If you’re like many of us, you’d love to experience more control in your life—more control of your health, more control of your income, and more control of the health and wellbeing of your loved ones. Yes, our Wish Lists for wanting to be “more in control” could most likely go on for pages and pages…right?
For this reason, in my Danville office, I’ve posted a copy of the Serenity Prayer that was originally written by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. It reads:
God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
This popular prayer reminds us to embrace the serenity that results from knowing the difference between what we DO have the power to control and change—and what we DON’T have the power to control and change. Focusing our energies in areas of our lives where we DO have power offers us great opportunities.
Meanwhile, gaining more control in our lives, while we embrace change…requires trust. Trust that, if we keep moving forward we won’t step into a hole that causes us to trip and fall. Or that, if we do trip and fall…that we will be able to stand back up, dust ourselves off, regain our bearings, gather positive resources/tools, and proceed forward once again (hopefully with lessons learned and wisdom gleaned).
So, thinking about your own life, how willing are you to trust yourself today as you embrace change and move forward? Are you able to move forward with an open heart…knowing we each experience many joys and sorrows in our lives?
As I share about this topic, I am reminded of the article I wrote in my September 2009 ALIVE column. In this article, I was acknowledging the loss of a local restaurant in the heart of downtown Pleasant Hill, The Left Bank. When it was in business, I frequented this restaurant to eat a meal, after which I’d sit for a bit, while writing my ALIVE column. The restaurant became one of my environmental “Creative Muses.” And, after it closed…I missed it.
While many local businesses and jobs have dropped away during these tough economic times, I used The Left Bank example in my past article to explore the various stages of the grief process. They are:
- Understanding/Acceptance/Moving On
In my private practice, I remind clients that it’s normal and healthy to go through the three stages of recovery—no matter if the loss is small or large. The greater our loss, however, the higher the intensity we’ll feel during each stage of the recovery process. Consequently, the greater losses require more time for us to move from one stage to another—and it’s not a straight shot; moving back and forth between the stages is healthy, too.
Moving on now, I am happy to report that as I write this article today, I’m sitting in the recently opened restaurant that was formerly The Left Bank. The exciting new eatery is—Jack’s Restaurant & Bar (60 Crescent Drive, Pleasant Hill). Three Clayton-raised brothers own the restaurant: John, Dave and Chris Marcovici. The restaurant is named after Dave’s little son.
After finishing my delicious Jack’s House Salad (and a nummy Butterscotch Crème Brûlée for dessert), I’m happy to say that I’m moving forward to embrace this current opportunity to trust life and gratefully enjoy this moment. While my writing is flowing in this lovely new environment, I remind myself that I can keep my fond memories of “the old,” while opening to new experiences available to me from “the new.”
Of course the principle of trusting life, opening your heart again, and moving forward—doesn’t simply apply to bonding to a new local business. This principle applies to moving forward after a variety of life’s disappointments, losses, and heartbreaks. After all, courageously saying “yes” to life is a sign that even after a cold, harsh winter we still possess the ability to deepen our roots, sprout new leaves, open our blossoms…and receive the glorious warmth of the sun.
Trina Swerdlow, BFA, CCHT, is a certified clinical hypnotherapist, an artist, and the author of the 2-CD Set, Weight Loss: Powerful & Easy-to-Use Tools for Releasing Excess Weight. She is also the author of Stress Reduction Journal: Meditate and Journal Your Way to Better Health. Her CDs and her book are available from John Muir Women’s Health Center online store: www.womenshealthcenterstore.com/books1.html.
Trina has a private practice in downtown Danville. You can reach her at: (925) 285.5759, or info@TrinaSwerdlow.com. To receive her free newsletter, “Trina’s Transformational Tips for Mindful Living,” sign-up at her site: www.TrinaSwerdlow.com (Certified Clinical Hypnotherapy services in California can be alternative or complementary to licensed healing arts, such as psychotherapy.)
Photo by Susan Wood, www.SusanWoodPhotography.com