Life is ever changing and keeping up with it is stressful. By the time we have figured out what our world looks like and what we can count on, something happens to change the dynamics of what we know. This applies to everything …cell phones, jobs, family. Nothing stays the same. Change is life’s built in mechanism to force us to step outside our comfort zones. How will we respond? Will we respond? Who are we as we navigate our way through the change?

As life moves on, if we don’t embrace the shifts with grace and ease, if we try to control what we will or won’t accept, then we will certainly lock our emotional world in a place of dis-ease. Yes…this is truly how I believe many people create illness and it is now well-documented by science that stress and its many effects on our health is quickly becoming the #1 cause of disease in this country. It isn’t as much about what we feed our bodies, though this exacerbates any pre-existing conditions. The real issue is that of being ill at ease with one’s world because we are afraid to surrender to the fear inherent in change.

The mental component:
When our internal and external worlds don’t match, chances are that we are avoiding our true nature and what it longs for. We are putting our opportunity to experience happiness to the side. Within this dynamic, the mask we wear for the world and our innermost selves are in a never ending tug of war. Nobody wins. We are what we tell ourselves we are, and we do what our thoughts encourage us to do. Shift the thought and the action will shift.

Consider these suggestions to empower you towards a more fulfilling experience in stepping forward:

1-Empower yourself by accepting that problems are not bad, they give us an opportunity to seek out a solution that simultaneously gives us an opportunity to grow and access a part of ourselves we may not have known even existed.

2-Empower yourself further by recognizing that you are capable and actually here to experience happiness. Mind you, being happy every day is not a pre-requisite for leading a joyful life, anymore than being engaged in thought all the time will get you closer to a deeper, fuller life. Simply put, happy lives have sad days and it is important to experience sadness in order to fully appreciate the joy when it does come. Make friends with the feelings that come up on your down days and recognize that these are merely thoughts. It is not YOU that is sad, you simply just FEEL sad. Once you recognize that feelings don’t define you but are more like a visiting guest, then you will be less attached to defining yourself by them.

The breakthrough:
I once read, “It isn’t enough to look up the steps, you must step up the steps.” Breakthroughs don’t happen by thinking about how to make a change….breakthroughs happen through action. Our fear of what we will leave behind & the comfort of knowing what to expect keeps us from moving forward. How about thinking of what not moving forward is keeping you from experiencing? If you are truly wanting to experience happiness, you will have to brave stepping outside your comfort zone and allow yourself to engage with the unknown. It is akin to being on a date with yourself.

1-Do one thing every day that you love. My clients make a list of the things they love as part of their program. Activities range from being 1 minute to 1 week long. This becomes part of their morning “menu”. They choose one thing they have time for and incorporate it into their day. So grab a comic book during your coffee break, or light a candle before you go to sleep. The sheer fact that you are doing something that appeals to you and is for the sole reason of finding pleasure in your day will slowly make you reconnect with the part of you that has been shuffled aside for years. It is amazing to hear how difficult it is for people to take 3 minutes a day to honor themselves. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what message we are giving our bodies and our psyche when we tell it that we simply don’t have time for ourselves. Find the joy and love yourself a little. You won’t believe what joy building can do to transform your life.

2- Eat right and pass on the 3rd portion: If you don’t feel good you simply won’t feel better by eating more than you need or can digest. Finding the right foods and portions to fuel your life are as important as anything else. If you have lost your health, you are often not living you but rather, searching for ways to get your health back. So do yourself a favor and take a sound bite at a time. There is plenty of info. on websites and I post plenty on my own should you care to visit online ( Take on one simple step until you see the results and then add another. Food matters.

3-“Do” with “you” factored in the equation: Many of us are living to work, rather than working to live. Remember that life is more than just paying the bills. A well-lived life is not simply a matter of what we have done or accomplished, but rather who we were while getting there?

4- Find someone without an agenda: Whether it is a friend, a therapist, or a complete stranger….being able to share your struggle is often enough to release them. Being able to voice our fears in a safe place where there is no judgment, releases the tension and anxiety of suppressing our innermost feelings.

Put one or all of these pieces together and you will be that much closer to finding the ease that we all search for as the world around us changes. When a river comes to a stone, it simply bends and flows around it. Find this place in your own life. There is no need to push the river. When you get to those bridges, just put one foot in front of the other. Have faith that what awaits is simply a better you.

Author's Bio: 

Odette Worrell is a certified Holistic Health Counselor, certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP), a Reiki Master Practitioner, and founder of Organic Soul. Odette's work encompasses supporting and empowering individuals to regain their physical health, improve the quality of their lives, and reach their personal goals. Odette and Organic Soul offer newsletters, online health and self-growth classes, and one-on-one as well as group health counseling sessions (privately and online).