Change can be a dirty word for some people, the C word if you will ;)
For me, change definitely isn't easy. It mostly causes me stress.
As much as I love change (afterwards), I am uncomfortable as the change approaches (I can always feel it coming) and as it's happening. I think I am more flustered by change because it means a whole new batch of decisions need to be made. And man, don't I have enough decisions to make on a daily basis as it is? Generally, I find I have to decide to either let go or hold onto something. And sometimes it is very hard to know what to do....
I know change is inevitable and a positive thing but having faith that everything is working out just as it should is such an art. I think this is a big part of my life's lesson as I am thrown change so often and I still struggle against it even with so much practice!
My husband knows that change is BIG for me and because he absolutely LOVES and EMBRACES change, he is constantly pulling me into it (often kicking and screaming). Other times he waits until I am away for the weekend and makes the changes around our house to surprise me when I return...just so I don't have to be there during 'the change' which is when I'm most uncomfortable. If it's done without me being part of the process, I mostly love it because it's been easier on me not having had to go through the 'decision part' of it all. But am I missing out on an important part of the 'change' process?
But of course, sometimes I have to be there for the changes. Because there are changes that I need to initiate for my own good or for my family's good and I would rather make them than struggle along knowing things could be better.
It could be moving house.
It could be deciding to change my children's school or where to enroll them for highschool.
It could be deciding on whether to get a new car or just keep the one we have a little bit longer.
It could be deciding on where to go on holidays next.
It could be deciding to change a long held belief system that is doing me more harm than good.
It could be changing the way my business is structured.
It could be changing the way I have done something for so long to see if it works better done another way.
It could be changing my office around.
It could be changing my hairstyle.
It could be changing habits that have formed over a lifetime and no longer serve me.
Letting Go is often more rewarding and more powerful than hanging on...
We need to honour the letting go of the old to make way for the new. It's important not to skip this part whether it's been thrusted upon us or it is a change that we decided to initiate. We can do this by acknowledging what it used to be like and even mourning the old way until it doesn't feel sad in us anymore. Whether we are mourning a person due to death or choosing to emotionally move away from the relationship, or whether we are mourning a physical place, a job or even an item of clothing that we have outgrown, moving on is easier once we have acknowledged and said our goodbyes. We can then look at the benefits that this change can bring and know that we have made way for the new by allowing it space thanks to letting go.
There will be a lot less emotional flare ups and triggering of grief later on if we take this time to acknowledge what we are letting go of. And ultimately, the less triggers we have, the more peaceful our life can be because we are less reactive and more grateful for what we have moved onto.
Some ways we can acknowledge what we are letting go of to invite the changes in are:
- Saying proper goodbyes to things even if it feels silly. I watch my son tearfully say goodbye to items of clothing he has grown out of and I see how important that part of the process is to his emotional regulation. I really do think it's good for us to say goodbye to inanimate objects! Whether it is clothing we have grown fond of, furniture, books, keepsakes or whatever. We know when we have outgrown something and it's so much healthier to say goodbye to it and thank it for it's service and then be free of that no longer needed energy
- Hold rituals to mark the end of things. It might be a job you're leaving, a contract that's finishing, a course you've completed or a hobby that no longer excites you. It's why there are such things as ceremonies and graduations! It marks a closing of a chapter so create your won if you need to! Have a celebratory dinner or lunch with people who have been part of or understand that chapter in your life to mark the closing of it and then you will be more ready for the next phase whatever that may be.
- Write out your feelings. If a relationship has ended for you, write that person a letter saying goodbye and explaining how you feel about them and what the relationship meant to you and then burn the letter in your sink or simply throw it away. Remember, this process is for you and the aim is to help you move on and be ready for something new so it might not need to be shared. And if you need to close a chapter in your life that has nothing to do with a person, write how you feel in your journal and say goodbye to it whatever it may be.
- Mark the occasion of something ending with some photos! An ending means that something new is beginning and taking photos in this period of your life is a wonderful reflection later as well as a ritual to mark this milestone. Family photos at the end of the year mark the closing of another chapter and the beginning of a new one. And professional photos at a time when your business is taking a leap is another acknowledgement of change. I struggle with getting photographed but am so glad I have been brave a few times in my business now as it's been a great way to say goodbye to old websites and welcome in the new ones.
And remember, nothing happens TO us, it happens FOR us so let's be open to what the universe is trying to show us and try not to hang on too tightly to what may be left behind.
Do you struggle with change or are you in my husband's camp?
Yours in Health,
Ps. It would be totally remiss of me to not mention the flower essences I use to help me cope with change and even shift some energy to bring some change on when I know it's needed. They are Let it Go, Courage, and Intuition. See if any of these speak to you and help that change feel less harsh or less overdue!