"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." M Scott Peck
I don’t often start my musings with a question, but today I’m going to. Do you have a daily routine? In fact, do you have any kind of routine for your life? It can be quite comfortable getting up each morning, knowing exactly what you need to do and how to do it. It gives stability and security, and a sense of being able to cope with what lies ahead. The problems (or should I say challenges) come when our routine is disrupted by others who dare to interrupt its flow! “Tsk – they know that at 7.10am each day I need to brush my teeth so I can leave for 7.15am to get my train? How dare they interrupt what I’m doing!” Sound in any way familiar to you? ☺ Maybe it does maybe it doesn’t, but I think you get my drift.
Routine can be great for planning what we need to do each day and when it needs to happen. It’s what we do to feel safe and not fearful. But when that routine is interrupted, all hell can break loose and fear can dominate: what if I’m late? What if I don’t get it done? What if it all goes horribly wrong? What if I get into trouble? How will I fix it and put it right? And so on.
Another thing about routine, of course, is that it can end up being very mundane and, more importantly, keep us stuck in a rut. How many people do you know that fall into a kind of automatic routine: get up, get ready for work, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch tv, go to bed, sleep, get up, get ready for work, and so on? I remember, when I worked in investment banking I would be like that. Get up at 5am, get ready, leave at 6am, start work at 7am, get my lunch and eat it at my desk at 12.30pm, leave at 7.00pm, get home at 8pm, eat dinner, go to bed at 9pm. I did that for about 2.5 years before I got a wake up call.
You see the thing with the Universe is, it does like order. Most definitely. However it also wants change, and it will force change whether we like it or not. Ever noticed how life can sometimes seem to be skipping along in a routine way which we’re comfortable and used to and then suddenly BANG something happens that completely blows our world apart. The thing is, you see, the Universe has already been sending signals to us to change something but we’ve been so caught up in the automaton of routine that we’ve failed to notice them. So the Universe sends us something that will
grab our attention. Something so huge that we cannot not notice it. Think about things that have seemed to come out of the blue for you, perhaps redundancy, illness, repairs to the home, things breaking in the home, someone around you needing so much help you cannot focus upon yourself and your routine, etc.
Ever seen the film Shirley Valentine? Wonderful story about a middle aged woman who’s married and stuck in a routine, day in, day out. They even have the same menu of food each week! Eventually she gets a wake up call whilst on holiday in Greece which, in turn, gives her husband a great big nudge too. They’d become so stuck in a rut that it needed something like Shirley’s trip to Greece to wake them up.
Do you see, the Universe wants growth, expansion, change, and evolution. And do you know what? It WILL get them. We can either choose to change with it, or be dragged along kicking and screaming. Either way we’ll change along with it. The question to ask ourselves is: Do I want to make this as comfortable and enjoyable as possible or do I want to stay where I am as long as I can and make it painful?
One thing to understand about change is, that it doesn’t have to happen in huge ways all at once. Undoubtedly there will be times when it does, but most change that happens is gradual. Like the change in waistline or the number of wrinkles and grey hairs we get as we get older! ☺ Do you see, the more comfortable we are with change, the more enjoyable and pain-free it can become.
Ever had those moments where you’ve ended up somewhere and you don’t know how you got there?! You remember setting off but then, all of a sudden, you are where you were headed for but don’t remember the journey. That’s automatic pilot and we can end up doing that a lot of if we don’t pay attention.
What can make change easier is if we pay attention to what we’re doing as often as we can – ideally all the time! Also, begin changing small things in your life – walk a slightly different route to work, get up 5 minutes earlier or later, eat something different for breakfast, choose to read a book instead of automatically switching the TV on and so on. By getting used to small changes, the larger ones are much more easier to manage. Unless we test and try new ways of doing things we’ll never know if our lives could be more fun and interesting.
Remember, we are all in control of our lives, what we do, and (on the whole) how and when we do it. We always have a choice. If we don’t like the routine someone else is pushing on us we can make that choice – try to change it, or get out and find a way of doing things that works for us. Choose to begin changing now, or the Universe will most certainly have a “big bang” waiting in the wings for you ☺