All ‘Ariane’ Posts

07 mar

Your “Half-Empty” Perspective Is Killing You

JayForteAttitude – it defines us. I remember working with a colleague who was chronically pessimistic. Whatever was said, he always found the negative. If it were a nice day, he would comment how bad weather was due. If we had success in the workplace, it was a matter of time before something failed. I chose to see the glass half full; he chose to see the glass half empty. I focused on gain, success, optimism and possibility; he focused on loss, failure, pessimism and shortage. He was a chronic downer; a vortex of negative energy. He was, however, a life lesson.

I wasn’t always optimistic. My background, like for many, taught me life was difficult; good will always be offset by bad – as if there were some required life balance of pain and pleasure. It was this colleague, however, who introduced me to seeing the negative and positive attributes in our responses, and noticing how they made me feel. His perspective reminded me of how brief life is and by focusing on the negative instead of the positive was a waste of time.

This started my interest in researching the impact of a positive attitude not only on a person’s success but on his physical and metal wellbeing. Dr. Esther Sternberg’s states in her book, The Balance Within, The Science Connecting Health and Emotions, “Perhaps if we could relearn a new set of associations, turn negative into positive, we could in some sense consciously control our health.” She continues, “The more optimistic the person, the less an event was perceived as stressful, the more robust were their immune-cell responses.” There is a direct correlation between positive emotions and a strong immune system.

This is further explained in Dr. Robert Sapolsky’s book, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers. He presents when we are in periods of calm, our body’s systems work as they should – the heart slows allowing normal blood flow to all of the routine life systems – digestive, circulatory, excretory, reproductive. We maintain our bodies internally – we stay healthy.

However, when we encounter an event (including an emotion) that activates our fight-or-flight mechanism, different biological functions respond. Blood is called from the maintenance systems and is now directed to organs that will increase our ability to survive (blood vessels are constricted raising the speed and force of the heart’s contraction, widening air passages to the lungs, dilating the pupils for increased perception, releasing glucose into the blood for quick energy, and shifting blood from the intestinal tract to the heart and muscles – paraphrased from How We Live by Sherwin Nuland). This reaction suppresses our immune system; if sustained, this impacts our health.

It is important to note is that a negative attitude can activate the fight-or-flight response. So the office downer, the family curmudgeon, or the negative energy friend – those who are constantly focused on the “half-empty” perspective – live in a perpetual state of fight or flight. This activates the fight-or-flight systems and suppresses the immune system. Being a cynic, grump or pessimist is bad for your health.

This ties in directly with Ariane de Bonvoisin’s first principle of successfully handling change, “People who successfully navigate change have positive beliefs.” This positivity activates your health, your greater thinking and stronger positive emotions. Positivity and optimism actually create a healthier life.

Positive beliefs come from you – you may not be able to control the things that happen to you but you can control how you respond to them. You can choose to see “half-full” – upbeat, optimistic and confident – or “half-empty” – down, pessimistic and unsure.

Consider these ways to build a more positive perspective:

  1. Notice when you become negative and immediately focus on something positive. Have others help you see your behavior.
  2. Read a power quote or an inspirational passage to start your day on a positive tone.
  3. Create an upbeat “break” during the day. Focus on 3 things that have gone well. Celebrate them. I like to use a “what went well today” list.
  4. Choose your friends wisely; associate with positive and confident people.

To make the point, here are some great half-empty/half-full perspectives from the website

  • The project manager/engineer says the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
  • The bar fly says is not about whether the glass is half full or half empty, it’s about who is paying for the next round.
  • The consultant says let’s examine the question, prepare a strategy for an answer, and all for a daily rate of…
  • The worrier frets that the remaining half will evaporate by tomorrow.
  • The fanatic thinks the glass is completely full, even though it isn’t.
  • The entrepreneur sees the glass as undervalued by half its potential.
  • The computer specialist says that next year the glass capacity will double and will cost half the price.
  • The Buddhist says don’t worry, remember the glass is already broken.
  • The personal coach knows that the glass goes from full to empty depending on the circumstances, and reminds the drinker that he can always fill the glass when he wishes.
  • The grammarian says that while the terms half-full and half-empty are colloquially acceptable the glass can technically be neither since both full and empty are absolute states and therefore are incapable of being halved or modified in any way.

