Letting Go & Accepting Change

“Look around you. Everything changes. Everything on this Earth is in a continuous state of evolving, refining, improving, adapting, enhancing…changing. You were not put on this Earth to remain stagnant.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli

The above quote is one of my absolute favorites; whenever I read it, I’m reminded that there is always opportunity for personal growth in life. It is a known fact that the things around us in our physical reality change from day to day, most times whether we want them to or not and whether we expect them to or not. For instance, we all experience the wavering changes of Mother Nature in our daily lives. The weather changes from minute to minute, hour by hour. Thus this is why many of us are obsessed with watching the nightly news to stay ahead of the constant weather changes. However, how many times has the meteorologist’s forecast failed you and you found yourself caught in pouring rain when mostly sunny skies were just promised to you hours ago?

Now, I would like you to take the time to really think about the last time you experienced being stuck outside in weather that you weren’t necessarily prepared for. When that moment arose, there’s a high probability that you had to adjust to the environment you were surrounded in. Even though you didn’t expect the weather to turn out like you assumed it would, you simply had to allow Mother Nature to run its course until the sunny skies returned.

The changes we experience in our life are a lot similar to the above scenario. Life will throw its curve balls unexpectedly at us and we must adjust ourselves accordingly by allowing Life to take its course. Learning how to adapt to life’s difficult situations isn’t easy but it can be done. We must first learn how to let go of our expectations from Life. The truth is that not everything in life happens the way we think it should. We must relinquish the thought of being in control of everything in Life.

Most unfortunate events that happen in our life come without our permission and therefore we automatically lose control of the situation. When this happens, we tend to ask ourselves things like, “Why did my life have to be this way?” or “Why did this happen to me?” But instead of feeling defeated from our experiences, why not ask ourselves the questions, “What can I learn from this situation?” or “What actions can I take to create a better situation?” Keeping a positive and proactive mindset is very helpful during these times of distress.

Once we let go of our expectations and accept the things we cannot control, we are able to move

Start Where You Are is an interactive journal designed to help readers nurture their creativity, mindfulness, and self-motivation. It helps readers navigate the confusion and chaos of daily life with a simple reminder: that by taking the time to know ourselves and what those dreams are, we can appreciate the world around us and achieve our dreams.

forward in Life with contentment instead of feeling stuck in life with resentment in our hearts. Remember that not all changes are meant for our downfall; we must choose whether to see the good or bad in any unfortunate situation we are given in Life. I’m a firm believer in Life being our greatest teacher; some of the worst and unexpected events in my life taught me valuable life lessons. There is always something for us to learn in Life because we are not designed to know all the answers to the many problems we face.

We know that change is inevitable because we know that old age is inescapable. We must all grow older in age and our bodies will change dramatically from our youthful years. Many individuals fear the notion of getting older and will spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on cosmetic surgeries to “beat the clock”. This type of behavior leads to self-value depreciation and could ultimately lead individuals into a harrowing tunnel of depression.

It is quite common for us to fall into a state of fear and anxiety for the future when faced with unexpected changes. Avoid fearing the natural changes that come in our life because fear blocks us from opportunities for personal growth. Fear also opens the door for us to make irrational decisions and these moments of poor decision making often lead us into worst situations that we end up regretting.

Start accepting your life for the gift that it is. When we accept the changes within and around us, we get to experience peace and comfort within ourselves and in life overall. In my opinion, this is the true freedom we all desire! We all desire to be truly happy with ourselves and our lifestyle. Don’t allow the unexpected changes in life stop you from living the life you deserve. Garner up your strength and courage from within and push forward through every stumbling block Life throws at you. You are worthy to live your healthiest and happiest life!

With peace and love,

-Michelle Yarah

Michelle Yarah is a wife and homeschooling mother of four. In her spare time, the Alabama native thoroughly enjoys writing positive/healthy lifestyle content as an author and freelance writer. She co-founded Yarah Publishing Group with her husband and they have published lifestyle ebooks online since 2014.

