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Patanjali Sokaris

Pondering the universe

Making changes to your life

Through your own or another's insights, you may have seen some new possibilities for your life. For many of you, that will be enough for you to marshall the will and enthusiasm to make the changes within you that will keep you focussed on your goals, despite the difficulties that making changes may bring.

However, you may need help at times to:

  • plan for success
  • overcome old thinking and habits
  • deal with changing relationships.

Fortunately, there are many who have the skills and training to provide such help, and the rest of this page provides some indication of who might be able to help you, along with suggestions of how to handle the changes that occur with taking a different path.

Professionals ^

There are many professionals who you may call upon to help you with aspects of your life.

While not exhaustive, and not in any order of importance, some that may help are:

1CounsellorExpressing how you feel and what you needAs you change, you need to be able to discuss and negotiate with others about the effect of the changes upon you and them
2Motivational coachMaintain enthusiasmChanges can trigger emotional reactions, for which some extra self-motivational skills may need to be aquired to focus them to your benefit
3Life coachGoal setting and planningGoals require planning and scheduling to achieve, as well as well-defined criteria by which to measure progress
4MentorDiscuss approaches to what's happening in your lifeSometimes you just need to talk with someone to discuss how you can approach situations and opportunities in your life
5PsychologistMaintain and focus willThere are many past decisions that may be subconsciously affecting how you deal with the changes required. There is no need to dwell on them, but just give them enough attention to undo their negative influences and move beyond them
6DietitianBalanced and nutritious foodExcept for air and sunlight, everything in your body is built out of the food you eat. However everybody’s metabolism is different, so you may need to have specific foods to achieve better health outcomes. Avoid fads or excess. Get to know what works for your body

Of course, no matter how helpful such people may be, you are responsible for your growth and making the changes that enable that. Therefore, always have specific goals in mind when working with other people, and work out with them how you can measure your progress.

Seek help for finite periods, and with a view to being more independent. Also, it is better to only use such help to change one or two aspects of your life at the same time, as that enables you to be clearer about exactly what is contributing to your progress.

Own your destiny ^

In all things, keep balanced. You can choose the rate at which you want to change, so that you still feel in control of your destiny. Never give that choice away.

Only take onboard what you need to achieve your goals. All of those you may enlist for help will have philosophies that guide their lives. However, you should never feel obliged by them to take those as essential for you. If you do not feel comfortable with them, you may need to move on. You do not need to be angry or annoyed to do that.

At some point, you may feel you no longer need a person’s help. Discuss that with them, but don’t feel obliged to continue. You can always go back to them, if, after working on yourself, or getting help from someone else, you want more of their type of help.

Do not get attached to needing people, because otherwise you sacrifice your ability to choose the best outcomes for you.

Obligations ^

With changes and the realisation of what your potential is, new opportunities for exploration and activity become open to you. However, you will likely have many with whom you are already obliged to continue interacting in much the same way as you have previously done.

While there may be a tendency to see those relationships as holding you back at times, they can more beneficially seen as a counter-balance or reality-check to you becoming too caught up in the new possibilities. At each step in your growth, seek to engage them in your changes, but also discuss with them how they may take advantage of the new opportunities for their own lives. Growth is a shared activity.

Friends may react in ways you may not expect when you start making changes. Not all may be prepared to accept the ‘new and improved’ version of you. Accept that and be prepared to tone down the types of activities you engage in with them, so that you can still enjoy each other’s company without resentment.

Your beliefs are your own, but seeing new opportunities for yourself may challenge some of those beliefs. At that point you may need to seek counsel about how to reconcile them. However, never feel obligated to maintain beliefs that you do not feel are relevant to you any more. Indeed, you may want to seek alternate counsel, or widen your reading, to get different perspectives on how to integrate the new and old. Learn to be true to yourself, rather than fit a mould cast for you by others. That is your obligation to yourself.

Lastly, beware of anyone offering to ‘remove’ your obligations to others. No one can discharge your obligations but you. You will need to discuss your obligations with those affected if you want to make changes, because you need their consent.

However, that is different from letting go of your own attachments to your perceived responsibilities if you are no longer required to keep them, so you may need to talk to those affected just to see if they still consider the obligations valid. You can release yourself from a lot of stress just by doing that.

Conversely, some may consider you still ‘owe’ them, even though you may consider any obligations discharged, or at least working at a lower level. Adult children can often assume your responsibilities extend well past their use-by date. Again, discussion can help to limit unrealistic expectations of you that others may have.

Negotiating ^

While you may get an insight into possibilities for your life, much of your future is often dependent upon what other people decide to do. Thus their cooperation is important to you, so being able to negotiate is an important skill in achieving your goals.

However, just because your new vision of your future and goals may now make it obvious to you what actions need to be done, those others required to help make it happen might not be so enthralled. This means you will need to spend time discussing what changes may need to happen, and negotiate goals and the timeframes for achieving them.

Be flexible ^

Be flexible in your expectations of others, and be prepared for the situation where some of your goals may not come to be, due to the inability of others to accept their part in it. That is them exercising their free will, which you cannot force them to use to your benefit.