You control your attitude. Know yourself; choose to be positive and upbeat. It is great for your happiness and your health.

Jay Forte is a motivational speaker and performance consultant. He is the author of Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition, The Hunt for Opportunities Success Manual and the on-line resource, Stand Out and Get Hired. He is working on his new book, Work Strong, Live Stronger. He works to connect people to their talents and passions to live fired up! More information at

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jay Forte on March 7th, 2010 in Ariane, Career, Family, General, Health, Personal Stories, Things We Love | 1 comment Read related posts in , , , , , , ,

23 feb

Life Lessons from Charlie Chaplin

A friend of mine, Kerstin, sent this to me. It’s the speech that Charlie Chaplin gave on his 70th birthday. I found it beautiful and ever so true.

As I Began to Love Myself

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY.”
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody
As I try to force my desires on this person,
even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it,
and even though this person was me.
Today I call it “RESPECT.”
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.
Today I call it “Maturity,”
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time,
and everything happens at the exactly right moment.
So I could be calm.
Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE.”
As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do
and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm.
Today I call it “SIMPLICITY.”
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health—
food, people, things, situations, and everything the drew me down and away from myself.
At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.
Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF,”
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right,
and ever since I was wrong less of the time.
Today I discovered that is “MODESTY.”
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry about the future.
Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING is happening.
Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT,”
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick.
But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally.
Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART.”
We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others.
Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born.
Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!

Please pass this onto your friends and family. This is a special reminder of what life is trying to teach us, what it’s really about, what we eventually all come to learn. Be gentle on yourself and light on life. No more disapproval of self. It’s the biggest obstacle to your dreams. Doing so, you’ll be able to access all that happiness and joy that is just below that inner critical voice.

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on February 23rd, 2010 in Ariane, Global/Social Change, Health, Personal Stories, Spirituality | 3 comments Read related posts in ,

17 feb

The Seventh Secret of Change

Finding your Spirit where tranquility, ideas and wisdom live.

People who successfully navigate change know they are connected to something bigger than themselves.

When everything around you is changing, look for that part of yourself that doesn’t change, the part that is calm, centered and always there.

You can tell people who have Spirit. You can also tell companies that have Spirit. Nothing religious going on here, its just a sense of aliveness, of joy, of doing something that matters, that makes a difference, that helps. It’s a commitment to going beyond the material, the rules, what’s expected and going with a different form of guidance. Often it’s inner guidance, a nudge, a knowing of the right thing to do next, a strong intuition. We all put far greater value on intellect, on the mind, we cling to being clever, on knowing. Finding your spiritual side is about being open to not knowing, to being empty so that a new idea, direction, person can come into your life. It’s about finding a different sense of peace, tranquility that doesn’t depend on getting a deal, making the money or any form of external marker.

All great leaders, heroes, athletes, regular people who have touched us in some way believe in something greater. They don’t all define it the same way, or have the same word for it, but everyone I have interviewed eventually says some version of “something bigger was going on.” All types of change, whether it is personal or professional at some stage make us go looking on the inside. We find ourselves reconnecting to our intuition, our heart, our faith, our connection with another part of our self, perhaps our “higher self” that we have so often forgotten.

Infusing life and our work or business with spirit is about going with our intuitions, that part of us that is connected to a different, unnamable source of wisdom. It’s about a different intention that goes beyond “getting something” but is about “giving something,” helping, serving, contributing to our fellow human beings. It’s about bringing the energy of kindness, care, love if that doesn’t scare us, to everything we do and everyone we interact with. As Plato said “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” What the world and business need now is a lot more gentleness, gentleness starting even in our communication, emails we send to people, how we interact with the world. We need gentleness with ourselves, stopping the disapproval energy that runs our lives! It’s about stopping the “perfection” cycle and giving ourselves permission to be human.

