"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind is a part of ourselves. We must die to one life before we can enter another." ~Anatole France

I've had a lot of experience with this thing called 'change' over the past few weeks. I left the comfort of my home in sunny, carefree San Diego, to relocate to Manhattan. The two places really couldn't be any more different. I knew there would be growing pains, and I anticipated feeling a little 'off balance' for a bit. But from the start, it seemed like everything that could go wrong, DID! My journey began at the San Diego airport at 5am, where I was told that the carry-on bag I purchased for one of my dogs was 1/4 inch too tall (are you kidding me??) by the airline's regulations. I had no choice but to purchase the airline's pet bag, for a fee of $50. That brought my grand total of checked bags and pet fees to almost $400...Was this the universe trying to tell me I wasn't on the right path? Was I making a mistake? No. And even when my bed didn't fit in my new bedroom, and my couch wouldn't fit through the doorway, and I was a sneezing, itchy mess from the cat dander left behind in my new apartment, I never doubted. Regardless of what is happening around me, I always have faith that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at any given moment. Why? Because that's where I am, simple as that...

I'll admit I wasn't always this accepting of the hurdles of life. But time has taught me that adaptability and acceptance are vital keys to happiness. And so there are a few practices I put into place in times such as this, to prevent me from getting too far off balance:

-Find calmness within the chaos. Do what you know works for you. For me, this means taking my dogs to a park and just sitting in nature, or seeking out a yoga studio and taking 60 minutes to honor my body and my mind in my yoga practice. I know I have to make time for these things. All the work will never be done. It may mean walking away from an apartment full of 30 boxes that are begging to be unpacked, but the time lost in unpacking is well worth the benefits received.

-Get grounded. For me, this means literally doing something that makes me feel rooted in the earth, such as taking a long walk, or going for a run. Sometimes it may also mean that I am eating more 'grounding' foods, such as sweet potatoes or other root vegetables. Nature can provide so much more for us than we realize!

-Maintain comforting rituals in your life. If there is something you do every day that just makes you feel good, and it's something you don't HAVE to give up doing during your time of change, then hold on to it! For me, this meant that I would be leaving extra room in my suitcase for my trusty Vitamix, so that I wouldn't have to go for 2 weeks without it in the moving process. I have a green smoothie every morning for breakfast, and it was well worth packing a few less pairs of shoes, so that I could keep up this comforting custom during a transitory time.

After 2 weeks of turmoil, I am finally starting to feel truly settled, and I count my blessings every day. And today I was reminded of just how fortunate I am. As I was walking home, I passed an elderly woman who was meandering down the busy sidewalk with 2 dachshunds. I leaned down to pet them and said "I have two of these also".... and in a thick Italian accent she replied, "Then we are all rich, aren't we?".  I couldn't agree with her more.