To read more of the author's work, connect with Michelle on the following social media platforms:



Winnowing & Shamanic Journeying

by Jessie Marie

I’ve always been interested in death - the process, what comes next, and communication with non-corporeal spirits. My favorite time for nature photography is autumn - when the flowers have mostly faded and are barely hanging on. This fascination has also led me into a special interest in birth as well - the opposite of death, where a person is brought from the beyond the veil into our world. In addition, it’s led me to ponder the many ways we die and are reborn throughout our lives.

There is the obvious - aging. Most cultures have a coming of age ceremony of some sort in the mid teens, especially for girls becoming women. The Catholic sacrament of Confirmation, the Jewish Bar/Bat Mitzvah, the Southern USA debutante balls, the Latin American Quinceañera, and more all over the world. While the girl-specific ones, at least in the West, tend to be a bit (if not overly) patriarchal in their ideas of preparation for suitors and marriage, the coming of age ceremony is an important aspect of growing up. It represents the death of the child, and the rebirth as an adult, with adult responsibilities and privileges (even if this gets muddled with current laws on what adulthood is vs maturity).

Another source of death and rebirth is major life changes - death of family members, marriage/divorce, childbirth, career changes, going back to school, retiring, “empty nest”-ing. Of this list, only marriage and death are usually given a true ceremony. You could argue childbirth gets a ceremony (baby shower), but usually any festivities are celebrating the baby - who does deserve celebration - not the mother. I believe that all of these things deserve recognition: they are major changes that bring a new version of yourself forward, like coming of age, and often in a more real way than hitting a number of birthdays or experiencing menarche can.

Yet another source, and one that I have personal experience with in my own life and facilitating it for others, is the death and rebirth that comes after engaging in deep energy work. I use Reiki and Winnowing (my name for healing shamanic-type journeys for others). Both of these have immediate, extensive, and sometimes life-changing effects on a person.

When you receive energy work, you are engaging in a deeply healing experience, but one that requires work to continue and finish the process. This is especially prominent when you are learning to be an energy work practitioner. If you’re just getting the treatment, you will probably have some experiences and symptoms of the energetic cleansing that is going on, but you have the choice to continue the process in doing your part of the work, or not. This can include things like ending relationships that are harmful, or making different choices in your diet or habits. However, if you’re becoming a practitioner, that cleansing will work its way through, whether you do the work or not. And if you don’t do the work willingly, you’ll find yourself being guided at varying levels of strength.

When I received my Reiki attunements, I experienced a resurgence of physical ailments that had emotional and psychic roots - sore throats and cold symptoms related to my speech and throat energy center. Over time, my ability to speak my truth has grown, but that has always been a trouble area for me. On the other hand, when I decided to start my shamanic apprenticeship (not even having had any journeys or experiences yet - that I knew of), I immediately felt the energy moving around me. I had meaningful dreams, and little urgings to do things that I wouldn’t normally do. As I began the healing/preparation part of my apprenticeship, those energy changes became so significant that I physically was unable to eat certain foods that I had loved before!

When I look at my life now, I see several other distinct markings of rebirths of one kind or another. The first was actually my whole high school experience. Looking back on it, it seems like one big death/rebirth experience, made of several smaller ones. I went in hurt from my father’s death, but whole. I left broken beyond recognition (to myself at least), due to my mother’s death, an abusive relationship, and other things. From there, I started to find myself. While I still made some decisions that weren’t ideal, it began a general upward trajectory of my life.

My second big death/rebirth experience was the time of my marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, and recovery. Right when I first thought I knew where I was going to go with Learning Eunoia, I got married, then found out I was pregnant a month later. While I see my daughter as a Divine blessing on our marriage for many reasons, the pregnancy was also a huge test of myself and the relationship. Hyperemesis Gravidarum sapped me of all energy, leaving me without one thing I didn’t even realize was a part of my identity, my physical strength. It ended with a C-section where I remember thinking I had died. Recovery and early motherhood was more difficult than I expected. But my daughter gave me a reason to keep living, and to keep that upward trajectory going.