How do we do this? We start with being comfortable with silence, going inside, taking some time to check in with how something is feeling. Does the deal feel right? Does the website design feel in line with our intuitions? Does this person we want to hire feel right? We feel OK doing nothing, allowing ideas, insights to come through when our minds are not overly busy. We find moments of taking away the incessant noise all around us. Yes, some people call that meditation but that word is also loaded with connotations of sitting in a lotus position chanting. Meditation is only about being with ourselves, away from any distractions, getting back in touch with different parts of ourselves, hearing our deeper truths, re-aligning some aspects of our lives. Infusing our lives and work with Spirit is also about finding our intentions for why we are doing what we are doing. What guides our choices and really our lives? Is it about wanting more or giving more? Power moves through those who serve, not those who are out to get more. Ironically, when we don’t focus on getting approval, or money or fame, that’s often the time when it comes to you in spades.

Finding our spiritual side is about a bigger sense of meaning as to what we have come here to experience. The best advertisement for the spiritual path isn’t about doing a yoga class once a week, wearing a spiritual piece of jewelry or even going to church. The best ad is about being kinder, more compassionate to others, finding any which way to help. We need to ask ourselves, who needs our help today? We are loaded with gifts, ideas, connections that can help others do something good in the world.

I ask myself that question everyday and in so doing, it’s remarkable how many of my challenges, hurdles also get taken care of in parallel. My quiet silent time to be with Spirit, is what I call a “non-negotiable” (together with my health). This means no one and nothing touches this. I don’t start the day before attending to these. They come above everything for me and ensure that I’m effective in all areas of my life.

What are your non-negotiables? How much spirit is alive in your organization or family or job? What feels right as something to get started on to reconnect with this part of yourself that runs through you whether you acknowledge it or not? If you find your spiritual side, the part of you that never changes, is always there, detached from any drama, then life on the outside will become calmer. You will then be plugged into a different source of energy, not only the “little me” trying to keep everything under control, but the bigger source that powers life and nature, that part you may not fully understand, that source where anything is possible and you are not limited by disempowering thoughts or beliefs. Nurture that relationship.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on February 17th, 2010 in Ariane, New Directions, Spirituality, Uncategorized | No comments Read related posts in

18 jan

Lessons from Teaching at a School

Teaching3I am still here in South Africa and had one of the most rewarding experiences ever last week. I was invited to teach the 9 Principles of Change in a wonderful school in Johannesburg, called The African Leadership Academy. They sponsor kids from the 53 countries of Africa for the last two years of high school and show them the way to be future leaders of this great continent. The students were between the ages of 16-18, yet every one of them has a wisdom and depth that was truly remarkable.

We discussed the most difficult changes they’ve had to face so far — many of them having lost loved ones — the change they are most excited about making, going to college, starting businesses, contributing and also their most helpful beliefs. Many of them centered around faith and help from others. The students were a lively bunch and participated a lot as we went through each of the principles one by one.

There’s something magical about teaching anything you know or have some experience with. We are so much more comfortable being the students in life, and yet, how easily we forget that we really are expert sin something. Our stories are really our experiences. There’s someone or a group that needs to hear from us. Volunteer. Find a local school and go ask to teach. I am sure they will welcome you.

Power moves through those who serve. I felt a lot of power moving through me that evening when we spent close to three hours all together. These students are so hungry for knowledge, life skills, not more advanced calculus. They want to believe they are big enough to make a real difference and they are.

Teaching2The students are full of life, giggling, smiling. I read somewhere that the average African laughs more in a week than Americans do in a month. That’s crazy. What really surprised me was how polite the Africans are, how present they are towards their fellow students, full of respect and dignity. Everyone feels welcome, heard, seen here.

