Warming Up To Change

As the season changes from spring to summer, life seems to echo the shift. Students finish one grade and move on to the next. New graduates leave campus and start careers. The days become longer, more filled with light, and people flock to beaches, parks, and lakes to enjoy everything summer has to offer. We welcome these changes—celebrate them even—with graduation parties and summer solstice rituals. When other changes come, however, we resist all they require of us. Whether change looms ahead of us in the form of a career move, a cross-town move, a relationship that has moved toward an end, or any number of other things, we often do all we can to stave off that change. But learning how to accept inevitable changes in life can help us build character, stretch further, and grow into the people we are meant to be. 

Here are some tips (and essential oil blends) to help you warm up to change: 

Explore your emotions.

Let yourself process the feelings that accompany change. If a relationship is ending, for example, let yourself grieve. If you’ve lost a job, let yourself be angry.  When you try to block out or shut down negative emotions—anger, fear, sorrow, discouragement—you also shut down positive emotions. Experiencing pain is one of the things that allows us to experience joy on a higher level. A popular adage warns, “The more you hide your feelings the more they show. The more you deny your feelings, the more they grow.” Write about your feelings in a journal or simply in list form on a single sheet of paper. Have a good cry or spend an hour at the gym attacking a punching bag. Talk with a loved one or a counselor about how you feel. The more you allow others to understand your emotions, the more they will be able to help and support you.
To release grief that accompanies change—Blend 25 drops bergamot, 15 drops Roman chamomile, 7 drops cypress, and 6 drops marjoram in a glass vial. Diffuse 5 to 7 drops of the blend for 15 minutes each hour as often as needed. Repeat this affirmation: “I understand that grief is natural and I am letting it flow through me as appropriate. I am focusing on a future of love and acceptance and I know that it is okay to feel my feelings.”

Change your perspective.

Christian pastor, author, and writer Charles R. Swindoll said, “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” As such, exploring and adjusting your perspective about change can go a long way toward helping you accept it. Shifting your perspective takes some work but is definitely possible. 

To start, make a list of the pros and cons associated with the change. Post the list of pros somewhere you can see it often—the bathroom mirror or refrigerator, for example—and read over it every time you notice it. Take the list of cons and work through each one to turn it into something positive . . . or at least something bearable. For example, a cross-country move might mean you will no longer be near friends. Cross this off your list and replace it with something like: “I can keep in touch with my friends via social media” or “I can plan a fun trip every year to visit my friends” or “I will meet new people to welcome into my circle of friends.” 

Next, look at your goals in life and make a list of how the upcoming change could possibly help you meet your goals. If you’ve lost a job, for example, but one of your life goals is to get a master’s degree or work in a certain career field, think about how you can use the change to your advantage by going back to school or switching career fields. 

Finally, be grateful. Oprah Winfrey said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” When change approaches, boost your spirits by paying careful attention to what you do have to be grateful for—specifically the things that will remain consistent amidst the change. This could be family, friends, your health, food on the table, citizenship in a free country, clothing, transportation, wonderful memories, an education, a home, the outdoors, good literature, sports, a pet, nature, electricity, plumbing, and so much more.  

To promote daily gratitude and joy—In a glass vial or roller bottle, blend 4 drops bergamot, 3 drops wild orange, 2 drops rose, and 2 drops white fir with 1 tablespoon fractionated coconut oil. Apply to the bones behind your ears; rub a few drops between your hands, then inhale deeply. Repeat this affirmation: “I am grateful. I fill my mind with heartwarming thoughts of gratitude. I am taking the steps I need to take to be grateful and happy in my mind, mood, and thoughts.”

Nourish your body, spirit, and mind.

Strength of body, spirit, and mind can help you endure the difficulties associated with change. Exercise, meditation, eating healthy, and getting enough rest will improve your mood and protect your body from illness as you adjust to changes in your life. Don’t let an impending change interrupt your daily routines, self-care, or favorite leisure activities. Keeping busy and fit will help you focus on the present instead of worrying about the future. 

To nourish your spirit, stop wasting your time worrying or fretting about change and instead turn you focus to serving others. A Chinese proverb says, “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” A slew of research funded by the University of Notre Dame’s Science of Generosity Initiative links happiness to how much we give of our time and money to others. Generosity, it turns out, makes us happier. It also strengthens the spirit and helps us find a connection to the Divine, which can bring comfort and peace during times of change. 

As you nourish the body and spirit, don’t neglect your mind. Change can be the perfect time to learn and study something new. Learn all you can about the impending change. If it’s a move, for example, study the history of your new location and make a list of activities you can do once you get there. If it’s the loss of a loved one, study scriptures and sermons on grief or commit to learning a skill your loved one excelled at—doing so in their honor and to keep their memory alive.  If you’re starting something new—a job, a project, parenthood, becoming an empty-nester—seek out a mentor who has already walked this path and ask them to teach and train you. 

To get up and go before a workout—Blend 10 drops grapefruit, 5 drops lime, and 5 drops peppermint in a glass vial or roller bottle. Apply to the back of your neck and to your wrists and inhale deeply. Repeat this affirmation before working out: “I am of strong heart and steel body. I am vigorous, energetic, and full of vitality.”

To connect to your Divine goodness—Blend 5 drops wild orange, 4 drops frankincense, 2 drops clary sage, 2 drops lavender, and 2 drops peppermint in a glass roller bottle. Sweep around your body’s core, along the sternum, and along the throat to the bottom of the chin. Repeat this affirmation: “I trust the goodness within me. I am connected and I listen to my inner voice. I trust the process of life.”

To clear the mind and enhance learning—Use one of these five mind-clearing oils (or a blend of several) in a diffuser: rosemary, clary sage, juniper berry, peppermint, and basil. Repeat this affirmation: “My thoughts are organized. I have strong mental clarity. I learn and retain information well.”


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