The Never Ending Balancing Act: Structure versus Spontaneity

Change versus Spontaneity post

I’ve been thinking over the weekend about change. There are a lot of experts that advise you that change is good and that you shouldn’t be resistant to it. Then you have plenty of experts on the opposite end of the spectrum that say that setting deadlines is a good thing and that having structure and routine is something that can help stabilize someone’s life and help them to stay focused on the journey ahead of them.

I tend to lean more to the side of routine and structure, perhaps I lean a little too far in to it. It’s no secret to anyone who truly knows me that no matter how open I appear to be to change and spontaneity, I am extremely resistant to it. I’d like to say that I’ve only recently grown a barrier to the idea of change but I think I’ve always been this way since I was a little girl. I like knowing what’s going to happen, to know the way the day is going to go and precisely what I’ll be doing and when. That kind of structure pretty much guarantees the same outcome and while that may seem boring to some, it’s also safe. I guess the problem is that it may be a little too safe.

The odd thing is that the kind of life I’ve always dreamed of having for myself, since I was ten years old, could never be possible without embracing the idea of change and being spontaneous. There are a lot of things that I would change about my life and one of the things at the top of that list is my resistance to change itself, and my anxiety over the things that I do not know. So what is the right way to go about things?

Do you go with throwing caution to the wind and embracing every change that comes your way or do you plan and set deadlines and stick to a structure that helps keep you on track? I suppose that is what I struggle with because I want to be spontaneous and accept whatever changes may come my way but then I lose my balance and the shifts that begin to happen don’t allow me to stay focused and on track. Where is the middle ground on change versus structure? Is there a good balance between being overtly open to every changing scenario and still keeping enough structure to stay on course?

It’s easy for me to just say that structure is what works for me and leave it at that but if it was truly working then I would be where I want to be by now. Perhaps the very reason I haven’t reached that next level just yet is because I’m too afraid to reach out and grab the ledge above me because that means I would have to actually let go. To let go is scary. That means I have to trust what’s coming next, in an outcome that I can’t see.

Change is necessary to go to the next step on my journey and I know that but it’s hard to not know how things will turn out. So I guess the question is can I have structure and still fully open myself up to change or am I just going to keep holding on to the things that I already know. I don’t know how I truly feel about letting go of the structure that keeps me so grounded but I guess this year (my year of no excuses) will help me see just how open I can be.

Jimmetta Carpenter

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If Your Spirit is Willing

“The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings.”
~ K. Okakaura 

One of the major things that tend to hold us back in our lives is resistance. We tend to over analyze situations so much that we end up only seeing what the negative would be and totally ignoring the positive.  We, in a sense, resist living freely and choose to move more cautiously through life which only hinders us.  Now while caution is, at times, a good thing, it closes the door to countless opportunities that may come your way in life that require you to throw caution to the wind.  Sometimes we just need to step out on faith and say yes instead of no because if all we ever do is say no when opportunity knocks at our door then eventually opportunity will stop knocking. 

Our spirits are always willing participants to new adventures and to opening new doors but sometimes we have to actually listen with our hearts instead of always letting our mind control everything.  We can’t over think things and talk ourselves out of going for everything we can grab in life or else we’ll keep coming up with nothing.  We have to sometimes do the things that we never thought we would do and go the places that we always said we would never go because somewhere in those things that we never do lies a possible opportunity that can take us to another level in life.  We strive to move forward in life but moving forward involves allowing the move to happen and not resisting so much that you have to be dragged kicking and screaming.     

We grow through our experiences in our lives but if we never say yes and allow ourselves to actually experience life then we don’t grow, we remain stunted.  When I think about how many opportunities for growth that I have missed out on by being so resistant and unwilling to say yes and experience something foreign to me I start to have so many regrets about what could be and about where I could be in my life. But what’s done is done and I can’t change that but I can be more willing now. I have promised myself that for every time that I say no to something I will find three other times where I will say yes.  I don’t want to miss out on my blessings because I was too afraid to say anything else but no.  Life is too short for me to have to look back on what I’ve done in life and have to think I could’ve done so much more if I had just been more willing.  After all what’s the worst that could happen?

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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