I’ve attached a few photos so you can see the lovely energy among the students.

I leave you with this thought. What do you have to teach? And where can you do that in your community?

Remember, it doesn’t have to be something major. Maybe you lost weight, started a business, quit smoking, built a website, overcame something difficult. Someone needs to hear your story. As one young man said at the end of my workshop, “I’ve been feeling so much fear for so many years, and what you said has allowed me to feel peace again. I’ve been waiting for years to hear this.”

Nothing can beat that kind of impact on another soul’s life. Go out and serve your fellow beings.

Teaching1And if you haven’t gotten the book, please do so. It’s not too late!

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on January 18th, 2010 in Ariane, Global/Social Change | 2 comments Read related posts in ,

17 jan

The Miracle Is You!

spirituality_rockpathThis is from my dear friend Kute Blackson, a soul brother and someone I adore. This is taken from his wonderful CD, Love Now.

When you were first conceived, you were a double strand of DNA in a fertilized ovum. Dividing 50 times, and you had over 100 trillion cells. More than all the stars in the Milky Way. Then, you were born into existence.

Each of your cells do over six trillion things per second. Just think how a human body knows how to kill germs, digest, make babies, and talk, all at the same time.

The miracle is you.
The miracle is you.
Your heart beats 101,000 times per day.
During your life it will beat 300 million times.
Each day you take 23,000 breaths.
Your blood travels 60,000 miles each day on its journey through the body.
25 million cells are being produced in your body each second.
You blink at least 15,000 times per day.
Your brain has about 100 billion nerve cells.
If all your DNA was stretched out it would reach the moon 6000 times.
You shed 600,000 particles of skin every hour.
Your bones are four times stronger than concrete.
Your eyes can distinguish up to one million color surfaces, and take in more information than the largest telescope in the world.
Your lungs inhale over two million liters of air daily.
When you touch anything, a message is sent to your brain at 124 mph.
Your skin consists of 280,000 heat receptors.
The length of your blood vessels would circle the globe 2½ times.
You have the ability to distinguish up to 10,000 different smells.
Your tongue has over 10,000 taste buds.

The miracle is you.
The miracle is you.

Listen to the music.
Listen to the music.
Deep inside.

Listen to the music.
Listen to the music.
Deep inside.

There are universes dancing inside your body.
There are sunsets shining in your heart.
There are symphonies playing in your toes.
Rivers of blood effortlessly flows.
There is a full moon beaming in your belly button.
There is a cool breeze blowing in your lungs.
There is a gentle rain that falls from your eyes.
There is an army of love in every step.
There is love making in your every motion.

A body of devotion.

The miracle is you.
The miracle is you.

So realize.
It’s all inside.

A galaxy of amazement.

Should you ever forget.
Just close your eyes.

Listen to the music.
Listen to the music.
Deep inside.

Listen to the music.
Listen to the music.
Deep inside.

The miracle is you.
The miracle is you.

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on January 17th, 2010 in Ariane, New Directions | 2 comments Read related posts in

10 jan

What to Focus on in 2010

Here’s a great list for the new year.

  1. Instead of wanting to be right, be kind
  2. Instead of focusing on what you did wrong or what is worth being upset about, focus on all that is right
  3. Instead of looking at what has changed, look at what hasn’t changed
  4. Instead of coming to the end of another day and being obsessed with what was terrible, find what you can be grateful for
  5. Instead of feeling out of control, find ways to trust more
  6. Instead of saying mean things to yourself over and over, choose to take control of your inner voice and create a loving inner dialogue with yourself
  7. Instead of letting an excuse rule your life, make this the year that you step into your power and see how limiting that excuse has been
  8. Instead of comparing yourself to someone else and making yourself feel small, ask yourself, am I better than my 2009 self? Am I improving compared to me?

