Who are You Willing to Be When Unpredictable Changes Occur?

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Penny Kowal

When unpredictable changes occur, who are you willing to be?

Do you ever show up being cranky, annoyed or frustrated – with little or no compassion or flexibility? Do you ever allow anxiety to be your reaction to life by dissolving in a puddle of tears?  These are all too familiar reactions that leave us stranded and somewhat helpless to respond creatively in the face of the unpredictability of life. Neuroscientists tell us these reactions are typical of the “negativity bias” of the human brain that developed over time as a survival instinct, meant to keep us alive.

A more resilient and productive way of being comes when we “hit the pause button” and breathe slower and deeper than usual, asking ourselves, “Who am I willing to be?” right here, right now.  This pause gives our autonomic nervous system a chance to listen to the wisdom of our heart, instead of the “panic button” of the brain.

Physiologists point out that our autonomic nervous system is our own internal GPS. Our heart is hard-wired to be our personal “True North”, our own unique Voice of Wisdom. This intuitive guidance of wisdom nudges us toward being appreciative, compassionate, courageous, flexible, creative, generous and grateful. When we respond to challenging situations with wisdom, extraordinary results occur.  When we react to unpredictability by pushing the “panic button”, we usually create even more chaos.

These reactions are nothing more than a habit that we have created over time.  And habits can be changed.  Plan ahead, start small, use everyday life to practice, practice, practice! Acknowledge yourself when you notice the wise responses are coming more easily, quickly and dependably. Remember, we deepen our capacity to be resilient when we remember to hit the pause button and listen to our heart…..only a breath away!

As you grow in your understanding and use of Resiliency practices, start with some of the familiar daily anxiety-producing situations:  morning/evening news shows, a bumper-to-bumper highway, a delayed flight at the airport, a slow computer, a telephone that won’t stop ringing, an annoying colleague or client. (If you tend to blame or shame yourself or others, start there. If you’re a worrier, who “overthinks” a decision by coming up with everything that could possibly go wrong, start there.)

Notice how your life is getting easier!  Celebrate your successes along the way.  Acknowledge the contributions of others in your life. Become grateful that you have obstacles in your path—they are the challenges that provide you the opportunity to practice resilience-based living!

My wish for you was best stated by Mohatma Ghandi who said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.  The world can use more appreciation, compassion, courage, flexibility, creativity, generosity and gratitude! May you live with greater resilience and wisdom! If you would like to talk with me about how we might work together to ensure greater resiliency in your life, email me to schedule your personal Discovery Session.  And remember, a more resilient experience of life is only a breath away.

Read Who are You Willing to Be When Unpredictable Changes Occur? and the other informative articles in this issue of Soar to Success magazine.

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