Our summer issue is out now. Our regular contributors from CNM College of Naturopathic Medicine share advice on navigating challenges with grace, dive on in to find out more…
Handling Times of Transition with Grace
Visualise A ballet dancer flowing naturally with elegance and grace
by Madeline Winzer
Our lives are in a constant state of flux, with some changes being more prominent than others. We are presented with situations daily that challenge us and require us to adapt so we can continue with the flow of life. Some transitions are routine and include getting up in the morning, choosing what to have for breakfast and driving the same route to work – most of the time things run smoothly and potential disruptions to the daily grind may include travel delays and unforeseen emergencies.
They are known as minor stressors and can be easily addressed compared to major stressors which include moving house, death of a loved one, separation or divorce, retirement, pregnancy, changes in the health of a loved one or a change of career path. These could be considered important life events and may be good or bad stressors depending on the context. The uncertainty that comes with an unexpected change can be anxiety-inducing, but if you look at the situation from a positive perspective and take an active role in solving the problem or moving forward instead of procrastinating, then you will build both confidence and resilience.
Some individuals are more adept at handling change than others as they appear to breeze effortlessly through life with a certain degree of je ne sais quoi. They can see things through a different lens which allows them to see the bigger picture, rather than allowing themselves to get caught up in the small details. It is important to note that is not the circumstances these individuals go through, but the mindset that the individual travels with that separates individuals of grace from those filled with anger and bitterness.
“…Making positive adjustments to your life will give you a feeling of contentment.”
Visualise a ballet dancer flowing naturally with elegance and grace. They have dedicated years of their lives to perfecting their art form moving fluidly from one pose into another. They don’t just have beautiful form, but also beautiful poise. They endure injuries, muscle cramps and burning feet to name a few; however, they were taught not to complain about their fatigue. The key lessons that ballet dancers learn during their training is to maintain composure and exhibit beauty through their expressions. A certain degree of vulnerability is required to hold space on stage with stillness, while pauses in the choreography allow for the expression in a piece to change and evolve – this increases anticipation in the audience and can be powerful.
The training received by ballet dancers translates to everyday life as they learn how to maintain their composure in situations that are beyond their comfort zone. Time is a key factor when transitioning from one thing to another with ease and there are a few things you can do to help you manoeuvre change gracefully:
• Reflect on past transitions and remember how you overcame those challenges. Taking the time to do so helps you consider what works for you when it comes to managing stress. Keeping a journal can be good for articulating your fears and anxieties about your experiences. Talking to a friend about how you are feeling can also be helpful as they can help take the load off your shoulders and suggest possible solutions to your problems.
• How you view change shapes your experience so if you are feeling stuck and don’t like the situation you are in, change it. At the end of the day, you are responsible for the choices you make. Find something that brings joy to your life and commit to it. It will be uncomfortable at first because as humans we naturally fear what we don’t understand but making positive adjustments to your life will give you a feeling of contentment and inspire others to do the same.
• Travelling is a great way to meet new people who help you develop a stronger sense of empathy for others while introducing you to the alternative ways you can live life. It will teach you to accept and embrace the parts of yourself that you aren’t fully comfortable with, and you will learn to be more tolerant of other people whose values differ from your own. Allowing room for mistakes is key as striving for perfection is unrealistic and boring.
• Focusing on your health is important during times of uncertainty as stress takes its toll on the body. Eating a balanced diet can help keep inflammation at bay while improving your immunity, whereas exercise can provide a positive outlet for stress and anxiety. If it is work that leaves you feeling ruffled, book in for a gym class to release pent-up energy before going home – endorphins make you happy too!
We all go off track sometimes as we navigate our next step, and it can be easy to lose sight of our purpose. If you maintain the core of who you are and what you believe in, then life will work out the way it’s supposed to in the end. We can make a dance of our own lives, with poise and elegance, stops and starts, and respond to the challenges of life with dignity and grace.
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