Are the winds of change blowing in your life? What are they whispering to you? Are you willing to listen?

Your decisions are more important than you think

There are times in life when you must simply keep to your chosen path and make it work. But there are also times when crisis, or opportunity, leaves you uncertain about how best to respond and where to go next. At these moments, the decisions you make are very crucial, because they will determine not only your future life, but also your future character.

Times of crisis or change demand that you step forward into a bigger picture of who you are and where you be going. If you do, you will be able to respond positively whatever has happened, and make clear and effective choices. Each positive choice also makes it easier for you to be flexible and creative in future.

As you get in the habit of consistently choosing openness rather than stuckness, your whole neural pattern and personality changes, and you find your life is evolving in line with your deepest values and in the direction of joy.

If instead you retreat and go backwards instead of forward, you may contract with fear and stress, start having other problems, including health issues, and make it more likely that you will make a similar choice next time. You may also miss the opportunity that life, and your own heart and soul, have offered you.

Research tells us that times of big change are stressful, and can bring with them a variety of negative symptoms. To negotiate such moments safely, effectively and powerfully, it is crucial to see changes as the catalysts they are, open to turning points and set in motion new beginnings.

The catalyst

Bereavement, redundancy, divorce, or even your own change of heart can whisper to you that your old life will never be the same. Or else a new job, relationship, home, family, or attitude can pull you forward into a new life. Or perhaps you are experiencing burnout, depression, stress, growing inefficiency, boredom or illness, which may mean that you missed a turn back there somewhere and are suffering the consequences of an overdue turning point. This is the catalyst stage of new beginnings.

Find out more about Catalysts

The turning point

A catalyst cannot itself move you on. You have to choose to take the message seriously and open up to your new possibilities. If you do, you can have a real turning point.

A turning point is not necessarily an external life change. You can travel the world, have a new job or relationship or home every year, and yet within you are still same old same old. Or you can just recommit to the life you already have and approach everything differently without seemingly changing a thing externally and that may be a turning point.

A turning point is always a fundamental shift in your attitudes, a willingness to open up and listen to yourself and to life in a new way.

Find out more about Turning points

The new beginning

You still have a choice. Even after a turning point, it is possible to ignore what you have seen and understood, and go back to your old life. Many people do. Or you can hover around the implications of the turning point, unable to go forwards or backwards. All this is okay, but it can have repercussions on your life and your health.

If you are willing to honour that turning point enough to make a fundamental shift in your life or in your attitudes, you will find the full joy of new beginnings.

Unlike turning points, new beginnings usually have some kind of external manifestation. You begin to take the steps you need to build the new life that is opening up to you and you find that everything has a new flavour to it.

This is your new life. Enjoy it!

Find out more about New beginnings

Which comes first?

Do these always come in this order? Not necessarily.  A new beginning could lead to a turning point for example. Maybe you’ve been offered a new and more responsible job, and out of meeting the challenge comes a letting go of old fears and limiting beliefs, and a new sense of who you are.  Even so, you may find more new beginnings flow as you feel more confident about yourself and you start making other changes in your life.  So these stages can be criscrossing each other, or circular rather than linear.

But whichever way it goes, you need a catalyst, a turning point, and a new beginning, to create a truly fresh new life.

Find out more in Dina’s book You Are What You Imagine: Three Steps to a New Beginning using ImageWork.