However, you may be able to work out compromises to still enable you to largely achieve what you want for you, but probably not as quickly as you would like. If you are prepared to accept that, you may well find that after giving people space to make up their own minds without undue pressure from you, they may well come around to your way of thinking.

To facilitate that, you will need to discuss how the changes might affect them, and what benefits and downsides the changes may have for them. If you are really open about finding a common path, in opening up about their needs, you may find that they come up with ideas that may be even more beneficial to you.

Timing ^

You have to be aware that if you try to force people to your way of thinking before they are ready, there are two choices they are likely to take. They may reject your whole endeavour, which may severely thwart your plans, at least in the short term. Otherwise they may, on the surface, agree, but actually resent it, and effectively undermine your efforts in not so obvious ways. You cannot blame them if you were pushing too hard, or were too uncompromising in some, or all, of your demands.

Part of avoiding a feeling of confrontation is to choose a mutually convenient place and time, where all can feel safe being open about discussing and negotiating what might be quite sensitive issues.

Hard choices ^

Some people may reject their relationship with you if your new path is too radical a change for them to adapt to, probably because it is too far outside their view of what your relationship meant to them.

At that point, you need to make the choice as to whether to continue the relationship, but without achieving some of your goals, or opt to go your own way, and live with the consequences. Either way, it is you exercising your free will, just as their decision was them exercising theirs. You cannot afford to assign blame, nor harbour resentment, as that will undermine your future, by sapping your enthusiasm in favour of regrets and recriminations for the past.

Living with your choices can be difficult, but that is the price for owning your own destiny and deciding your own future. Make your choices, but respect others theirs. Then you can all grow and learn.

Family ^

Of all relationships, those with our family members can be the most difficult. This is because they are forged when only children, but the attitudes and behaviours developed then can permeate into adult life.

Children ^

Children are learning to become their own person as they gradually exercise their free will. Of course, they start out with little experience of the dangers of the world, and so cannot see the reasons for why their parents may place restrictions upon them. This can lead to a lot of frustration and anger, which can create problems in areas outside the family.

It seems that children often rebel against their parents in their thinking, perhaps as a result of trying to be their own person, but emulate their parents’ emotions in how they deal with issues, usually because that is the main role model they have. Many times this results in discussions rapidly leading to intractable and aggressive arguments as strong wills battle each other.

Problems can compound as disruptive or counterproductive behaviours and attitudes arising during childhood are carried into a person’s adult life, and, unless consciously avoided, become part of how they interact with their children. Fortunately, there are many points at which the patterns can be broken.

Firstly, recognise that children are not deliberately being difficult from the outset, but tend to that as they become frustrated with the lack of success of their other efforts at communication, and so do things that guarantee they will get attention. It is important to stop and appreciate what they see the situation as. Then, rather than being frustrated with their behaviour, you can begin to isolate what they actually need, and negotiate that with them instead.

Next, and one that can present a lot of difficulty, is to really examine what you are expecting from your children. Are you wanting them to grow up to be what they can do best, or are you trying to get them to fulfil your desires, perhaps to follow in your footsteps, or to be what you weren’t allowed? The best path is to appreciate what their skills and abilities actually are, and nurture them, because that is what they will be able to excel at.

Of course, you need to take into account what they may be interested in doing, as the enthusiasm they bring to that will allow them to accumulate a lot of skills that will be useful in the future, even if they change their mind and do something else. They need to find out their skills and propensities for themselves, so that they can understand themselves better, and thus be able to marshall all their resources to any task they put their mind to. Giving them that freedom will go a long way to them respecting you, and thus establishing a positive relationship with you that they will continue into their adult life.

Parents ^

Parents often have a difficult time coming to terms with the seemingly conflicting aims of fostering their children’s free will, while protecting them from dangers. However, nobody is perfect, and so many mistakes are made, which tends to build up frustrations and regrets, adding in emotional baggage to their dealings with their children.

As an child, you may have had a difficult time with one or both of your parents, and there may still be residual resentments and frustrations that continue to disrupt your relationship with them. A first step is to realise that they may not have been deliberately creating problems for you as a child, but trying their best with what they thought was the right thing at the time. There is a lot more information available regarding parenting these days than there was in the past. Forgiveness can go a long way to changing your attitude, and thus in what directions you allow conversations with them to go.

There may be some issues that are just too deep to be resolved in the time you have available with them, or are unlikely to receive the kind of positive attention required for resolution due to some intractable attitudes. Be grateful and happy if you achieve success in some areas of your relationship, as they will result in less stress all round.

In those circumstances where reconciliation is unlikely, you may just have to learn to let go of the relationship, and let the future bring what it will. You can then get on with making your life the best for you, rather than hold onto regrets, frustrations or anger from the past. If things change for the better, then that is a bonus!

You ^

If you have reached adulthood with some attitudes or behaviours that you would rather not have, do something about it, and as soon as possible.

There is no need to remain the same, or continue to exist as you have been. There are professionals and support groups that can help you change yourself for the better. As you change, don’t be afraid to move on, or get other help.

In the end, be realistic about your expectations of yourself and others, and all will have a happier life.

TS: art-a 3ID: 2015-12-15-00-00-00Now: 2020-12-04-22-47-29Powered by: Smallsite Design©Patanjali SokarisManage