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6 Signs It's Time For A Major Life Change

Change is not only inevitable, it is very much so necessary.

Inspiration

Something that I really like about the change in seasons is they're a reminder that change is not only inevitable, it is very much so necessary. It's necessary for progress. It's necessary for growth. It's necessary in order for all of us to evolve into even bigger and greater versions of ourselves so that our purpose in this life can truly be fulfilled.

That's why I find it odd that so many of us question ourselves whenever we become restless, outgrow a relationship or seriously consider leaving a job or moving to another city—or heck, another country even. While we're out here wondering what's wrong with us, the reality is it could be the opposite; it could be that something very right is happening within. Our entire being is alerting us to the fact that what once was working for us (or at least we thought was working) for us, it no longer is. And so, it is time to take some semi-drastic measures in order to get to what's next.

Sometimes we fight change so much, we try and talk ourselves out of what our mind, body and spirit are trying to tell us. As a direct result, we're not quite sure if it's truly time to make a move or not. But as we're in the last quarter of the year, as we're all moving full speed ahead into—can you believe it?!—2020, here are some clear-as-day indications that changing your life is exactly what needs to good down. Sooner than later, by the way.

You’re Bored Out of Your Mind

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If there is one feeling that I think gets pushed back down into our psyche far too often, it's boredom. I don't know where we get the idea that if we're bored, somehow that is being silly, petty or childish. Personally, I think it is one of the greatest indications that some major shifting needs to transpire. After all, when you're bored, it means that you are weary. Weary of what? The literal definitions include "tedious repetitions" and "unwanted attention". That's why I totally get quotes like the one from the French writer Émile Zola— "I would rather die of passion than of boredom." It's a reminder that life is too short to be out here doing the same ole' same ole'…just because.

I also like this quote by author Saul Bellow— "Boredom is the conviction that you can't change ... the shriek of unused capacities."

If you're out here hating your job because it feels like you're doing nothing but watching the clock and collecting a check, if you are a homebody because your city feels totally uninspired, if you are remaining in a relationship simply so you won't be alone and nothing more—all of these things point to boredom. All of these are blaring signs that something definitely needs to change.

Everything Seems to “Cramp Your Style”

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There is someone in my world who honestly lives "bigger" than anyone else I know. They are constantly traveling. They are always doing something innovative. Since knowing them, I don't think there has been one year when they've done the same thing, the same way. I've asked them about it before. What they've told me is that while they are not the true definition of claustrophobic, whenever they feel "cramped" by a job or relationship or even within themselves, they take that as a sign that they need to do something different—or differently. For the most part, I like that way of thinking because to cramp something (or someone) is "to confine narrowly; restrict; restrain; hamper". And that makes me think of the Alice Walker quote, "No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow." Amen.

While it should go on record that sometimes there's a fine line between your style being cramped and you trying to avoid responsibility (for instance, the routine that comes from being a spouse and/or parent isn't "restricting" you; it's holding you accountable), if something or someone does have you feeling restrained in the sense of being held back, don't ignore that signal. Ask yourself what could by lying beneath the surface of that emotion because, believe you me, anything or anyone that is good for you is going to propel you, not stifle you.

You’re Restless—When You’re Awake and Asleep

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Me? I feel like I am constantly metamorphosizing, one way or another. I always know that it's time to make some sort of transition whenever I feel restless; for me, that's typically at nighttime. Although I usually am able to fall asleep easily, I do have seasons when I will wake up, at the same time, for a couple of weeks or so. Medical professionals say that potentially points to needing to alter one's sleep patterns, someone experiencing hormonal shifts or an individual going through a bout of anxiety or depression. But according to studies in traditional Chinese medicine, it could have something to do with your energy fields.

I read a cool article that said, if you have trouble sleeping between 9pm-11pm, it could mean that you're worried or stressed out. If you keep waking up between 11pm-1am, it means that you are going through some sort of emotional disappointment. 1am-3am indicates internalized anger; 3am-5am is connected to repressed sadness and if it's between 5am-7am, there are internal blockages of some sort. Something else that I like about the read is it provides tips on what you can do to shift the energy so that you can get a good night's rest again. But what I think we all can agree on is if you're not able to rest well, some sort of changes need to be made—for the sake of your health, well-being and peace of mind.

