A disgustingly hectic week meant I ran down to empty i’m afraid. Needed to take a few breaths, come back together and recuperate a tad. Hence the late blog and newsletter. Still, despite being out of sight, you have most definitely been on my mind.
Last week was all about CHANGE. It just so happened that one of my favourite 80s dance hits is by a group of the same name. I digress. I was inspired by a sudden situation that occurred, which snowballed into a number of other ‘big’ decisions being made. It was SUPER scary. Daunting. Unsettling. Sad. Exciting. Life-saving. And a plethora of other emotional states.
But the most difficult part of all was the sudden shift from life as I knew it, to a completely different experience. It relied on me to get my sh*t together, and fast, sadly, letting people down, but at the same time, opening a necessary door of opportunity. It was adapting to change.
I pondered whether I prefer knowing that change is coming in advance, and that this gives me time to “prepare” for it. In some ways it seems a preferential situation, however I realised that actually the knowing can be just as challenging, as this luxury of time might breed attachment to the way something might be, leading to a possible dollop of disappointment in one’s ice cream.
Following last week’s blog it’s been an interesting trip. I had to cut a lot of classes. It was painful. I felt scared and, well, conveniently, vulnerable. I didn’t have time to hesitate although i’m pretty sure I felt like it. Taking the step forward into action makes things real. It means we are dealing with change as opposed to hanging in limbo and avoiding it. Resisting it. Delaying it.
It’s funny, I always thought i’d been one to embrace change. 20 different schools, over 40 jobs in various countries, I didn’t earn the nickname “The Littlest Hobo” for nothing. I was convinced I was rootless, and happy that way. A nomad, on a quest to constantly seek out adventure and, well, change! We tell ourselves “Change is good, it’s growth!” and that “everything happens for a reason” and yet, when an unfavourable circumstance plops on our face, suddenly it’s critical that we cling to something. Anything! But this time, the rod of stability wasn’t available.
Why is it some folk adapt so readily to change, gracefully gliding through with barely a ripple whilst roses blossom from every orifice, yet others clutch to the cliff, grimacing, questioning and lamenting their entire being? What is the secret to transitioning with grace, as painlessly as possible, i wondered?
For starters comparison is no good. We end up on a dismal downward spiral of destruction. Instead recognising our own journey, as it is. Every road has lead you right here and now, and if that’s a bowl of avocados, then great! If it’s more a stale loaf, then, well, it is what it is! Firstly recognising how we feel in whatever state of change we might be in is vital. And reminding ourselves that change is a certainty in life. We are constantly changing. Evolving. Growing. This feeling, whatever it is, is not permanent. It’s an artful flow. Beauty! Or destruction.
Which leads me on to determining what you might learn from the state of change. Perhaps something painfully exhausting might remind you to slow down a bit. To adjust the schedule somewhat, and make more space for yourself. Or it might be about having a difficult conversation that has been conveniently put aside for far too long leading to an unavoidable situation that requires, you guessed it, change! Those life lessons are around us, all of the time. Up to us to soak them up!
Finally, being present as much as possible really helps those rocky roads seem less brutal. Whether it’s taking a breath (never fails), or busting a challenging arm balance such as bakasana (keeping us ever in the moment), or reaching out to speak to someone about the challenge we face, we can hopefully square up to the transition, create space around it, and then get comfortable with it. Well, as comfortable as is possible until the next round of change that is.
Here’s to the madness of this rollercoaster!
And a playlist for your ears (warning, some shameless dance hits lurk!)
Earth, Wind & Fire – African Symphony
Ani Difranco – 32 Flavors
Taken By Trees – My Boys
Tune-Yards – Bizness
Mount Kimbie – Carbonated
Francis Bebey – Yes, I Believe In You
Usher – Climax
Gold Panda – Quitters Raga
Jonathan Johansson – Under sjukhusen
Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place – 2005 Remastered LP Version
Phoenix – If I Ever Feel Better
Change – The Glow Of Love
Aaliyah – Miss You
John Mayer – The Heart Of Life
Emiliana Torrini – Sunny Road
Coldplay – See You Soon
Goldfrapp – Felt Mountain
Kings Of Convenience – Scars On Land
Paul Simon – Homeless (Demo) – Bonus Track