The Time for Self-Renewal and How to Start Anew
Monday March 28, 2022

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Our life journey is but one of the billions of journeys happening simultaneously on this grand globe. However, even though this weighty reality may seem to minimize how powerful our engagement and choices are as we move through our days, it is precisely how we move through and engage in our everyday lives that creates energy. Energy that directly affects the world, but also the opportunities that will open up as we step forward. The question is, what energy will you give the world?

It is often shared here on TSLL blog (and podcast) that necessary life lessons repeat themselves until they are learned; they just may appear in a different form or medium if we have yet to pass the course. I thought about such truth recently as I chose to approach a personal situation differently, hold myself open, being more vulnerable than I typically am, and engage with integrity and loving-kindness rather than doubt or cynicism. While both of the latter feelings raised their heads as they had been long allowed to do so out of habit in the past, my new self pushed back. I continued to remain open, to step forward bravely, yet without promises into the unknown. While having hope, I did not have expectations.

The details of all that happened will be kept private, but after giving myself time to understand all that had unfolded, and why it had occurred, I have learned this much so far: Even when what we hope might materialize does not, gifts present themselves to us that we had not expected.

What I received was indeed an unexpected gift. No, my naive ‘hopes’ did not materialize, and that was part of why, I now realize, what happened occurred. I needed to be reminded that the box of possibility I held myself in was too confining, too limiting. As well, I learned of my own ability to remain open, and when indirectly or directly denied, all will still be quite well. I will be more than fine. And most importantly, I learned that it is never a bad idea to step forward, remain open, and be vulnerable; otherwise, how will the universe know what you truly desire?

Such life lessons were significant ahas for me, and in many ways, a renewal of sorts.

Often events, moments, people come into our lives simply to teach us a valuable lesson that will, if we permit it to teach us what it came to proffer, enable a new chapter in our lives to begin. However, if we push back, if we refuse to learn because it is not offering what we want it to give us, we remain in the same chapter of our lives, a cycle that repeats itself until we choose to open ourselves to new possibilities we may have never imagined.

A few other lessons were gifted during the above-mentioned ‘denied’ events: (1) my trust in my intuition deepened significantly, and while I did not act upon it as much as I will in the future, I do know that what I intuited, but didn’t want to accept, was accurate; (2) words reveal an immense amount of truth when you listen closely to not only what is being said, but also what is not being said; and (3) the marrying of actions with words – do they align? And if they do not, take note, and don’t make excuses nor accept excuses. Each of the above three are lessons applicable to both my professional and personal life, and I now know the universe needed to confirm I had indeed learned them. I did my best to pass the test, even though at the time, I didn’t know that was the test or that there was a test, but now it is quite clear.

You may be wondering, What does this have to do with self-renewal?

Simply put: We cannot be renewed if we are not changed.

And we only change when we begin to live differently, apply new knowledge, and think now with said new knowledge known in our consideration of any new situation as it is presented to us.

Self-Renewal can happen due to a cause of abrupt, visibly obvious life changing moments, but I dare say, the most significant self-renewal is not perceivable with the naked eye by an onlooker. No, self-renewal is felt within, and you will know when it is happening. People, regular moments, events, behaviors, etc. will be viewed through a new lens; you will engage differently, perhaps no longer engage at all in past events you once did and move on to new experiences and connections, and you will feel differently as you move through your days. You will feel changed and changed for the better – closer to your true self which feels more grounded, and thus you feel more at peace.

Self-Renewal is a conscious choice as you chose to learn the lessons that are presented to you. Your feeling renewed is a sign you passed the test administered. It is time to celebrate! Even if that celebrating is only something you do in your own company, knowing you have grown, knowing you have learned something significant to living more contentedly is indeed reason to celebrate.

3 Key Actions to Engage In to Start Anew

  • Begin by celebrating – as mentioned above, revel in such a way that consciously gives awareness and gratitude for this new chapter beginning. It may be by taking a full day to do as you please, or simply an evening partaking in your favorite rituals. Whatever you choose, engage consciously as to why you are doing so, and revel, revel, revel, so as not to forget your capabilities for change.
  • Understand there will be moments regression to your previous chapter or old self will arise. Be prepared. How I prepare is something my counselor advised. All of the books that helped me along my journey (or blog posts/podcast episodes which condensed down what I learned in the books) and continue to help me, are readily available for me to return to, to reground myself and return my mind to my “Sage Mind” or Brain 3.0. Below are the books I shared earlier this year, and already I have added to this list. Stay tuned for those to be shared in upcoming podcast episodes and/or blog posts.

  • Focus forward. A common question I have received from those whose who know I was a teacher who recently retired is how I am adapting to the new schedule/do you miss teaching/etc. ? And the truth is I haven’t even thought about my previous schedule, nor do I miss it as I made the decision intentionally knowing why I decided to step into a new chapter. This is not a ‘dig’ or a slight, but the truth, as in fairness, for the past two years of my teaching career, we weren’t adhering to a typical school day schedule what-so-ever due to the pandemic. So in essence, I had a helpful nudge into a new normal because nothing was normal for the last 18 months of my teaching career. With that said, as soon as I retired, three projects simultaneously took off and needed my full attention – TSLL’s 3rd book, blog redesign and the final home customization projects. There was no time to think about what ‘used to be’. I had to establish a new schedule that worked well with what I was setting out to accomplish tout de suite! As you step into your new chapter, dive in at a pace that suits your new self that enables you to feel productive at the end of the day as well as rejuvenating as you move through each day and each week. Finding a rhythm that works for you requires your full presence in the now and where you hope your energies will lead you. This cannot happen if you are looking in the rearview mirror.

