Leaning is a big part of riding a motorcycle. When I first learned that you don’t actually turn the handlebars to make a turn but rather lean to make a curve or turn I struggled with that. Conceptually, this made no sense to me and I could not envision how I was supposed to use my entire body to turn a heavy bike without turning the handlebars to make that happen. I spent countless hours sitting on my bike telling myself I could figure this out, then countless more practicing around my neighborhood. Still mentally struggling with how this was possible. One day I just got it. I felt it happen and I knew my mind and body had connected into what it meant to lean into a turn.
I think the same struggle happens when changes happen in our lives. Conceptually we cannot grasp why it’s necessary, why it needs to happen or how we’re supposed to handle it. We struggle to lean into change. It feels counter-intuitive and awkward. I’m just going to go on and say for me it sounds like a lot of work and exhausting too. Even when the change is necessary and we want it doesn’t make it easy sometimes. The hard part is we often don’t get that time to prepare for it either. It just happens and we need to react to it without time to practice, think about it or even figure out how it will work for us or what it all means. Yet, when it’s time to turn or change direction, we have to learn lean into the changes.
It’s fair to say I’m not alone in feeling like change is better when we have control over it, when it’s not forced or sudden. When we feel like it is us who wants that change or needs it to happen then we feel in control of the speed, sharpness, timing and experiences of that change. We can go into the turn more confident that it is right for us and we feel ready for what is ahead. What I have learned in my own journey is if we can find a way the change can work for us we can develop this control. Whether it’s changes at work that out of our control, a personal change we want to make or something else we can always find a way to make it work for us and come out of it better.
My favorite example of this is when there is a major change at work, like your department is restructured and no one knows what is going on or what’s next. It feels terrible to go into work every day wondering what those impacts will mean to your job and what you are accustomed to doing every day, even if you really don’t like it. We really don’t like people messing with our jobs. Work is stressful enough on our body, mind and heart that changes sometimes put us over the time for stress and anxiety. Yet changes happen all the time at work and we are expected to go along with them whether we agree with them or not. It can be very difficult to see even in this situation we do indeed have controls for how that change influences us.
While not easy, it is entirely possible to take changes out of our control and move in grace with them. It starts with knowing our minds are going to automatically jump to telling us it’s impossible, can’t be done, is wrong and doesn’t work for us. That’s exactly where my mind goes, every single time, especially when the change isn’t something I’m driving or knew about ahead of time. That voice inside my head is fear talking. It’s uncertain, I don’t have enough information, I haven’t had time to prepare or work on it and yet it’s happening anyway. The ability to recognize my own insecurity about this change is important for what I do next.
It is so easy to just react to change by saying no. Doing this though is letting the voice in our head put words outward about how we feel in this moment with the change we’re being forced to deal with now. It is natural for us to say no, get mad about it, avoid it, resist and all the anti-change behavior you can think of doing. Sometimes this is warranted and sometimes it isn’t, doesn’t really matter when you’re not comfortable with it, right? Yet when we take that pause from saying no as our first reaction and let our mind settle we can start to see opportunity for how we can rethink what this change will mean to us.
I’m not suggesting we separate our emotions and feelings from our being. That advice doesn’t work because we are a whole person complete with feelings and emotions that deserve to be recognized and felt. What I’m suggesting before we instantly say no and react to the change physically is that we let our emotions and the voice in our head play out some. Feel it all and let it be sorted through. Exhaust it all and then ask yourself what is next for you. The change is done, now we need to figure out what that means for us, how we adapt, what we do as our next move. Maybe this happens in a few minutes or maybe it’s a week or month but if we don’t feel our emotions first we’ll just say no, raise our hands and miss the chance to make that change work in our favor, even when it’s not something we expected or wanted.
When we have felt it all and listened to the voice in our head, then we get to decide what’s next, what we’ll say, what we will do and how we will make whatever change happened work in our favor. This is called naturally leaning in to a change. It will not feel natural at all at first. It will feel like you are restraining yourself from what you really want to do and be counter-intuitive to how you think it should work. Yet, its just like realizing we don’t turn the handlebars on the bike to make the change in direction. We lean into it with our entire body, turning our head, eyes to see forward way deep into the curve and then leaning into it on our terms. We make it our own.
So back to my example of your department being restructured and no one knows what’s happening next. Everyone you work with is up in arms over this change, they’re saying this is crap and they’re out. They’re feeling job insecurity and don’t like what’s happening. This is indeed an unsettling time. You can easily fall into conversations with people about the discomfort, uncertainty and dislike of the changes or you can hear them and your own mind telling you this and say nothing. You can sort it out and feel it all the same as your co-workers and then decide what it means for you. You can make your path forward by deciding to embrace what’s going on, seeing the positive of what opportunities it may create, you can look for another job or you can even encourage your co-workers to consider a different angle about it all. All of that is possible when we have made peace with our own feelings and thoughts integrating them into our whole being and then knowing what is right for us in that situation.
Living naturally means we look at our whole being, physically, emotionally and spiritually in all that we do. There is no separation of one area from another. It does however also mean we let our entire being process the change before we emotionally respond. We feel what we do, we let our mind go in all directions and work through it using all of our being. We decide what is right for us and not just what will make us emotionally feel better in the moment. It doesn’t mean we won’t say something but it means we first say it to ourselves and make sure it is the right thing for us and then we say and act on it. We lean into it controlling what it looks and feels like for us.
Change isn’t easy. It is disruptive and painful at times, but all changes can be made to work in our favor if we are moving naturally in what is right for us. Aligning our body, mind and spirit in a change makes it more controllable for what we do next. We lean into it welcoming what’s next and knowing we can navigate it safely and successfully. When I take a curve on my motorcycle I feel powerful, confident and am looking way deep into the curve for what’s coming at me and where I’m going. It’s leaning into the curve that way that makes it look sexy, natural and graceful too.
Think how much more successful we could be if we apply this concept to things like improving our health, losing weight, feeling happier and being ourselves? Making these changes can be a lot of work but when we feel in control of them there is power behind us making that transformation more achievable and more deeply about us. How much easier would it be to lose weight if we felt we were fully leaned into making that change? That making that change was truly about us, what we need and where we want to go.
Are you ready to change how you lean into change?
Living naturally is way more than just using natural products and essential oils. It is a state of being unlike any other that will change how you look and feel every day. Take the free Lifestyle & Wellness Survey to find out where is right for you to start: https://forms.gle/vQDT42RQ8Spx868T7