Managing Change Part 3: Beginning Anew

The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment.

Pema Chodron, teacher, author

For many of us dealing with life transitions, new beginnings can be strange and confusing – we fear them as much as we anticipate them. More often than not, there will be moments along our journey when filled with apprehension, we ask ourselves, how will this new beginning look, feel and unfold, should we have turned left rather than right and are we in fact, on the correct route?

I can recall more than a few sleepless nights spent tossing and turning where I asked myself these very questions. During such times, I have often turned to the I Ching, which reminds us to “Attend to the path and not the goal and all will be well.”

I have learned that striving to anticipate what lies ahead in life is a futile exercise and needlessly exhausting on the mind and body. I discovered, much to my wonderment, that the paths travelled often proved to be far more interesting and profound than the destinations themselves – a revelation for someone who had barrelled through much of life focused solely on the outcomes.

As I find myself embarking on a new venture, the following passage from The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge springs to mind:

“Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore, you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow, you must not stay with it under any circumstances….

Before you embark on any path, ask the question: Does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path…. A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it.”

As we journey forth in life, the simple act of asking ourselves this important question can keep us on course and provide strength, clarity and focus.

Are you on a path with heart?

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