Anyone of these commitments will radically alter your upcoming year. Choose one from the list above. Then choose another. In times of intense change, transition and crises, our dominant emotions come out even more strongly. We need to take control of what we are focusing on, especially when our attention is constantly being taken away by the media, news, pessimists and so on. This year, you choose what to focus on. Remember, you will get more of what you focus on. You will attract that which you give your attention and energy to. Put out the energy you want more of.happier_confidence

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on January 10th, 2010 in Ariane, New Directions | No comments Read related posts in

05 jan

The Sixth Secret of Change

happier_confidenceThese are the things you can control during change.

People who successfully navigate change know the following:

Change makes us feel out of control. We are wired to want certainty, to know what’s going to happen with the business deal or the relationship or the diagnosis. We hate the in-between phase. We cling to anything that feels even a little permanent. We naturally look to control all the things that cannot be controlled, starting with other people and their reactions.

Here’s what you do have control of when you’re either making or facing a change. Your words, language, questions, the story you tell others and how much you let your thoughts be your reality.

People who are good at change have a very different vocabulary. They do not use words like disaster, nightmare, worst day ever, horrific. They are much more mindful of the emotional impact of this kind of language not only on their own body and mind but on other people as well. Ask yourself what are your go-to words, your dominant language patterns. If you don’t know, ask any friend, loved one, colleague. They will tell you exactly the words you over-use. In the workplace, what are the words that keep getting repeated. If you want to change that environment, start with looking at your communication. Richard Branson, for example, uses the word “fun” everyday. And the result is the creation of a “fun” business. What is the word you need to start using more of?

People who are good at change ask very different questions. They do not ask things like “why am I such an idiot?” “Why does this stuff always happen to me?” “Why am I so unlucky?” Instead they will go to questions like “who can help?” “How could this be a good thing?” “What I can learn from this?” “What action can I take?” “Can I find some humor in this?” “What can I focus on now?” Your brain will answer any question you give it, so start asking better questions if you want better answers.

People who are good at change tell very different stories. They do not tell the story of why something happened over and over. They are not stuck on the story of why it went wrong, why someone is to blame, or what someone did to them. We are constantly telling people our stories—why we got sick, why we got fired, why we didn’t get promoted, what our parents did to us. Stop the story. Start telling the story of how you want things to be. If you want a new story—if you want something to change—create some space for something different to show up. Every business has a story. A story of why it does what it does, what its culture is, and so on. Be mindful of the story you keep perpetuating. Take people out of the “story box” you’ve put around them. That’s something you can control.

People who are good at change control the meaning they give to things. We all tend to give much credit to our minds, our thoughts. We think that if our mind is telling us something, well then it must be the truth. Don’t believe everything your mind comes up with. So much of our thinking is negative. Our worst-case scenarios never happen. Do not let your mind “drag you into the basement.” Watch it when it wants to do just that. You have control over this. Observe the mind’s obsessive need to have you suffer. That’s your choice. The mind doesn’t have all the facts. If you want to affect your environment either at home or at work, start thinking better thoughts. Everyone will thank you for it.

When we start being much more aware and mindful of our inner world, our outer world tends to change. Language carries emotion, questions carry the energy of the solution or the problem and stories are how we define ourselves, in other words, our past, present and future.

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on January 5th, 2010 in Ariane, Personal Stories | 1 comment Read related posts in

04 jan

Your New Year To-Do List for Yourself

Here are some important things to do if you want to do a little bit of inner work on yourself and welcome the New Year with a sense of peace and calmness:

Self-esteem-Write a letter to yourself. Have it come from your Higher Self. Go through what happened last year, what the wiser part of you would tell you.

-Write a letter to anyone whom you feel incomplete with and need closure. Don’t send it. Write it for yourself, for your healing. Say what needs to be said.

