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The Winds of Change

Embracing Change
Alissa Okrent
Written by Alissa Okrent

Clearing the mind is just like watching the leaves fall off the trees in the Fall – what’s left is the essence of the tree. What kinds of self-compassion and appreciation will help you get through any circumstance, so you can experience greater joy from your heart?

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Clearing the mind is just like watching the leaves fall off the trees in the Fall – what’s left is the essence of the tree. What kinds of self-compassion and appreciation will help you get through any circumstance, so you can experience greater joy from your heart?


As I contemplate December, I think…”OMG… how am I going to get it all done?!” I promised myself I would be more prepared this year. Then I remember to breathe! As I do, I relax just a bit more, and take a mental tour of my goals.

Appreciation and personal growth feel the same. Each time I experience a phase of expansion, the steps are practical and clear – it’s truly a matter of deciding I choose to change. Once that internal decision has occurred, I can seek support, guidance and help. I woke up recently feeling overwhelmed by all the tasks I expect of myself and the need to take care of details for our home. I simply wanted to ignore it all, hoping it would go away…A short lived strategy! What I found helpful, was to take a walk in nature, and allow myself to physically move the energy around my body, which resulted in creating specific tasks to clean up my home. Just taking a walk was enough to shift the self doubt, and appreciate a new perspective.

When these experiences occur, I feel outside myself, anxious, overwhelmed and irritated. It is as if I am in a movie, just not participating. As a first step to reconnect, I acknowledge that ignoring the situation is not a solution. Next, I look to the trees around my home and take a lesson from nature – my amazing Maple and beautiful White Pines. I feel an immediate sense of being at peace and remember the cyclical rhythm of their growth.

In addition, I remind myself to appreciate my own rhythm of growth and development. By asking a few simple questions, I find a new landscape of perspective:
Where have I been?
Where am I going?
What has worked in the past?
What challenges am I experiencing right now?
What is the “story” and what are the facts?

These help me clear out my mental clutter and I can find a better balance in my life. Typically, physical activity gets the answers flowing more quickly. I might take a bike ride or a brisk walk in the woods. I find that during the holiday season when I offer myself deep appreciation for the person I am and the decisions I make, struggles turn into ripples. I remember, I am breathing, alive and feeling like my beloved White Pines: strong, beautiful and expansive!

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

I am accepting that each season of my life, brings new learning.  It’s true!  Right now, I am facing my own fear of  moving out of my “comfort zone” .  I am a wonderful motivational speaker, that is experiencing personal fear of asking to be in front of an audience.  Each time I do speak, I love it!!  So, why the struggle?  I am realizing that accepting this fear of asking, is holding me back.  In this season of change, I am facing “accepting my fear of acceptance”; one conversation  at a time.

What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate? 

What I appreciate in me is a the ability to reflect on my life, especially my childhood, and realize I have always faced my fears at some point.  I accept that the process of realizing and then changing that internal knowing, is triggered by a major shift in my adult perception….. and then I have to choose, what to accept to leave behind emotionally, and what I am taking moving forward.

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

As I reflect on this question, at this time of year, I have just completed my first Webinar.    I am truly proud of myself, facing the fears of technology, self-doubt, and procrastination.   I asked for help in the “how to”, and then set about to write and deliver the information!  i give myself a big “Woohoo” for that 🙂

We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?

I am smiling as I write this….. each time I answer this question, I am amazed as what unique piece of me comes forward…. I love to try new “things”…. my husband might say I have many “unfinished” projects.  I laugh – they are simply new ways to explore another person’s passion – so this month, I am attempting to do Soduko puzzles!  Can I do them without checking the back…absolutely not!  I try as best I can, and then I do use a bit of help.

“I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!)

Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…? 

I love to sing and drive!  I will change radio channels to find music I know and love, to sing loudly, on-key, off key, be inspired by the lyrics, and I ask my children what stations they listen to allowing me to expand my experience.  that is how I was introduced to “alt nation” radio.  Sometimes, it’s too much for me, so I return to my coffee house station.  Still, I love that I really do enjoy all kinds of music, and surprise myself at styles that I thought would never bring joy to my heart!

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About the author

Alissa Okrent

Alissa Okrent

Alissa has 25 years of experience as a fitness and wellness professional. She received a BCC credential in Life Coaching, a certified fitness trainer through American Council on Exercise since 1987 and most recently has completed her Master Certification as a Soul Language Practitioner. Through her own life’s journey, Alissa has evolved a passion and commitment to sharing her special gift for overcoming day-to-day struggles, defusing tension, relaxing, laughing and moving with grace and ease by aligning mind, body and spirit. She now shares this gift with you!.

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