The sun will end the day whether you like it or not

I've seen many a beautiful sunset in my life, but each time still feels like the first. It stops me dead in my tracks, forces me to look, and I can't help but feel incredibly grateful for it. I quickly took this picture and then stood in a moment of peace and reflection about my life. At that moment, I was reminded of how different my life is from even just a few years ago. The direction I thought I was going in isn't at all the place that I'm in now. Yet, I'm so happy it didn't.

Today, I thought of how the sun just ends the day by setting. It's not a choice. The day begins when the sun rises and ends when it sets. We simply accept that. Imagine if acceptance really worked like that. Imagine if we could stand peacefully, in awe of the ending of life, relationships, jobs, or our homes. Imagine if change didn't impact us. Imagine if we could just peacefully accept things as they are and not how we wish them to be.

Accepting something as it is when you wish it to be different or when you have no evidence things will change can be a tall order and is likely to take time to move through. There comes a time in all situations when the realization sets in that we are being invited to change. It's a sliding glass door moment when we can stay in the current situation and experience more of the same pain and disappointment or take a terrifying leap into the unknown.

How do we begin to accept that someone has died, or that a friendship or relationship has ended? How do we find peaceful ground to start rebuilding our lives? What does it look like to "put it all behind you"?

Below are 5 steps to help you accept what you need to and move forward.

  1. Grieve - Just because you've made a difficult decision to change your circumstances, there is no button to fast forward through the feelings. Take the time to go through the grieving process. It's reasonable you'd want to fast forward through this part. It's awful, but let it be uncomfortable for a little while. You'll know when it's time to take the next steps. 

  2. Settle down - Life can be very different as a result of this change. You likely experienced some anxiety around the change. Take some time to settle into the new way of being to get your bearings about you and to feel confident and comfortable about taking the next steps.  

  3. Get clear - Give your life some thought. Work with a coach to figure out what you'll do with your brand new blank canvas! Spend some time getting to know the person that has arrived at this moment, what's important to you, what juices you, what excited you, what you want to be different, what you want to change. Start with this question. Now that I'm no longer waiting for things to change, what do I want my life to look like in the next three months, six months, or the next year? 

  4. Create a plan - It's like setting a GPS, only for your life! Think about it. What would happen if you got in the car and didn't know where you wanted to go. You'd just sit there. This is where working with someone can help you to set clear and reasonable goals, create a plan to make it happen, and help take the necessary steps toward creating your new life. 

  5. Allow yourself to be excited - It's reasonable you'd be a little sad when a door closes behind you. It's not easy to change, but think about your life in a year from now if you'd followed through on all you set out to do. What would be different? How would you feel? What would you be most proud of?

Choosing to live your life when you've experienced something painful is brave. It requires you to be able to shift your mindset in a way that once seemed impossible. So whether it's singing or tennis lessons, working out, going back to school, traveling, or whatever it is that lights up your soul. Find it, do it, and be happy!!! After all, there are no do-overs in this life.

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