Monday, May 20, 2013
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
I was intrigued by my friend Bob’s recent post at Satisfying Retirement about life before and after retirement. He described himself before retirement as angry, ambitious, and unfulfilled. Now retired, he describes himself as calm, content, and fulfilled.
Is retirement the secret to finding your happy place? Hmm, I don’t think so. There are plenty of people who live in joy while still working, and there are plenty of folks who are not happy in retirement. And even if retirement does improve our circumstances, studies show that our external circumstances account for only 10% of our happiness. Happiness, as the saying goes, is definitely an inside job.
Deep life transformation doesn’t just happen. Something has to motivate us to change. Something has to help us do it. And something has to help us sustain it.
For me, the motivation was a health crisis. I realized that I could not continue with my then current “norm” of chronic stress and anxiety and fear. So I set out to change.
I got help from a variety of sources. I got serious in therapy. I went to an energy healer. I consulted spiritual counselors. I had what I call the “year of the workbook.” I did workbooks on anger, fear, and more I can’t even remember. I began working out and eventually got involved with martial arts. I read inspirational wisdom teachings. I spent more time in nature. And I began a meditation practice.
The 10 Steps that I write about represent habits that I developed during that time. They helped me change, and now they help me sustain the change. They are woven into my daily life and permeate the way I see myself, and how I view the world and interact with it. They have become a way of life for me.
Bob’s post prompted me to ask him about his own transformation, and I look forward to his future post about it. And it made me realize that many of us have transformation stories. Others of us want to have them!
I would like to open a forum in the comments for sharing these stories. What has motivated you to change, what helped you change, and what helps you sustain the transformation? Perhaps you have already written this story on your blog, in which case, feel free to include a link in your comment to your blog post. Or perhaps this post will prompt you to write such a post, in which case your comment might be the “outline” of the post you write soon.
We can all learn from and inspire and encourage each other, so I hope you will join the discussion.