Adventure. Promise. Hope. These are some of the words that first come to mind when we hear the phrase New Beginnings. To some, it is welcomed, sought after even. But to others, new beginnings bring with them fear, anxiety, and grief. But regardless of emotions, one thing is certain, new beginnings bring about change.
Fresh from her heartbreaking and messy divorce, our protagonist, Jennifer, left for home to the Smokey Mountains in North Carolina in hopes of finding answers, guidance, and illumination to which the bright lights of New York failed to provide. Lost but not defeated, Jennifer tries to pick the shattered pieces of herself in an attempt to make herself whole again.
The Book “Why Cross-Currents?” by Carolyn Webb vividly illustrates the emotional turmoil one goes through when undergoing a radical change. While starting all over again is never easy, and almost no two experiences are the same, the book offers hidden gems that may help you begin your journey towards healing.
1. Slow Down
The first step that Jennifer took was to leave New York and live on a small one-bedroom log cabin built by her Grandfather and a group of his friends in the Smokey Mountains. This might seem simple and uneventful but this is arguably her most important step in moving on. Far from the sounds, smell, and tensions of city life and with the help of mother nature she began learning to slow down.
While most of us do not have the luxury of a cabin in a beautiful mountain to go home to when things go awry, here are two tips on how to slow down.
Spend time Outdoors
Going for a walk or even as simple as sitting in a park for a few minutes helps you slow down and let go, even for a little while, the busyness and struggles of life. Not to mention the proven physical and mental benefits nature has to offer.
The point of mediation is to take the focus of your mind away from yourself. If you are a Christian you can do this by praying and focusing on our Lords passion. If not you can sit and focus on your breathing for at least 3 minutes. Either way, eventually your mind will start to wander, and when it does just return your focus to what you are doing.
This way you are teaching your brain to be more mindful and yourself to be in the moment. A practical, easy way to practice slowing down.
2. Seek Guidance
Despite what happened with her Marriage, Jennifer is still blessed having lived in a close-knit community. From the Pastor to her friends who are more than willing to offer comfort and advice. As good as they are nothing compares to motherly advice. Especially if your mother had undergone the same experience.
We all have problems to carry, with some heavier than others. While society, in some ways, expects us to be always self-sufficient and independent, there are not many people who can get back up after a devastating loss or tragedy without some kind of social support. May it be from Family, friends, or even to some extent the Government.
People who have traumatic experiences tend to feel isolated. Being around other people who love you unconditionally will remind you that you do not have to face the battle alone. Share your struggles with people close to you to gain a different perspective.
3. Find A New Job
Now being in the mountains and not confined to work in a traditional city job, Jennifer is now considering a job offered by his friend to be a Kayak Instructor. This wasn’t the original plan though. she planned to spend the next few months mourning her marital nightmare. But deep inside she couldn’t resist. She loved her previous job but it was often boring and tedious. But on the water she is competent. And as she continued to do what she loved doing eventually she found the peace that she craved and with that peacefulness, the healing process began.
Unless you are the son of the King of Saudi Arabia or the Prince of England, a large portion of your day is spent at work. And If you are undergoing a difficult situation it does not help to be in a job that you hate working for 8-10 hours a day, it’s adding insult to injury. Constantly worrying will not do you any good. It is imperative to take away your mind off from your present situation a bit and it would certainly not hurt if you have a job that you love to do that.
Changes can be painful. Especially if they are unexpected or out of your control. The journey towards healing is a long and winding path. But remember that no matter how bad a circumstance you are in, your experience can either make you better or worse as a person depending on your attitude.