Change is something that comes at us at all different speeds. Some change happens in a instant. Other times developments modify our course gradually, and it isn’t until we’ve rounded a corner that we notice something is different.
Earlier this fall, I witnessed an unusual change. After coming around the bend in their county road, I noticed a small section of leaves had turned a bright yellow in the tree at the end of my parents’ driveway. Maybe it was the way the sun was shining or the striking difference between the yellow and green, but that one section really stood out.
When I mentioned the yellow spot to Dad, he said, “Yeah, I noticed it too; it looks kind of odd, but I guess all the leaves will be changing soon.”
Funny how we can see changes in the world around us more easily than we see oncoming transitions within our own lives. Often, we find ourselves or a loved one suffering from a serious condition, where there seemed to have been no warning signs. It’s odd how we can’t see the forest for the trees when many symptoms are waving the colors of change right before our eyes.
Right now, my family has fallen into the ranks of waging war with cancer in my father.
Yes, there were little signs that things weren’t quite right with Dad, like his unusual upset stomach at Easter, his more frequent naps, or the newly-found food sensitivity where he hadn’t had issues before. Never did we imagine those hints of trouble would lead us to a diagnosis of colon cancer. Once we eventually convinced Dad to go to the doctor, and had a finite diagnosis, it was like reality had stampeded a color run through our world, and we were splattered with a rainbow of tests, surgeries, chemotherapy, medications, and side effects. Who knew the colors of change could be so extreme?
A season of beauty doesn’t necessarily have to do with changing your physical self. It can include changes in faith, patience, humility, acceptance, or simplicity. Choose to do something that brings a more beautiful light or outlook to your existence. Brighten your daily encounters with a more hopeful view or a greater appreciate for the diversity that you experience in others.
Some simple but significant changes to consider for your spiritual or emotional self include:
Practice quiet meditation for 5 minutes each day; select a mantra that will bring about the change you seek, such as “I appreciate the good in others,” “My time is a gift and valuable to myself and those whom I share it with,” “Peace begins within me, let that peace find me here.”
Smile, greet, or politely acknowledge all you meet, especially those who you don’t normally pay attention
Compliment others on jobs well done or their appearance; make note of it
Be conscious of the words you use when speaking to your family, spouse, or coworkers; keep a log or jar of unkind or impatient words. Making note of the not-so-nice things we say forces us to select less “noteworthy” negativity when we speak.
Schedule time for things that will reduce futures stress:
pick out your clothes the night before
make a grocery list before going to the store and stick to it
make a budget and stick to it
plan a game night or movie night with your loved ones
share your schedule with your spouse or significant other
clean as you cook allow yourself to enjoy time with your family after dinner
fold each load of laundry after taking it out of the dryer (this way you don’t have mountains of laundry to fold later)
Pick up trash or use recycling bins, even if the refuse isn’t yours
Reduce time spent on social media
Increase time telling stories or sharing memories with friends and family
Clean out cluttered drawers
De-clutter your desk
Clean out your car
Say an extra prayer each day for someone or something other than yourself
Keep a journal of positive things or share one positive experience from the day with your family members each night
We can’t consider change without including a few healthy, physical progressions. With physical change, gradual will get the job done most every time.