Riding the waves of change
Back to school! I wasn't the only parent with a tear in their eye in the drop-off line, but my dismay was mostly due to the sheer shock and chaos of the change in routine. Sometimes all the preparation in the world doesn't ready us for new things.
A good friend is leaving the Island today. Another is due to move in December. It feels like all around me my ‘normality' is shifting; a conductor shouting, “All change!”. And yet I'm reluctant to get off the train.
I get, in theory, that life is constantly changing. One season transitions to the next, our bodies morph with age. I barely perceive those day-to-day adjustments, until suddenly it's Christmas or there's another birthday with a zero.
Life's bigger changes always seem to take me by surprise, even if I know they're coming. It seems just as I get comfortable with the current model of things, they up and change. We tend to like what we know and keep striving to maintain that status quo but the earth keeps turning and it seems that conductor with his whistle is never far away.
Perhaps life's just not meant to be comfortable.
I see why I've been feeling the blows of these upcoming changes. I'm used to my pattern: I like my friends around; I'm clinging to life as I know it. If suffering results from wishing things were other than they are, and I'm here wishing things wouldn't change, it's understandable that I'm suffering.
What to do? Just recognising that happiness lasts no more than sadness does, can be either comforting or depressing depending how you choose to look at it. To remain on the positive side of change, I am trying to heed the following:
• Look at the big picture. Change is everywhere and is inevitable. Acknowledging those small daily changes is a good reminder, as is reflecting on life as a whole; seeing how many changes we've already experienced which have brought us to exactly where we are now.
• Relinquish the blaming and complaining. This is the talk of victimhood and perpetuates the negative outlook.
• Be gentle with ourselves. Change is a process and new patterns of life take time. Positive daily routines can be a helpful anchor. Communicating can help alleviate fears of the unknown. There may be grieving to do for what has gone. We can't assume how we will or should feel, so acknowledge all the different emotions of change.
• Invite change in. While contrary to my desire for comfort, finding a place in my heart where I can truly accept that ‘life is change' and change brings with it gifts for growth, adventure and potential new joy, I feel more empowered. I suspect it's in this where true comfort really rests.
In a dinghy out on a choppy sea, resisting the waves is futile. Going with the flow, handling the sails as best we can and keeping an eye on the calm line of the horizon is the best way to enjoy the ride.
Julia Pitt is a trained success coach and certified NLP practitioner on the team at Benedict Associates. For further information contact Julia on 705-7488, www.juliapit tcoaching.com.