Spring gifts us with an awesome opportunity in so many ways, and one such way is to live in awareness and learn the lessons the universe wants us to understand so that we can move on to the next chapter of our lives, a chapter that requires us to know something we currently do not, but absolutely have the capable of learning. When we learn the valuable life lesson, we give ourselves a priceless gift and our life elevates in ways we may never have been able to imagine. Once the new chapter begins, hold the above three pieces of knowledge close to heart and be confident you will do well in this time of beginning anew. Enjoy and bonne courage!

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12 thoughts on “The Time for Self-Renewal and How to Start Anew

  1. Life, in all its measures, is a learning experience. With each relationship, with each life event, we hope that we learn what does and does not enhance our lives. I am nearing the end of my book, so to speak, and have learned much. As a result, I have evolved into the person I am now, but that could change, tomorrow, this afternoon, or never. That is what all this learning about life is about, resiliency and flexibility to be the best version of yourself, not just for yourself but for those within your life circle. I am often reminded of a movie where one of the leads defined a relationship circle as concentric rings where the “inner circle” and each consecutive ring around that center were the people with whom he interacted. He placeed a value on each of these relationships and their position within his sphere of care and value.

    Of course, I am fortunate to have family and friends to enhance my circle of life. I have also learned that setting boundaries within those relationships is essential. I suppose I would define that as “guarded behavior” learned from necessity. Your openess is commendable. And yes, life is learning, and to continue on that path, to be open to new relationships is truly the bonus of a life well lived.

    1. I so enjoyed your post , Lucy .
      Thank you for expressing your experience and understanding so clearly .
      Best Wishes
      Anne

  2. Wow, such a relevant post! Thank you for sharing.
    I am also evolving everyday and when asked if I miss teaching I have said basically the same thing. Nothing was “normal” so my guess is that made the transition easier AND/OR I was ready for the transition…the time was right. I am at complete peace with my decision and I am so glad you are too.
    I look forward to all of your posts. I wish you continued contentment and joy!

  3. Shannon you have transitioned into the life you want because you made a very conscious decision and so you’re able to embrace all new opportunities . Things are constantly changing. To be open to change and to adapt to situations is to allow oneself to learn valuable lessons and to continue to grow. I have embraced many changes over the years and had to adapt to many new situations but have learnt so much and continue to do so. In so doing I feel my life is all the more richer. I think you’re spot on saying that Spring gifts us with an awesome opportunity to live in awareness and learn the lesson the universe wants us to understand. Spring teaches us a lot if we’re open to it.

    1. I so agree Kameela 🙂
      Sometime we can get so contented with things as they are , that we forget how invigorating making even some small changes can be !
      After all, if we don’t like the changes we make , there will probably be the opportunity to change them again 😂
      Shannon’s posts , blog, books and podcasts remind us to keep reflecting on how we would like to live , and that reflection gives us the focus and direction to make some changes to move forwards.
      Even seemingly small changes can make a huge difference over time 🙂
      I am very much enjoying this Spring .
      Have a wonderful time with your family ❤️ when you travel to see them .
      Anne

  4. Wow. Shannon, when you decide to hit it out of the ballpark, you don’t mess around! I enjoy & get so much out of ALL your posts, but now & again you write one that feels as though you’ve walked through my front door, sat down at my table with a pot of tea and are speaking to me directly. My husband & I were talking about this very thing this weekend, shaking our heads at how long it seems to be taking us (still!!) to re-engineer our lives into retirement mode. We’re almost there but still have some bumpy spots that need smoothing out. One of those is stepping more fully out of other people’s lives: in the past we were both always so ridiculously busy that we took on responsibilities in both families that would have been best left to those directly involved, simply because it was easier than dealing with the inevitable drama. Seen in hindsight, of course it’s obvious that this benefited no one. We’re still there for anyone who actually needs us, but reclaiming our time, space & even finances has left some bruised feelings (let’s just say the word “selfish” has been flung around with some heat a time or two, to which we both reply, “yes, and about time, too” — it isn’t the response hoped for, but it reminds us both that self-care is a necessity & NOT a luxury!). It would have been better for everyone had we learned the lesson more fully at those times in the past when given the opportunity — & to a degree, I can honestly say we did not badly — but this (please?!) final one is taking a bit longer for everyone to embrace than I’d hoped. LOL! Your Three Key Actions are in themselves priceless. Last night when C said “you know, we could always just run away & not tell anyone where we went” I was half-inclined to agree with him. Now I’ll just have him read your post 🙂 . Thank you!

    1. Oh Susanne !

      I have had those lessons too , and it took me such a long time to realise that ‘ being helpful ‘ is not always the wisest thing to do.

      When we change things , it upsets the applecart , doesn’t it ?
      People expect you to continue to be available, because you always stepped up to the mark, and they don’t like it when their expectations are no longer met .

      I loved your husband’s remark 😂😂
      It really seems like that sometimes doesn’t it !

      I hope that the situation will improve for you , but you are quite right ,self care is an essential, not a luxury , and clear boundaries about this are often overlooked , because we are so busy looking after everyone else !

      Anne

  5. Great post Shannon !
    Thank you 🙏
    Unexpected gifts…….oh, yes ……..this resonated !
    Life can be full of new beginnings and possibilities, small changes in the ways we think and do things can make such a difference .
    Every day brings new possibilities 🙂
    Have a lovely Spring 🌸🦋🌿🪶
    Anne

  6. I always appreciate you sharing personal anecdotes and experience.
    Thank you Shannon.
    I think letting yourself be vulnerable can teach a great many lessons, many that I am yet to learn as I too often hold myself back. Even from people I am close to. I am endeavouring to be more open and honest with people about what I want, how I feel. I look forward to the lessons!
    Sarah

  7. A wonderful post, Shannon. It really speaks to me as I have had a similar experience in the last few days.
    Thank you for sharing, you are very much appreciated!

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