-Forgive someone who hurt you this year. Give yourself this gift. You can do this in person, over the phone, or just quietly in your own space. Include yourself in this exercise. What do you need to forgive yourself for from this past year? What mistake? What regret? What action?

-Accept your family members exactly the way they are. Have no expectations that they will be different for these holidays or any to come in this new year. Do not expect them to understand you or any choices/decisions you’ve made or are planning to make.

-Figure out the few things you do to re-energize yourself and follow through with doing this in the coming year. What is it for you? Nature? Working out? Sleeping in? Prayer and meditation? Writing? Be clear on what you need more of.

-What’s the worst thing you tell yourself? What’s the number-one excuse that gets in your way? Write it down, make friends with it. Ask yourself, “is this really really true?” Who would you be and what would you do without this excuse?

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on January 4th, 2010 in Ariane, New Directions | 3 comments Read related posts in ,

29 dec

Your Personal 2009 Inventory

spirituality_rockpathThe end of another year can bring up some tough times for many of us. We blame ourselves for the weight we put on. We criticize ourselves for the dream we didn’t pursue. We realize that we are yet again single for the holidays or we have racked up more debt. Whatever our demon is, we tend easily to forget a lot of what happened that led us to make our decisions. So let’s take a very different look back at 2009.

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself that will radically change your view on this past year.

1) Whom did I meet this year who is now in my life?
2) What emotion really caused me to grow? Courage? Faith?
3) What emotion was I unafraid to feel? Fear? Sadness?
4) What am I most proud of?
5) In what area of my life did I really make some progress?
6) What did I do that completely surprised me and was unexpected to me?
7) Whom did I really help?
8) What is the biggest lesson I really faced?
9) What am I most grateful for?
10) What were the most fun times I had?

We get what we focus on. So despite the impossibly super-human standards we set for ourselves, we need to take a moment to realize what we gave to others, what went well, what worked out, what lesson life wanted us to learn this year, and what gifts were hidden that we could not possibly have predicted 12 months ago.

There are years for action and years for reflection. There are years for love and years for alone time. There are years for giving and years for receiving.

Be gentle on yourself and light on life.

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on December 29th, 2009 in Ariane, Personal Stories | 2 comments Read related posts in

28 dec

Preparing for 2010

I recently received this article and wanted to share it with everyone. It tries to explain the bigger planetary-level changes that are going on. We must be aware of these and how they may affect us personally. Since I am always searching for ways to help us transition through these interesting times we live in, I think this piece is an interesting summary and perspective on what many of us are either already feeling or hearing about. The author is an evolutionary astrologer Maurice Fernandez.

Greetings! I feel compelled to write this note about what we astrologers are seeing coming. We are in the beginning of a very unique time in history that will redefine the foundations of our lives. The astrological circumstances are uncommon and very dramatic. Change is likely to affect every level of our being, even though each person will feel it differently and in varying degrees of intensity.

I’m writing this note so that you may make better use of this time and understand what it is about. As astrologers we are aware of cycles that affect our existence. Because this coming cycle is very unique, I feel it is important to share this information. I will try to keep it simple and not burden you with a long text and excessive details.

There are multiple planetary bodies that are gradually forming a very particular and rare alignment. This configuration began to form during the fall of 2008. Politically, that time was when the economical crisis exploded and when U. S. President Barack Obama was elected.

The configuration will move into a second phase during November 2009 and January/February 2010. (Saturn will move into the Cardinal sign of Libra and will form powerful angle to Pluto in Capricorn.)

The third phase is probably the most dramatic and intense, and will occur from the end of June to the end of July 2010, when all the factors of the configuration will align together in a cross at the very beginning of Cardinal signs in astrology. (Cardinal signs are the signs of new cycles. The planets in questions are Pluto, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars.) These planets are slow-moving bodies and therefore it is absolutely exceptional that these slow-moving bodies end up all aligned in a cross on these very sensitive degrees!

