Change is like an old pair of favorite jeans. Faded, worn thin and even though the don’t fit like they use to we still love them. We remember when we bought them and first tried them on. We worried they weren’t the right ones and yet we dared to buy them anyway. What came afterwards was years of fun, work, dancing, spills, rubbing dirty hands on them, pet hair, tears and lots of wear to the point there is nothing left in them. Change is much like that. We carry on until there is nothing left and we’re forced to buy new jeans.
What I know about change is the resistance and avoidance. I find myself dreading it so many times even though I know deep inside it is necessary, even healthy to occur. We are not meant to live stagnant or without change and yet it is one of the truly hardest things of being human. We hang on to every last shred of what was until it is completely unavoidable any longer. We fight against it, tell ourselves we can outrun it and even get manipulative to try and prevent it all to no avail. We are constantly undergoing changes every day both big and small, inside and out.
Why is it we fight change so viciously? Why do we have such a hard time accepting things are never constant? Are we afraid of growth? Are we afraid of aging? Are we afraid we won’t be seen the same or see things like we like them to be? I believe all of these things are true. I find as I get older change gets even harder. I try to welcome it. I try to be excited about it and yet inside I dread it. Even when I tell myself it will be worth it and I know it will be, I still see the work of it, the impact and the experience as things I sometimes wish I didn’t have to go through. What I know about change is half the battle is inside our own minds.
As I reflect on this year I see a lot of changes both good and bad that occurred in the world at large and in my own life. I see where I stumbled with change and others where I let it go and didn’t resist it. I also saw changes where I didn’t have a say how it occurred as it steamrolled in turning everything upside down. It’s those types of changes that I think set me off to not liking it so much. Like being pushed into the deep end of the pool without notice and you don’t even have time to wonder what exactly just happened before you rise above the water to look at the culprit. Sometimes we need that push and others it would have been better if we’d been able to determine when we were ready.
What I know about change is no matter if it’s big or small, the more we fight it the resentful we can become and harder it is for even more change to happen. While it is an unsettling feeling at times, change challenges us to grow, adapt, be nimble, be strong and courageous and be ourselves. The more we are ourselves, acknowledging our fears, building our weaknesses into strengths and letting change shape us the easier it is to make it work in our favor. If we really want to win at the change game, then we have to not only learn to flow with changes but learn how to make them work to our own needs and desires.
What I know about change is it is a representation of nature itself. It is the force that makes the winds blow cooler, trees to turn the colors of autumn and birds to migrate. Change is the song of life singing both sweetly and strongly as an undercurrent to all that lives. It whispers to us all calling us to it’s lullaby for a dance. Flowing with change is a dance where we can learn from our partner new steps and rhythms eventually taking the lead to do the difficult moves we once dreamt impossible on our own. Learning the steps from the small changes and becoming the skillful dancer we all have the capability to be strengthens and prepares us for the larger changes ahead.
At times I don’t know that it is change itself as much as it is our own fear of it that is the trouble. I find myself fearing the unknown, worried at starting over and losing what I consider important. Yes if I’m really honest it’s the fear of losing, of being seen as failing and being unable to stand back up. Even though I’ve always stood back up from being knocked down it doesn’t make me want to fall. While I consider myself a survivor of difficult situations and events in my life it doesn’t make changes desirable to go through another large change and risk what I rebuilt.
Perhaps I’m not as adventurous as I thought I was or I’ve just grown weary from fighting against the winds of change for too long. What I know about change is the wind is always there and sooner or later we all need to seek shelter from it for a while. Change may be constant but all need rest to be able to endure the constant force of wind against our backs. Taking the time to rest, heal, plan, dream and be just gives us that perspective of where we are and where to go next. It helps us figure out how to use change as positive force supporting us instead of against us. These are the good changes that make us feel empowered, in control, determined, motivated and in hot pursuit of dreams held dear.
As I move further along my natural journey I realize the changes that came into my life were not always things that were meant to destroy or hurt me. Sometimes they offered the answers to prayers I had long forgotten but still needed and sometimes they were simply healthy things I was overdue to see transpire. In my own reflection I see how much I resisted all of them, even the ones that were good for me. What I know about change is I shouldn’t have fought so hard against it at times and listened to my own heart more. When I turned inward to my own needs, desires, dreams and aspirations I know the changes I was facing were of my own creation in may respects so I was only fighting against myself.
Learning to love change may be impossible. Learning to live with change may become tolerable. It is however when we learn to change with grace for ourselves that we not only learn how to dance with change but we flow with it more beautifully. We create the journey of stories worth retelling and wisdom worth handing down. We form our own path where change can support us positively and lead us to place dreams are true. With each change we emerge different and yet the same. We recognize things we loved and see new things we also adore about ourselves. We feel much the same but yet new, refreshed, lighter and even happier all because of change.
What I know about change is manifest it and it becomes part of our natural dance with nature. It becomes our own unique steps of learning, building skill and fitting into comfortable jeans we enjoy wearing along the way but have since grown faded and worn from wear. Manifesting change that is the power we all hold and can feel comfortable in applying to our lives. For what lies ahead in doing so is nothing short of magical.
Maybe its more about connecting with nature to learn this dance. The deeper we are in tune with nature, moving as it moves, feeling what it feels, the more alive we become. The song of change shifts and we find it easier to move as nature does. Perhaps changes are nothing more than a call to us in returning to nature, to our roots. So often in life we want to run the other way and be different and yet doing so takes away from who we really are. We eventually all long for those comfortable days where life isn’t so hard and our minds can rest. Nature is always there to provide those things by healing our soul and body.
Embrace the change and let it soak deep inside your bones. Let it move your body in a gentle or wild sway lifting your arms high in praise. Let it come into your being and mold you into all you were created to naturally be. Let it unravel your hair and flow freely. This is your dance my friend. This is your journey of nature calling you sweetly into a lullaby that will transform your life into all you ever dreamed. All it takes is nature and a few changes.
Are you ready to change?
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