Sometimes, you invite change into your life. For example, you get a new job, create a new relationship, move from one place to another. Other times, change crashes down on you, unbidden. You become ill or you are laid off or someone dies or there is fire or flood or some other natural calamity. There are seasons of change in each of our lives.

We can look on each such season as an invitation to reinvent some (or all) parts of our lives.

Change usually includes some level of emotional turmoil: anxiety, stress, or grief. The first step of reinvention is often to process those Big Emotions. Bring your attention to your breath. Focus on the sensation in your body where you feel it most vividly. Breathe in. Breathe out. What are you experiencing in your body? Is it the thrum of anxiety, the heat of anger, or the heaviness of grief? Try to stay with it. Use compassionate self-talk, such as “this is hard” or “everyone feels like this sometimes.” What’s the kindest thing you could do for yourself right now? Be gentle.

When an airplane flies, it doesn’t necessarily follow a straight line. Air currents affect its speed, direction, and altitude. A pilot is always responding to the environment and readjusting the controls. You, too, can meet turbulent times with calm, midair corrections.

If you bring a sense of adventurous, whimsical play to a season of change, it can make all the difference. This may take some determination. Watch some comedy. Read some nonsense poems. Then bring that sense of lightheartedness to your reinvention planning session. What’s the most joy-filled thing you could do for yourself right now?

Whether it’s voluntary or involuntary, change is challenging. Take time to feel and process the big emotions it engenders. Then put on your whimsical jester’s outfit and make something new.

In your journal:

  • What changes are you experiencing?
  • How do you feel about what’s going on?
  • How can you respond with compassion?
  • What’s the kindest thing you could do for yourself?
  • What course corrections do you want to make?
  • How do you find a sense of playfulness?
  • What’s the most joy-filled thing you could do for yourself?