In normal circumstances, some people go through changes while others continue their routine. Here the alignment is so strong and dramatic that everyone’s life can be considerably affected. It is likely that your life will not be the same by fall 2010! The question that often arises is this. “Is it bad, or is it good?” The answer is that it depends on the way one deals with the events. A conscious approach can make a difference.

One thing is certain: Do not expect security, consistency, and predictability during this time. Reality is bound to change fast and so it is better to move with the flow, while remaining conscious of what is going on. Flexibility is one of the most important assets during this time. This influence is analogous to a gigantic wave forming. You can ride on that wave and go farther than ever expected—experience a powerful transformation that can elevate you to new grounds. But this wave can also destroy a lot of what you are currently attached to.

Redefinition may occur in different fields. You may change vocation, relationships, location, mindsets, to name but a few fields. New people will move into your life, current ones may leave. New ideas and projects will develop and you may feel inspired to completely reinvent yourself! The cards are re-shuffled! This is a time of an awakening, a revolution—an internal and social revolution.

Everything is shaking up—everything. From November 2009 until August 2010, nothing will stay still. It can be very good, but you have to learn to navigate these changes and seize opportunity when it comes. Don’t try to have it all perfect. Don’t try to keep the cake and eat it. Change can take you to a completely new and perhaps higher level of what you are about, but you will have to let go of your security during this time. It is a time for risk, reinvention, new ideas, new concepts, new vision, and the impetus to make it happen.

Marriages may break, jobs and possessions may be lost. People may get sick, and simultaneously, new relationships may emerge, new passions may awaken. A completely new lifestyle is in the making. You are embarking on an adventure whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not. My suggestion is to make peace with the idea. Don’t resist the adventure. If you accept it, you will make the best of it. If you fight and resist it, you won’t win. This is what I mean by being open to risk-taking. It may be time to take that “plunge!”

Risking does not mean giving in to every silly venture. It is about hearing a calling for truth about the things you have denied, postponed, avoided, feared. These are things you know were true. This is a time to be more truthful and to follow a calling.

Collectively, while the forces of corruption and manipulation may attempt to control the course of events, they are bound to disintegrate. Scandals will continue to hit the news. Natural events will continue to shake the earth. At worst, a war may break during summer 2010 or later because dramatic changes can spur fear and conflict. But it does not have to go that way. We are creators of our own destiny in the midst of the given circumstances.

As you go through these changes, it is crucial that you take good care of your immune system because as positive as the long-term changes may be, they can overwhelm you and weaken your immune system. Here are basic tips that can keep you grounded. Eat more healthy foods, avoid fast sugar, ingest raw garlic and onions daily—for example, in a sandwich—exercise, take time out of the intensity loop, do not let negativity take over.

This is important: The situation heating up is like a piece of molten iron that can be beaten into a better form—personally and collectively. Be an ambassador of good and avoid wasting time on trivial details. For example, as we see the earth being depleted and all resources and species dwindling, people waste time arguing if global warming is or is not happening, if it is man-made or not! IT DOESN’T MATTER! What matters is that the natural world is vanishing before our eyes because of our misaligned actions. Excessive pollution, deforestation, and peaking toxicity levels are a reality beyond global-warming debates.

Similarly, the economy is not likely to stabilize any time soon, perhaps necessarily so. And so it will be with many other aspects of your life. You will not have immediate answers. Be patient and keep doing your best. When the cycle will complete, new circumstances will emerge. This cannot be artificially rushed. These dramatic times are an opportunity for us to restructure our lives, personally and collectively. As many things are being redefined, we can relinquish bad habits and attachments, open up to new ideas, and invest in what works rather than settle for immediate gratification. Patience is another essential asset.

In this context, do not expect others to change for the better if you won’t do it yourself. We blame the governments and project our frustration on distant “evils,” but fail to open our own hearts. Being pro-active may work better than being self-righteous.

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on December 28th, 2009 in Ariane, Global/Social Change | 2 comments