Have you ever felt like everything around you is changing and you don’t have to tools or the energy to deal with it?
Overwhelm. Exhaustion. Depletion.
Some days you just want to hide under the covers in secret hopes that things will be magically different when you reemerge?
Change can be daunting, but there’s a better way to deal with it than cocooning in a blanket fort and waiting for the storm to pass.
This time things can be different.
Right now I’m going to share with you three simple things I no longer believe about change that will transform the way you deal with everything.
But first, a little story about how I got to be so wise.
Confession: I usually don’t like big change. I like routine, ritual and reliability. I find comfort and safety in consistency. (Why, yes. I am a Taurus. How’d you guess?)
A lot can happen in two years.
In the last two years, I’ve experienced a tremendous amount of life-altering change.Some desired and long time coming. Others quick, unanticipated and shocking to my core.
A brief and incomplete summary of my last two years:
- I stopped being in a relationship that had been central to my life for 13 years
- The community and friends that had been ours stopped being mine
- My best friend who was my lover stopped being both
- I put my business to sleep
- I had brain surgery
- I worked retail
- After 5 years, I finally left the city I’d longtime outgrown
- I moved 3,000 miles back to my hometown and to my mother’s house
- I fell madly, deeply, head over heels in love
- I fell abruptly out of love
- I learned what stroke-like migraines, arthritis, fibroids and a healing brain feel like when they happen simultaneously
- I stopped working retail
- I reclaimed the pieces of myself that I’d dismissed and silenced
- I woke my business up
- I took myself and my work seriously
- I let go of every relationship that no longer served me
- I invested in the ones that remained
- I created ONE goal for 2014 and work tirelessly towards it every. single. day.
And I’m still here.
Everything is new and different. Everything is exactly where it’s supposed to be.
Every single one of these experiences turned me upside down and inside out, forcing me to re-evaluate who I am and what I want. They brought major adjustments to my body, my heart, my mind and life, requiring me to develop a completely new relationship to ‘normal’.
And I’m still here.
3 Simple Things I No Longer Believe About Change
1. It is hard
Having brain surgery was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It scrambled my head, heart, body and life at large.
Through all of the ups and downs, one thing made the difference – consciously choosing how I entered the experience.
While I might not have been able to control what happened inside of the surgery, I could manage how I entered it.
For weeks before I went under the knife, I listened to a surgery-specific meditation track before bed and upon waking. In my first meeting my neurosurgeon, I asked to listen to my mediation before, during and after the procedure and if he and my anesthesiologist would read me affirmations while I was unconscious.
Although slightly surprised, he agreed. I went into surgery listening to my meditation and when I woke up in the ICU, it was playing in my ears.
Building a container of self-care around my procedure was a gentle way for me to support myself before, during and after a very long, challenging journey.
2. It is easy
Our time had come and the writing was on the wall.
The end of my five-year romantic partnership was conscious, mutual and loving. We intentionally released what no longer worked so we could create the romantic lives that we really, really wanted. I felt relieved, pleased and grateful to let it go.
During our riverside closing ceremony we read from sacred texts, wrote letters of gratitude and painted watercolors that illustrated our highest prayers for each other.
The change was easy. Loving. True.
But when our 13-year friendship died alongside our romantic relationship, I was devastated. I struggled to accept that the bedrock of who we were no longer existed.
Instead of acknowledging what was actually happening, I was in deep grief about losing what our new friendship could have been.
Learning to compassionately acknowledge the change in front of me released the grip of my grief and transformed everything.
3. It is a surprise
More often than not, sudden change leaves me feeling blindsided and caught off guard. (See: “I’m a Taurus,” above.)
This wasn’t because change came without warning. It was because I didn’t accept the gentle nudges or shifting tides or warming sun’s warnings when they first started to appear. I dismissed them as “interruptions” to my life instead of the flow of life itself.
Sometimes I was so invested in avoiding change and being “present” that by the time I looked up, what I thought was the present had already become the past.
But life was only being itself – unpredictable, unexpected, unreliable.
When had it done anything else?
My attachment to consistency made the surprise of change that much more disruptive.
Saying, “Hey. This thing is happening. It doesn’t have to feel good or perfect or timely. But it’s here. And it’s temporary. And I can deal with that,” got me out of the passive passenger seat and back into the helm of my power.[line][line]
This is your moment.
Change. Is. Coming.
Perhaps it is has already arrived.
How can you experience it without feeling overwhelmed, exhausted or depleted?
- How do you want to experience this change? If you were going to create it like you truly wanted, what would you do for yourself?
- What is actually happening right now? What part(s) can you accept? What kind of support do you need to accept it?
- What resources (internal and external) do you already have access to? How can you take care of yourself in the process?
You are amazing.
You have everything you need to gently and lovingly navigate this change.
Honor where you are and what you need.
You will be fine.
You will transcend.