Change One Thing

Rev. Mary Murray Shelton

When my recent planned spiritual retreat to Costa Rica fell through I felt like I had fallen through the floor. I experienced range of feelings as I tried to find a good work-around to pull it back together: shock, grief, creative determination, anger, frustration, hope, willingness, resignation, numbness. I finally landed in Victimland for a while, too. But after all that, the question was there: what now? 

It wasn’t just steps I needed to take to resolve the cancellation costs and dates. It was also a matter of getting myself back out of Victimland and back into the world of possibilities that I’ve come to know as the spiritual Truth behind every appearance. And that was going to require changing what I was thinking and saying about the experience. I would have to approach it differently.

Sometimes it seems like nothing works the way it should. If you’re human, you’ve probably hit that point at times where work is no fun, relationship is a struggle and you don’t even feel comfortable in your body. 

At times like that, changing your life can seem overwhelming. There’s so much to do…where do you even start? 

It’s simple, really…just change ONE thing. 

Read a magazine article you would never typically even consider. Try a new type of restaurant. Take a different route to work. Any simple change of scenery can shift your perspective, and has the potential to drastically transform your life. 

Of course, the most profound shifts are the ones you make on the inside. Annoyance can be turned into curiosity. Frustration can be flipped to become gratitude. Anger can be transformed by turning it into a song. 

You don’t have to tackle the whole enchilada, just make one simple shift. 

And the best part is, it’s an experiment. If you don’t like the new perspective, you can always go back to your old one. 

So I started to take one step at a time: one phone call, one Google search, one period of journaling, to begin to put the experience into context and pull it out of my negative, fatalistic perspective.

And guess what? Not surprisingly, it worked. Refunds and credits came through. Rescheduling and rebooking became possible. Some better ways revealed themselves and some compromises to open the new options.

If I’d stayed mad, sad, and inhabiting Victimland none of that would’ve been available to me. I had to start where I was and take that first small step to shift.

Like a ship at sea: if it changes course–even one degree–100 miles later it’s in completely new waters. 

What “one-degree” shift can you make today?

You also might be interested in...

Word truth written on the sand

The Truth of Being

Lesley Gianetti, RScP

Thinking about ways to to stay centered and grounded during intensely distracting conditions…I do what Ernest Holmes recommended; I

Words Have Power printed on paper on a vintage typewriter.

Your Words Have Power

Rev. Sarah Hargrave, Facilitator of The Extra Edge Breakfast Gatherings

Your words set a tone. They set the course for your day. They either carry you to success or