Gratitude and Sudden Change — You Actually DO Hold the Power

snow sudden change

Sudden change? Gratitude keeps you on track.

Sudden change is something that many people fear. But let’s step back and think about what we mean by sudden change, and why it is something that people generally want to avoid.

Take stormy weather, for example.  This past week Europe and large swathes of North America were hit by powerful weather events. While we were relatively unscathed here at the farm, it reminded me of an ice storm many years ago now.  Here’s what I wrote about it at the time:

The ice storms have wreaked havoc. They tore down tree limbs and power lines and left hundreds of thousands of people without power.  Utility company workers still labor to address the devastation. We’ve been without electricity for a week and don’t expect to have it restored for some days, still.  The road to town remains impassible, and many large trees in our marsh have been uprooted or their branches snapped like matchsticks.  Trees and power lines are down everywhere.

We had a great big beech (my favorite tree) fall right between two pieces of farm equipment – miraculously not seriously damaging either. And the ice wreaked havoc in our orchard, where many hundred-year-old trees were taken down.  They were old, wonderfully gnarled cider apple trees of a variety that no longer exists.  A favorite place for our chickens, and for deer and other animals seeking sustenance, now most of these old trees are gone, and with them some deep history.

Sudden change, it’s powerful…

The power of the disorientation wrought by sudden change is difficult to fathom unless you are right in the middle of it.

And, interestingly, this is true whether the sudden or unexpected change is something you consider positive or negative. Change is experienced as a break in what you are used to. It throws everything into the air. The bigger the change, and the less expected it is, the more of a disruption it creates.

For those who aren’t directly touched by the change, it can be hard to imagine its power.  And yet, for anyone who’s experiencing sudden change, it is very difficult to see anything else.

Turning my heart toward gratitude…

Taking up the ‘attitude of gratitude’ is a powerful way to embrace the changes that life brings your way. It palpably shifts the balance of power, because as soon as you embrace a change, you make it yours and it is no longer a disruption.

I love this quote from C.S. Lewis, which is spot on about this power dynamic:

The great thing is, if one can, to stop regarding
all the unpleasant things as interruptions in one’s
“own” or “real” life. The truth is, of course, that what
one regards as interruptions are precisely one’s life.

Feeling grateful means claiming my power.

When it comes to being grateful, there’s nothing that’s insignificant. No detail is too small. I think of that today, as I face unexpected changes and let gratitude be my heart-based response. So, here’s what I wrote all those years ago during the ice storm:

I feel so grateful for the years I enjoyed those trees.  And I am thankful for our generator, for extension cords, for candles and headlamps.  I am grateful to the great grey beech tree that fell between (not on) our two pieces of farm equipment.  And I’m grateful to the workers who have streamed into New Hampshire from other states — so many hands are needed.  And I am grateful to be learning and growing, as I adjust my routines to the new realities that the ice storm has temporarily imposed on my world.

So, how do you deal with the sudden changes that visit your life?

And here’s something that helps…

Overwhelmed? Discouraged? Stuck? Well, here’s something that will help you claim your power and creativity and start moving again.

“Why Can’t I Ever Get Anything Done?” How to Transform Your Life Using These 101 Time Tips is a compilation of 101 of my most popular time tips in expanded form, offering practical, heart-based wisdom in right-sized bites for easy digestion. It includes time-tested tips and action steps separated into 11 common categories to help you find just what you need in the moment you need it. You know, transforming your life is all about transforming your time.  It’s within your reach, and these 101 Time Tips give you 101 stepping stones to your time success.

And I’ve got a very special bonus for you, too. Why Can’t I Find My Direction?” 17 Journaling Prompts to Create Your Ideal Life is a workbook designed to support you in making the changes you most desire. There’s so much for you here, and you can learn about it by clicking the link below:

Let’s explore time together …

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