“Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?” ~Rumi
The beautiful thing about a life change is that it innately encourages one to make adjustments, and to begin the journey of living life in a new way.
It encourages a shift in one's mentality, a re-evaluation of ones priorities and “bigger picture” desires, and implores one to get reacquainted with the nitty-gritty details of day-to-day life and make adjustments to them if one is to keep proper balance, and head above water.
A life change, whether it be a change in one's work or career, a change in one's marital status, a change in one's family dynamic (a child leaving the nest), or a change in the location of where one lives, is actually the opportunity to begin again; and it is a pivotal moment when consciousness—that sacred thought process found well beyond one's ego—must be called upon and fully employed.
After having recently begun my own journey with change, I can tell you that it has been an extraordinary ride so far, one that has me beautifully, wonderfully turned upside down.
It has me contemplating so many little things that I hadn't given much thought to for quite some time, and it feels as if the windows have been flung open, and fresh, cool air let in.
It feels like the rays of the sun have made their way into the room that is my beingness, and illuminated those areas where light had not been abundantly shed in a while, those areas that needed strengthening and re-hardening—a fresh supply of vitamin D and calcium—so that a new foundation and ultimately a new structure could be built over time.
And I do indeed feel a bit like a house under construction.
In these early stages of change, I find that the days contain a different flavor, as focus gets placed upon so many little details of life that I'm not used to it being placed upon—schedule, learning new tasks and becoming intimately familiar with them, shifting responsibilities, and even financial budgeting—it feels a bit like beginning anew.
And in a way, it is .
For instance, when it comes to our household budget, Michael and I have come together to streamline our spending while we transition into building up our little business entity that is The Cozy Apron, at large.
And so we've trimmed the fat and cut any unnecessary or extraneous expenses in order to be able to accomplish what we set out to accomplish in regards to our goals, our passion.
This process alone has required in-depth scrutinization, and this new budget of ours has been one of the most eye-opening and enlightening areas for me in this experience, so far. I've learned so much about myself, and about what genuine, deep satisfaction and pleasure really look and feel like for me these days.
In the past I would've felt discouraged by the idea of “tightening the belt”. But for some reason, at this point in my life (and after some maturing over the years, apparently), I feel liberated by this exercise in conscious spending, feel more responsible, feel more myself, than I have in a long time.
The lesson then, as I see it, is one of not lamenting change and all that it brings with it, but rather learning to be conscious and present...
I find myself giving careful thought to every detail and every nuance on a shopping list, and we both ask ourselves if we truly need something, or if it will genuinely aid us in a deeper way, rather than simply reaching for something on impulse because it provides temporary comfort, or a feeling of “plenty”.
I've actually enjoyed making a little game out of my weekly list for the market; I place on it only the items that we are truly short on, or have a genuine need or use for. I keep off a lot of mindless snacking items that often get eaten unconsciously anyway; or worse, end up sitting on a shelf for weeks, half eaten, becoming stale and then getting tossed out.
And I've always felt guilty about waste—I can't stand it.
So part of this game is that I try to see if I can actually come in under budget, while still coming up with a fun, delicious and unique weekly menu for us to enjoy. It's pressed me to be more creative, and to find the joy in using literally everything in our fridge, with nothing left to waste.
And for a while there, we were going out to dinner every Saturday night when our son (a Marine) would come home on the weekends to visit.
Sure we enjoyed ourselves, but we often commented on how a place would be great the first or second time we went there, but would quickly begin to lose its luster after a while, and we'd feel a little like we were wasting good money on a not-so-good experience.
And we all knew that it wasn't necessarily the food we were eating together that made our evenings out so memorable (sure, that was pleasurable sometimes), but it was more the eating together that made the experience so utterly delicious.
So now, as part of this budgetary change that we've made, we don't go out to eat on the weekends except on a very special occasion. Instead, we enjoy a special meal at home on Saturday nights. It costs a fraction of the price it would at a restaurant, and allows for us to sit as long as we'd like at the table, in as comfortable clothes as we desire, chatting and laughing and connecting, without the pressure of needing to pay and leave because the table is needed for the next customer.
We've found utter bliss in these new experiences, bliss even while keeping a strict budget, and all because it became necessary, because of a life change. And somehow, the flavors of life seem to be stronger than ever.
The lesson then, as I see it, is one of not lamenting change and all that it brings with it, but rather learning to be conscious and present, and open to finding pleasure in unexpected places; and that is the precious gift that a life change can bring, if we choose not to resist.
It is in these instances that we can learn that there's always room for bliss in even the strictest of budgets, and that one's true endeavor is simply to find it.
Taste what's good and pass it on.