When I started up my private psychotherapy practice a few years ago, my first office seemed to fall into my lap. It was a low-risk investment in a convenient location, and the big, north facing windows let in sunlight that instantly felt like home to me. With a multidisciplinary group of established holistic practitioners ranging from fellow psychotherapists to massage therapists, acupuncturists, herbalists, and Ayurvedic practitioners, it felt great to be sharing a space with like-minded professionals. So, naturally I was disappointed when, after just over a year of renting the space, I was informed that the building in which my office was housed had been sold, and that all tenants had 60 days to evacuate.
The news brought about an anxiety that was unfamiliar for me. Was I going to find another space for myself and my clients that we would all feel comfortable in? Was I going to have to resort to trying to convince another therapist to let me rent their office for a few days a week until something that I really wanted became available? How long would that have to last? Was I going to be without a space of my own for weeks or even months? Would I get stuck having to sign a lease for something that I didn’t really like? What if I had to start seeing clients in my home for lack of a better option!?
Luckily, within a few weeks, I found an office space in a desirable part of town, one which I had admired from afar for quite awhile. I felt so fortunate to have quickly located a new space, and once the move was over, the anxiety subsided and I got busy settling in to my new office and making it my own. So, you can imagine my surprise, when, less than 4 months after my move-in, I was informed that the building in which the new office was located, had just been put up for sale.
I quickly went through several emotional states: shock, disbelief and anger, to name a few… When I remembered one of the central tenets of Buddhism which I have always found comfort in: everything is constantly in a state of flux. This reminder allowed me to refocus my energies on letting go of my attachment to the office, to shift into a mental space of trust that the universe had something better in store for me, and enabled me to start planning for my next steps.
Again, I commenced the office-search, and within a few days found something that felt like an even-better fit than either of the other offices I’ve rented.
When the universe brings abrupt change into our lives that threatens our sense of stability and grounded-ness, I think it is easy to get stuck in emotions that may, ultimately, adversely affect our ability to move forward. I don’t mean to imply that I have never gotten hooked into hurts or negative emotions during times of big change, because I certainly have. Through my experiences, though, I have been working on arriving at acceptance in a slightly more expeditious manner than I would have, say, 15 years ago. We are all works in progress, after all, right?
Is there some area of your life that makes you feel stuck? What are the emotions you experience when you think about this life situation? Is there something you can do to shift into a new emotional space?