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How to Cope with Stress and Change

By October 17, 2014No Comments4 min read

For the last year, there has been an intense undercurrent of change running through all areas of my life.

On a personal level, there has been the formal ending of my marriage, saying goodbye to old friends and relationships, welcoming new people and love into my life, and answering the call to deepen my spiritual path and knowledge. Career-wise, there are changes on the horizon as I embrace what I really want in life (more details to come!).

I am reflecting today on what to do when things seem overwhelming and chaotic. When there are so many choices in life, how do we know which ones are right for us? How do we know what to do when the path takes an unexpected turn?

It’s taken me some time, but I now know where to look when I am lost or unsure of the next step. The good news is this: there is an invisible force of love always working for us.

No matter where your path may lead, no matter the number of hills or sharpness of the curves ahead, the answer to your questions can always be found by being quiet and listening to your heart. In each of our hearts, there lives a piece of God, a part of Divine Love – this is our inner guide.

I find when I am faced with a decision and feeling unsure, the best thing to do is to be quiet. If I allow my mind to race and fill with thoughts, I can’t hear the voice of God. I can instead choose to invite the presence of Love into that moment of chaos and to be still. Stillness helps to awaken the conversation with your inner guide.

It’s simple, really. You remember that you are love by creating a moment of stillness in order to receive the answer. In that moment, you surrender any doubt, fear, or worry –

you just surrender to stillness and listen.

Many of us already turn to some type of prayer when we are unsure of what to do. We pray, and then we hope for swift delivery of an answer or outcome. What I have learned is that praying and asking for help is only part of the equation – the other, oft-forgotten step is to listen. If we quiet our minds, we will find that the answer becomes available to us. It might be a “knowing” of what feels right or could be a sudden, “new” idea that comes to us. In both cases, these are actually responses from God, from a source higher than ourselves gently nudging us in the direction of love.

I know that this all can sound pretty lofty. And when you are running around with a million to-dos on your checklist, who has the time to be quiet or sit still? I know this struggle all too well, as I am now juggling life as a single mother with a career.

Here’s a trick I use when stress begins to overwhelm me – I like that I can do it anytime, anywhere, whether I’m standing in line at the grocery store or sitting in a traffic jam.

  • Gently press your thumb against your index finger, then your middle finger, then your ring finger, and finally your pinky finger. 
  • When you touch your index finger, say: PEACE
  • When you touch your middle finger, say: BEGINS
  • When you touch your ring finger, say: WITH
  • When you touch your pinky finger, say: ME
  • Repeat the practice, but the second time say: LOVE BEGINS WITH ME

Breathe deeply as you say each word. Go as slow or as fast as feels right to you. This exercise will help you calm your mind, release fear, and navigate through unsettling emotions. With a quieter mind, we can slow down, listen to our hearts, and determine the next step to take.

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