While driving in my car the other day I heard an old song that instantly transported me to a vivid scene in my life. I’m a not-yet teenager, sitting in the kitchen and having an after-school snack. I reach for the radio to tune in a Yankee’s baseball game, as I usually did (back then, games still played in the daytime). But for the first time, I hesitated. Instead, I turned the dial to a rock and roll station.
I recall feeling at that moment that something had just shifted in my sense of who I was; who I was becoming. I believe it was more than just the rumblings of impending adolescence, or thinking about that new girl in class. It was a new awareness about who this “self” was, inside me; that I was no longer just the person I thought I was a moment before. It was a turning point in my consciousness about myself.
We experience many turning points in our lives, whenever we shift direction this way or that. Perhaps a decision about a relationship, or what interests to pursue. Maybe about an educational or career choice. Some turning points are conscious, others less so; some may be imposed by family or other persuasive people. But all involve turning away from one path, and towards another. And they shape the self that you experience and define as “you,” along the way.
In my work, I often ask people to describe what they think were the positive and negative consequences from their key turning points, because there’s always a message contained in what you turned away from, or towards. It’s a message from Read more…
Midlife Conflict and Renewal, Modern Love, Sex & Relationships, Psychological health in a post-globalized world
When the reality of impermanence and change in life hits you, it can feel sad, even terrifying. Seeing your children grow up before you eyes. The end of a love relationship. Losing your job, fearing you might never get “back on track.” The death of someone close. Some freeze with fear when faced with how impermanent everything is, especially the things we’re attached to and define us. Others can’t redirect what they were aiming for, with damaging consequences.
But consider this: Learning to embrace impermanence is the portal to discovering your true self and letting it emerge from beneath all you’ve learned to believe about who you are. Considerable research shows that you can learn to embrace the flow and flux of life’s impermanence. That enables you to awaken and act upon your more authentic self: Your capacities, unique facets of personality, your talents and birthright to fully flower as a connected, engaged, loving human being; a person who can thrive in the face of present and future unknowns.Of course, people know in their heads that everything in life is impermanent, that change is constant. The Eastern traditions, especially, describe the underlying reality that all is constant flux, evolution and change. It has been and always will be. Our planet circles the sun, which is about midpoint in its own lifespan. All life on our planet repeats the cycles of birth, growth, death, including the cells of our physical body,
Yet it’s difficult to incorporate that awareness, flow with change, yet retain energy and wellbeing. Impermanence doesn’t penetrate so easily because Read more…
Midlife Conflict and Renewal, Modern Love, Sex & Relationships, Psychological health in a post-globalized world, Work & Career "4.0"