Bringing this back full circle, I experienced all these rebirths of myself, but without ceremony. I wonder what the world would look like if we celebrated more - not parties meant to get us intoxicated, but actual celebration. A gathering of friends and family to help us birth the new versions of ourselves, knowing that birth isn’t just a happy time of new life - it includes pain and tears and the breaking open of one person to bring a new one into being. Maybe if we did this, we’d have more meaning to our lives, and therefore less pain and sadness. I’d like to create an orphaning ceremony, a divorce ceremony, a new career ceremony. Not because these are necessarily joyful times, but because they offer a chance to solemnly recognize and commemorate what has been, what is now, and what is yet to come. One day, I'll get there. But for now, we can each create our own. I hope it will be enough.

---Jessie Marie lives in San Angelo, Texas, USA, with her husband, daughter, and cat. For all her life, she has felt a deep desire to help people, and has found The Divine in nature. As an adult, she has studied energy work, magic and psychology, becoming a Shaman of the Way, a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, an ordained minister through ULC, and earning professional certifications in NLP, Life Coaching, and always continuing studies. She is also a member of Ár nDraíocht Féin and Reformed Druids of Gaia, two Druid organizations. Through these modalities and others, she pursues her life’s work of helping people to heal their body, mind, and soul, and working to heal our Mother Earth.


Wanting Change Doesn't Mean You Will Change

We’ve all heard it time and time again - your brother, coworker, spouse, or friend is going to change. People love to talk about all the habits they’ll be breaking (or creating), the goals they’ll be setting, and the changes they’ll be making.

And while they likely believe that they mean it, the reality is: they don’t.

How can I be so sure? Well, most people aren’t willing to do what it takes to actually change!

In almost 25 years of leading and coaching, what I’ve found is that most people will say they want change, or agree that they need to change, but only if….

If they don’t have to be inconvenienced.

If they don’t have to give up being comfortable.

If they can hold on to everything from their “pre-change” life that they like.

What it boils down to is this:

“People want to long as they don’t have to change”.

Before you point the finger - this is true of you too.

Every goal in life that you’ve set but not achieved, every habit you intended to break but never quite did, those are the changes that you said you wanted to make. But when it came down to it…you wanted change without having to actually change.

Here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to be this way!

As someone who has an incredible amount of power in your own life, you do know what’s going on internally, and you can commit to making changes that need to be made.

After all, you can fool some people some of the time, and you can even fool yourself some of the time...but in your quiet, honest moments, you know when change is called for. Not the change you’re going to talk about, but the change you’re actually going to dig deep enough to create.

Because not changing when you know you need to tends to have one of two results:

You become more and more numb, blocking out chances to experience fulfillment, joy, and happiness because you have to continually bury sadness and pain in your body. Whether you resort to an addictive substance, a self-defeating behavior pattern, or a cynical attitude, you’re really just trying to deaden yourself to the way things are.

All this because you’re unwilling to experience the discomfort and inconvenience of a change that you know you should have made long ago.

You start down the road to a personal version of hell that only you can imagine. At some point you’ll likely be so miserable, desperate, and hopeless that you will create change - you’ll be willing to move mountains if only you can get away from how things are.

Although this route tends to end in change, it is much more painful than it needed to be.

I can write about both of these options because I’ve done both. I’ve attempted to dull discomfort and numb myself to my own life, and I’ve lived through extreme pain and anguish - all because I failed to create changes that I knew needed to be made.

This message is for you today, and it’s meant as a challenge.

You’re standing at a crossroads, and you can let your ego tell you that this has nothing to do with you…or you can acknowledge the change that you know you need to begin making.

Whether you’re at the start of your journey, where you may be about to face a bit of discomfort, or neck deep in the waters of turmoil, regret, and heartache created from years of avoiding changes that needed to happen, I challenge you to make a choice.

Decide today that you’re going to change, and commit to withstanding any amount of backlash, frustration, inconvenience, or difficulty that may come your way because of it.

I offer you this wisdom because I’ve been there, and I know how much time and energy can be lost when we don’t commit to necessary change. I also care about your journey, and if you’re feeling a bit uncomfortable, I offer you this: “The truth hurts, but it also sets you free.”

Dov Baron is recognized as one of the top 100 leadership speakers to hire, and is also a corporate culture strategist. He is the founder of Full Monty Leadership and is a bestselling author. His latest book is Fiercely Loyal: How High Performing Companies Develop and Retain Top Talent.


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