep Anxiety at Bay: Make an effort to not allow anxiety or embarrassment to keep you from seeking out the knowledge and support that will help you along this path. Acknowledge those uncomfortable feelings, take a deep breath and ask the question anyway. You are building the emotional muscles needed to create change in your life and those feelings are a natural part of the process. They are only problematic if they keep you from taking actions that in your heart you know you need to do.

Talk to Trusted Friends: Discuss with one or two close friends or associates your goal and what you are trying to accomplish. The mutual support of friends that you trust and who are supportive is essential to making the journey an enjoyable one.

Avoid Nay-Sayers: More than one person has sabotaged their own goals by displaying them before the group nay-sayer. We all have people like this in our lives who themselves are so afraid of change that they always bring up the negative points about someone else’s plan. Now is not the time to invite these people into your process. Being gentle with yourself means not running the gauntlet of their invalidating energy while you are still figuring things out for yourself.

Find a Professional: Seek out a professional coach, therapist or intuitive. A large part of my practice is helping people stay focused on their goals and crystallize the plans that they are making. It is an empowering and enjoyable process and there are many talented people besides myself that can assist you. The most important thing is that you seek out assistance in a form that YOU are comfortable with.

Support, from any avenue that you are willing to accept it, is the magic ingredient that your spirit needs to create courage and courage is a requirement for embracing change!

Remember that this is not an exact science. It is a dynamic process. There is no wrong way to conduct this investigation into your own life. The information you get from these outside sources will assist you in gaining a solid and objective awareness of the situation at hand or the behavior that you want to change. Through the conversations you have with these individuals and your own reflection you will see yourself, your behavior and your options more clearly. You will have completed the self-inventory necessary to keep from repeating old patterns that no longer serve you.

When you have finished this process of observing the behavior of your current situation, getting support and gaining new awareness of what is, you will be ready to create what will be.

Make Different Decisions

Each and every day we make decisions that effect the nature and quality of our lives and those who care for us. What makes the difference between a life of fulfillment and enthusiasm and one built of drudgery and obligation is our conscious attention to the quality and pattern of those decisions.

By gaining awareness of the decisions we’ve made in the past we can choose to make different decisions for our future. The key element in this process ischoiceTaking back our choices, allowing them to serve us and lead us to our overall goals is one pillar of self-mastery. Often we can feel at the mercy of a situation. We keep a horrible job because we must support our children and pay our bills. We stay in an unsatisfying relationship because we do not know how to be alone. We disregard the spiritual nature of our lives because to question these issues makes us feel uncomfortable. But the power of our own existence, and I believe our own divinity, comes from our ability to choose differently!

Now maybe you can see why a support system of positive and encouraging people is so essential. Making different decisions that change the trajectory of our lives and hearts is a daunting process! Our actions however are our legacy both to ourselves and those who care for us. Claiming this right to make different choices is a powerful step toward fulfilling our hearts desire. This is what living in enthusiasm is all about.

At this point in the process the choices that you make are not random acts of chaos or fear. They are considered and considerate choices that take into account your own well being and that of others. They are compassionate and decisive and they are the result of the awareness that you have gained along the way. Through this process you might discover that it is not the work you do that you dislike, but that you don’t feel rewarded for it. So, it is not necessary to quit your job, but to discuss with your boss how you might create a career path that will recognize your contributions.

A dear friend of mine used to have on her bathroom mirror a little sticky that said “Today I am going to make the decisions that will take me where I want to go.” You too can do this!

Have a Different Experience

The end result of the preceding steps is that you will have a different experience of your life. Little by little, day by day, as you explore, discuss and investigate yourself you will gain the power to live differently. This is a gentle process. It is not harsh or abrasive. Compassion towards yourself as you walk the path is a worthwhile skill to develop.

You are the person who will reap the rewards of this work, but never underestimate the inspirational quality of this process. The connections you make with people along the way will feed your soul and you in turn will inspire others. Self-esteem is gained by doing esteemable acts and once achieved can not be taken away. We hold the power over our own lives and our own ability to embrace change in a positive, healing and useful manner. Fear and anxiety no longer need to paralyze us because we can discuss these things with our trusted circle and move forward. Our lives can be transformed into an adventure and when the inevitable set back occurs we can handle it gracefully.

Self-mastery is not something to pursue so we can get what we want, but so that we can be who we truly are. Join me in discovering this and above all remember to breath and keep your sense of humor! Whatever decisions you have made in the past no longer need to hijack your future. The time for change is now!

Thought of the Month

Choice is power, but choices made without information can be sabotaging to our quest for enthusiasm and fulfillment. This month let us explore ourselves, start building our support system and prepare for awareness, courage and different experiences to bring joy into our lives!

New Web site

We are excited to announce that we’ve redesigned our web site! We needed a fresh clean look and we have it! We hope you enjoy the new look as we continue to make improvements.

Magic Store Front

Our new web site now includes our Magic Store Front. Here you can check out the books, music and DVD’s that we find fun and inspirational or just search for your own items via the Amazon search widget. You can also pay for sessions or order a CD of your session online. All our payments are processed securely via PayPal and you do not need to have a PayPal account to use this service.

Each month we’ll be highlighting a new book or other item that we have added to our recommendations section. If you have something you think others would find fun e-mail us and we’ll review it as well.

Shortly, you will be able to purchase Living in Enthusiasm and Endless Magic gear from our site as well! We will keep you posted on those efforts in future newsletters.

Good Deed of the Month – Offset Your Carbon Usage

Our link page has also been updated and I found the greatest web site which allows you to analyze your own carbon footprint and donate to green projects that will offset the output that is generated from traveling. The folks atSustainable Travel International are doing great work. I fly at least once per month so I donated $21 to contribute to projects that would offset the carbon output of a round trip flight from Los Angeles to Seattle. It is a great site and a great cause. Check it out in our Environmental Links section.

About the Author:

Karuana Gatimu is a spiritual counselor and life strategist. She conducts her private practice in Redondo Beach, California counseling clients on attaining self-mastery using both ancient and new methodologies.

If you would you like some assistance with living in enthusiasm and pursuing your own path of self-mastery, schedule a personal session at your convenience. Conducted in person or via telephone sessions last approximately 2 hours and can be for both individuals and couples. E-mail or call 310-359-0706 for session details and pricing.

© 2008 Karuana Gatimu & Endless Magic, LLC