In Buddhist thought, there is an idea called “impermanence.” It’s a recognition that life is always changing. Just when you think you have things sorted, something shifts and you need to adapt.

During these times of change, I use the kind promise “I will reinvent whimsically.”

It’s a good way to respond while living with chronic illness and disability. As our bodies change, we need to change the way we do things. For instance, a couple years ago, because of MS progression, I lost the use of my left hand. I had been using it to drive my wheelchair. With the help of wheelchair techs, I started controlling the wheelchair with my mouth. Small movements of my head and lips allow me to operate the joystick that rests in front of my chin. Changes in our bodies require new solutions.

Inviting myself to do things whimsically reminds me of who I want to be. I don’t want to moan about needed changes. I want to celebrate them.

If you are like me, whimsy may not come easily. It’s certainly not my first instinct. Open space for whatever you feel. It might be grief or anger. Forget the labels, drop down into your body and notice the physical sensations arising. Spend time there, without judgment, and the weight may release. At some point, for some moments, whimsy becomes possible

Beyond responding to change, this promise opens the possibility of inviting it. What is there in your life right now that you would like to reinvent? Where are you bored? What’s not working? With what attitude do you want to respond to life’s curveballs? These are good questions to bring to your journal.

No need to get tangled up in the “how” of things or identifying next steps. That comes later. This is a time of spinning possibilities, of imagining what might be.

What would you like to reinvent about your life?