Your Gifts and Talents Are Lying Dormant

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One of my favorite Scriptures is "For God's gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]" (Romans 11:29—AMPC) It is such an awesome reminder that, what the Most High put us here to do, that doesn't change. Unfortunately, a lot of people end up on their death bed, never really tapping into their fullest potential because figuring out what their gifts and talents are was never a top priority. Paying bills. Finding love. Having kids. Other stuff is what took precedence. But I'm telling you, you are doing yourself, your Creator and the world at large a huge disservice if you don't put aside some real time to discover—and then feed into—your gifts and talents.

If you're not really sure what your gifts or talents are, start the journey of figuring it out by doing some journaling. Write down things like what excites you; what your strengths are; what came easy to you in high school and college; what you would totally do for free; what you would spend your time on if you were independently wealthy. When you see what comes up on that sheet of paper, you should feel a few sparks fly. (Also, if you're a Christian, take a spiritual gifts test; it can reveal a lot about you too).

Since our gifts are irrevocable, they haven't gone anywhere just because we aren't using them. They are simply dormant. But if you feel something tugging at you, it could very well being that very gift or talent that could totally change your life, for the better—the very moment that you decide to stop ignoring it and begin nurturing it instead.

You Keep Pushing Down a Crazy Idea

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I am very open about the fact that I'm a huge fan of Hebrew culture. So much in fact that I don't observe January 1 as being the New Year. I celebrate Rosh Hashanah instead; it just happened this past September 29-October 1. The reason why I'm bringing this up is because newness is all about perception. You don't have to wait until four months from now to try something that has been pulling and tugging away at your spirit. Hmph. Let me tell it, if you've got an idea and you keep telling yourself, "I'll do something about it next year", that has little to do with making a resolution and more to do with full-on, straight-up, absolute bona fide procrastination.

And what if you are waiting because the brainstorm that you have sounds totally crazy? First, trust me—live long enough and you learn to accept crazy is relative. And second, it's probably time to adapt a quote by an author named Jennifer Elisabeth— "Don't worry if people think you're crazy. You are crazy. You have that kind of intoxicating insanity that lets other people dream outside of the lines and become who they're destined to be."

For the most part, I like "crazy" ideas. It usually means that it's truly original and creative. When you don't have anything to compare what you're thinking about to, you are on the way to being a trailblazer rather than following someone else's blueprint. And when you stop to really let that sink in, how freakin' cool and amazin' is that?!

Life is too short and meaningful to be second-guessing yourself, simply because a concept comes to mind that you can't compare to anything (or one) else. By stepping out on a crazy idea, not only could it totally change your life for the better, it also may be what someone around you needs to see in order to manifest their own brand of "crazy" too. Doing crazy stuff can inspire others. Let that be your motivation if nothing else.

Your Needs Are Met. But Still, You’re Not Satisfied.

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One more. Do you ever have moments when you're asking yourself, "What's wrong with me? I've got a good job, a nice home and really nothing to complain about. But still, something is…off"? You might try and "talk yourself down" by saying that you're just being "extra" or ungrateful. Maybe. Or it could be that your mind is alerting you to the fact that just because your needs are being met, that doesn't mean that there isn't more to life than that. It doesn't mean that there is some part of you—if not all of you—that simply isn't satisfied.

One of the things to always keep in mind when it comes to the definitions of "satisfy" is that one of them means "to fulfill the desires of". If you're currently not satisfied, some desire within you isn't being fulfilled. You shouldn't feel bad or guilty about that; you should figure out what that desire is and how to go about meeting it in the most beneficial and productive way possible. Not someday. As soon as you possibly can.

An Asian actress by the name of Lily Leung (who just passed this past August) once said, "When in doubt, choose change." Don't wait until 2020. Don't get distracted by the holiday season. Shoot, don't even click out of this article without making the commitment to do something—anything—that will help you to get to where change wants you to be.

Change is a good thing. So, if you saw yourself in this article, it's time to change your life. The good news is now all you've got to do is fully surrender to that reality. Then watch how the Universe helps you out—now that you're in full agreement. Enjoy the ride, sis. It's about to totally rock your world and change your life—for the better!

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

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