These days it's seems more than ever that the only certain thing in life is that life is constantly changing. COVID-19 has changed our lives in ways that some of us are still coming to grips with. One minute you're living your best life, the next you're in a sci-fi movie! I felt compelled to put together this story after many chats with friends about the topic of change and transitions. Wherever you are in the world, this pandemic has undoubtedly affected us and changed many aspects of our everyday lives.
The only constant in life is change
Change is always happening. We are changing, the seasons change, technology is changing, the climate is changing…nothing ever stays the same, as much as we may want it to. It’s important to acknowledge this because it gives you back your power. You have the power to choose who you will be: someone who resists change, who controls and holds on too tightly in life, who lives in the past wanting back the good ol’ days OR someone who lives in the present moment, who knows that we are always where we are meant to be in this exact moment in time, that we are constantly being guided (if we choose to be receptive) and protected, someone who has faith that ‘what is meant to be, will be’, and therefore accepting of transitions and the inevitable unknowns that life throws our way.
Discover your true self
Social-distancing has been an unusual time. Through lockdown, I was able to practice something I'm usually not the best at: honouring my true self. What does that exactly mean you ask? Right now it involves tuning into my body and listening to it, it's about staying grounded, more home time, extra me-time, nurturing my romantic relationship, and focusing on developing new programs and partnerships for my business. Don't take this the wrong way friends, but I realised that I don't need to be social as much as I thought - at least right now. After discussing with my wellness pals, it seems many people feel the same. COVID-19 has given us the freedom to slow down and tune in. To change the way we do things, to reflect upon the habits that no longer serve us, to realise what makes us thrive and what doesn't.
Stay in present-ville
In the past, I struggled with a nagging case of ‘comparisonitis’ (a term fellow health coach, Melissa Ambrosini introduced me to) which involved comparing the present moment with the past. When changes and transitions didn't go according to plan (such as moving to Sydney from Adelaide in 2012), I decided that I'd made a ‘wrong’ turn in life and longed for the comforts of my old life back. This affected my mental health thanks to familiarity going out the window. Then, when I was studying with the School of Practical Philosophy, I learnt the benefits of staying anchored in the present moment. Because living in the future breeds anxiety and living in the past makes us feel powerless and depressed.
It wasn’t until I was living in London a few years ago when I had to be a big brave girl and break up with Mr Wrong that I realised:
I was caught up with the idea of a person, but that person had changed.
This reality was hard to accept but I wasn't willing to live a lie, so the only option was to go our separate ways. Life is fraught with surprises. Things change. People change. That's life.
Our perception of change
With all these changes going on in the world right now, let’s remind ourselves that while it can be scary and confusing and difficult, at the end of the day it’s just change (and our perception of change). That constant reminder of being human, that nothing ever stays the same. There is always going to be something new and different to contend with in our lives whether it’s in our relationships, our career, health challenges, new schedules and routines that come with the different stages of life etc. Think of, for example, a friend who had a baby. I'm sure it changed your relationship? Maybe she was less available, not able to invest the time and energy into the friendship that she once did. How did you respond to this? In my experience, I have come to realise that:
Every relationship is for 'a reason, a season or a lifetime'.
Example: after living away from my hometown Adelaide for almost seven years, I realised some friendships have changed a LOT since returning last year. I have changed. They have changed. Our interests have changed. And that's ok and totally normal, Sometimes a person is in our lives for just a season or a reason, because people grow and change, we are all evolving every day,. Not every relationship has to be a lifelong one...
When change feels scary or hard
In challenging or uncertain times, I like to repeat the mantra ‘This too shall pass’ as a gentle reminder that, as with everything in life, nothing is permanent or fixed. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, it is always temporary. So the next time you are struggling, afraid or sad, place your hand on your heart and repeat aloud or to yourself this powerful affirmation. Really believe and feel the words as you say them, because it is the truth. And then get back into a happy state of mind by focusing on the things you actually have control over in your life and can change at will.
I now leave you with three fun and easy ways to add positive change into your life:
1. Try a different recipe each week that you’ve never made before. Why not give my Chai pumpkin soup a go this week? It’s so delicious and nutritious and, with winter really setting in, makes for a perfect one-pot-wonder. Expanding your recipe repertoire is a fun and easy way to become more creative and enjoy change in a healthy, positive way. I am always in the kitchen testing new recipes and thinking of creative ways to add in superfoods to my favourite dishes. Currently we are stocking up on seasonal apples and pears from the nearest orchard (Kersbrook, South Australia) and experimenting with healthy takes on classic winter desserts such as apple crumble and stewed apples which pair perfectly with a dairy-free yoghurt or - if you really want to treat yourself - a coconut-based ice-cream such as Pana.
My chai pumpkin soup is super easy! Makes a delicious and warming option for brunch, lunch or dinner with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and fresh coriander.
2. Experiment with a new hairstyle, hair colour or hair accessory: my excellent hairdresser, Abby from Organic Ministry, was telling me recently that, with restrictions easing and people coming out of the woodworks (aka, lockdown), all the Adelaide ladies are seeking big hair changes. What a great idea, I thought! Nothing quite like a drastic (or subtle) new ‘do for feeling refreshed and renewed. We decided together that instead of my usual chocolate-caramel ombre look, that a warmer mahogany tone would suit my hazel eyes. Confession: I wasn't feeling it to begin with as it was soooo different! I got home, looked in the mirror a few times and reminded myself to snap out of it. It’s just change and maybe I’d grow to love it. Well, a few weeks later and it has really grown on me - I even think it suits me better! For the males out there, maybe now is the time to experiment with a beard to keep the chinny-chin warm!
New hair colour: a rich mahogany on the ends to banish the brassy post-summer vibe I was sporting. Oh and did I mention my love affair for beanies? The perfect accessory for those bad hair days..
3. Switch up your morning and evening routines: tired of snoozing your alarm all morning before racing out of bed and collapsing onto the bus? That’s no way to start your day, dear friend! Why not set your alarm one hour earlier and see how many healthy habits you can squeeze in? Think yoga, journaling, meditation, a visualisation exercise, a morning stroll to get some vitamin D and reset the circadian rhythm, or simply sitting down to enjoy a home-cooked breakfast rather than scoffing down a processed on-the-go option. And when it comes to your PM routine, maybe it’s a matter of powering down all devices one hour before bed to calm a frazzled, over-stimulated mind? If you struggle with sleep and tossing and turning has you up all night, have you considered a natural aid to not only help you drift off easier but to enjoy a more quality deeper sleep? If this is you but you're unsure where to begin, I recommend adding adaptogenic herbs into your evening brew to help relax and prepare for a restful night’s sleep. Ashwagandha, astragalus and reishi mushroom are the faves in our household. For beginners, start with adding 1/4 teaspoon into a calming caffeine-free tea such as chamomile, peppermint, rooibos, lavender and/or valerian root with a dash of raw coconut or cold-pressed sesame oil to ensure proper absorption of these healing medicinals. Best enjoyed one hour before bed for instant sleepy vibes and frequent yawning.
Currently loving the Super Feast range of adaptogenic herbs and blends. In truth, they had me at the packaging! We are using Turkey Tail mushroom for immunity and Reishi for mental health and anxiety.
Have fun infusing positive change into your life, and remember: our small daily choices matter (much more than we are aware!) - this is where we can become more adventurous in trying new and different things.
This is not a sponsored post. I just think more people should know about Pana and Super Feast.