Change the way you think. Create magic in your life!This issue’s article focuses on change – transitioning through change. Whether the change is thrust upon you or you decide to make changes in your life, you will experience an empty space between the old and the new. This article may help you deal more easily with that empty space.
Change – The Beauty of Empty Spaces
Claude Debussy was a French composer who once said, “Music is the space between the notes.” In short, it is the space - the emptiness between the notes - that gives us beautiful music. As we transition through our lives, we encounter empty spaces – from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, from one job to the next. Unlike the empty spaces in music, these personal empty spaces are, oftentimes, terrifying. Therefore, we scramble for a goal or anything to fill this void, as opposed to stopping and seeing the beauty of the music in the spaces.
Life has a way of showing us that some things need to end and the “new” needs to happen. But, oftentimes, we ignore these inner callings and force ourselves to remain constant and unchanging. Life is a continual state of transition and the spaces in between the transitions allow us to mentally take a break, regroup and start anew. Emerson once said, “Not in his goals, but in his transitions man is great,” and in order for there to be a transition, there must be an ending, followed by an empty space, which is followed by a new beginning. Should you feel the need for a change, here are some steps to help you transition ... and appreciate the beauty of the music of empty spaces:
1) Listen to Yourself: Is there something in your life that needs to end? Is there something of which you need to let go? It could be a job, a relationship or a negative emotion such as anger or worry, or an addiction. (There are many forms of addictions - food, drugs, alcohol, sex, electronics, the internet, etc.) Bottom line: Is there an inner calling saying to you that it is time to let go of something in your life?
2) Mourning the Loss: Once you have decided to let go, you need to allow some time to grieve for that loss. Say, you feel the need to end a relationship. There will be a mourning time for that which is now gone - and it’s okay to have it. However, remember that all grieving has an end point. Then, it is time to start the journey onward.
3) Retrospection: Examine how you got involved in having the need to begin with. An example would be your feeling for a new job. In retrospect, you are in your current job, because of your initial need for financial security, as well as the emotional benefit that you received when you first took the job. But now, the emotional benefit is no longer there and the income you earn doesn’t match the pain that you feel – it’s time to move on.
4) The Empty Space: Using the above examples, the empty space is what you feel between losing your old relationship or job and gaining another. While that empty space may be confusing and uncomfortable, it can also provide a sense of wonderment and creativity.
During this time, it is good to reach out to those who truly support you. It is also a time to focus on activities that “uplift” you ... activities that feed your soul like reading spiritual or inspirational books or reconnecting with nature. Sense the fluidity of nature and how there is a constant state of movement, interrupted by brief moments of quiet – emptiness.
5) Look for Signs: Outward signs may appear that will show you that you are moving in the right direction. However, it’s the inward signs that provide us with the most comfort. An inward sign is an intuitive sense of rightness. While it may appear outwardly that things are moving slowly, inwardly you will know that you are moving in the right direction. Inwardly, you will know that a positive change is taking place.
Maya Angelou once said, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” If you were to watch the transition of a caterpillar to a butterfly, you would see, as the caterpillar forms itself into a pupa, that there is nothing going on – an empty space. But actually, something is happening – on the inside. What is happening is the ending of one life cycle and a transitioning to the next. It’s during what appears to be the quiet time - the empty space - where something beautiful is taking place.
It’s during your empty spaces that beauty is taking place. It’s during the empty space between letting go of something old and opening ourselves for something new where wonder, awe and beauty abide.
You wouldn’t add a note to a composition by Debussy or a stage in the life cycle of a butterfly. Why? Because it would destroy the beauty of each. Look at your life the same way. Instead of trying to add more “things” to your life, more goals, more needs - remove something. Take inventory of your life. See if it is time to let go of the old, and do not be fearful of the empty spaces ... for that is there where you will hear the music of a new beginning.
Update on Bob:
Thank you to all of my clients who have booked me for their events this year. It has been busy. After working with long time client HealthPort at the HIMSS trade show, I wrapped up a dealer’s meeting for Trane as there evening speaker, and then headed to Dallas for a project with Novar/Honeywell at SPECS 2011. I'm headed off again soon, so if you see me at an event, please stop by and say "Hello."
P.S. If you are looking for a way to gain a higher ROI from your trade show investment or want to add energy, fun, and excitement to a meeting or event, take a look at my site and give me a call.
For a quick look at my latest videos, go to http://www.bobgarner.com/videos.html .
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