Monthly Archives: March 2015

Life is change. Change is life.

Fechange_sign1eling buffeted by change? This post is for you! Read on for some insights and concrete practices that will help you be in change more peacefully.

When my mom was dying over the summer of 1995, my supervisor, an older woman, told me that in the first few decades of our lives, change is usually experienced as positive: birthdays, graduations, beginning a career, establishing families and independent households… These are all exciting, longed-for changes. As we move into midlife, change starts to more often feel like loss: a job loss, a scary diagnosis, deaths of parents and spouses, moving, kids leaving home, aging… These changes, even though sometimes eagerly anticipated, feel painful. And they accumulate. We get tired of feeling like there’s no stability and life’s out of control.

Some “comforting” truths about change:

To be alive is to change. The cycle of death and rebirth is embedded in creation. Look around you! Spring is springing after a long winter.

All change is a loss of some sort, even changes we choose and anticipate. Therefore they hurt, and grief must be felt.

Change follows a predictable pattern. Death of the old must happen before new life can be born.

Acceptance and leaning in is the only way through death to the other side, where new life awaits. Resistance is futile. Addictions, distractions, and denial delay the new life that wants to come, and we can easily get stuck in them.

Our bodies and our souls are our peaceful center. While you and I are alive, we have our bodies. Our connection to the Ground of Being, which is our soul, evidently endures beyond death. Practices that nurture and strengthen our mind’s awareness of our bodies and our soul’s connection to Source help us walk our change journey peacefully.

Some practices to strengthen our body awareness:

  • Work hard. Get sweaty and tired and dirty.
  • Go outside. Feel the sun and wind and rain.
  • Practice yoga or tai chi. Walk or run. Any form of body-aware exercise will do.
  • Find a piece of ground that feels good and go there consistently and frequently.
  • Pay conscious attention to your body, toe to scalp.
  • Eat mindfully.
  • Forego alcohol and other distracting habits, for now.

Some practices to strengthen our soul’s connection to the Ground of Being:

  • Pray honestly. Tell God how you feel and what you want.
  • Engage in ritual, first thing in the morning and throughout the day.
  • Say “thank you” frequently — to yourself, to others, and to the Universe.
  • Meditate. Pay attention to your breath moving in and out.
  • Eliminate distractions. Keep a Sabbath day.

Change is life. Life is change. How do you stay peaceful in the midst of change?

If you’re feeling pushed around by change and loss, I can help. Contact me to schedule a complimentary one-hour clarity conversation. I’d love to talk with you!

Photo credit: www.jamesaltucher.com

 

Getting lost… on purpose??

LostEvidently some people get lost on purpose. Deliberately.

This shocks me.

We’re reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s An Altar in the World this Lent here at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bend. BBT waxes poetic about the benefits of getting lost on purpose. Last night people were sharing how they enjoy deliberately lose themselves in strange cities. I’m sitting there nodding complacently, and then I remember: I HATE being lost. I absolutely HATE that feeling. Feeling lost is something that I avoid at all costs.

I don’t push buttons to see what happens.

I read the directions before using an appliance the first time.

I almost always use a recipe when I cook.

And right now in my life it’s a pretty common feeling, that lost thing. I’ve gotten lost on purpose. Granted, if I’d known that starting a coaching practice would feel like this, I never would have done it. The same could be said for getting married and getting pregnant. If I’d known how lost I would feel, I never would have set out on any of these journeys.

So, how to cope with feeling lost? Here’s what I’m doing these days:

I’m as clear as I can be on where exactly I’m headed. I have a clear picture of the healing I can facilitate, and the life and livelihood I want to create. Robert Fritz’s structural tension tool from The Power of Least Resistance, which I learned at Wings, is helpful here, as are vision boards and intention statements.

I’m asking for directions. I’m querying friends in coaching and small biz Facebook groups. I’m asking Google lots of questions, such as “How do I create an e-course?” I’ve invested in coaching to help me do this thing.

I’m checking my “body compass.” Fear and discomfort are inevitable on this journey, I know. I’m paying attention to what feels like life and love mixed with fear, and what feels like “Stop!”

I’m taking consistent action, moving ahead slowly and surely.

I’m practicing feeling lost and being okay. It’s a useful life skill, to be prepared for the inevitable times when loss and feeling lost will be foisted upon us. As Taylor says,

At this level, the advanced practice of getting lost consists of consenting to be lost, since you have no other choice. The consenting itself becomes your choice, as you explore the possibility that life is for you and not against you, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

 

E. L. Doctorow famously said that writing a novel is “like driving a car at night: you never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

Feeling lost and moving ahead anyway is like that too, I think. I know this journey is worth getting lost.

I offer one-hour clarity sessions at no charge, I’ll help you see where you want to go and what’s getting in your way. contact me to schedule your conversation.