Resources for Navigating Change

Life is filled with change.

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Photo Credit: johnhain via Pixabay

We all know this. 

But you’re human; I’m human. So the likelihood is high that whatever change you’re currently going through — a beautifully unfolding new venture, learning a new skill, a new job, navigating illness or loss of a relationship — will be unsettling, completely throw you off center, or anything in between.

This can happen whether the change is “good” or “bad.” It can happen when we initiated the change ourselves or whether  it comes as a complete surprise.

No matter the specifics, somewhere in the process of navigating change you’re likely to feel overwhelm, or doubt, or fear. Change of any kind can feel like the ground shifting beneath our feet. We can feel lost and alone and so confused. 

Maybe others are relying on your support, or you’ve become acutely aware of the uncertainty of the future, or you’re taking a big, exciting & scary step forward. What you need most can be the hardest thing to do, or you can be so consumed with what’s at hand that you simply forget.

So let me remind you to pause, breathe, and come home to the breath in your body.

Remember this is just the nature of change, and then get about the business of exquisite, tender, self-care so you have the energy for moving forward.

Here are some of the resources I find most useful.

Self Compassion:  Notice how you’re feeling and bring a genuine warmth to your experience. Treat yourself with gentleness. Rest. Give yourself safe space & stillness. Be patient, tender, kind with yourself. Kristen Neff has done some wonderful work with self-compassion. Explore her website for more resources.

Acceptance: Different from condoning or endorsement, acceptance allows us to relax a little & quit working so hard. It’s the state of recognizing the simple fact of what is, without fighting against it. Martha Beck has noted four different stages we go through during change. With each she’s coined a mantra, and each of those mantras conclude with “and that’s ok.” No matter the change or where we are in the process, experiment meeting it with an attitude of “and that’s ok” and notice if it makes a difference. 

Curiosity: Where acceptance can make space, curiosity engages a level of purity that can allow big barriers to drop away. Curiosity calls for a fresh set of eyes. Asks us to see things anew. Curiosity contains the baseline that we don’t know and the possibility of being surprised. It engages a playful, child-like quality. What a relief it can be to break free from fixed and constricted beliefs into new discoveries.

You are not alone: Moving through change can use up a lot of our inner resources. When you find yourself feeling empty, open yourself to the help of friends, spiritual community & practices, the natural world, your therapist, clergy or coach. There are others who can walk this path with you. Let them in. And finally, remember, we are all connected, even in our difficulties or challenges. Whatever change is coloring your days, pleasant or unpleasant, right now, at this very moment, there are countless others around the world that are going though the same thing. Feel yourself surrounded by others who understand how you’re feeling.       

We’re in an era of rapid change. This can be invigorating, engaging and exhausting.

Give yourself the gift of a new level of awareness, self-care and connection to fuel your journey.

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5 Comments

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  1. Linda Gotsch November 8, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

    Great post and excellent timing. This past week I have received the push necessary to move on down the road of change. Finances made it necessary first to sell the last of my mother’s diamonds for an incredibly low amount of money followed by selling my mother in law’s sterling silver warden two days later. There is a lot of emotion tied up in this. Although I have sold and given away so much, I am now getting to the sentimental items. The second is allowing an old life style to be released. Traditional entertainment only happens in the holiday tv commercials. In the past I would force myself through this,suck it up and move on. Your post reminds me that there is a better way to process these feelings and as you quote in the beginning of this post ” and that’s ok” when it comes to my feelings. Thanks again Kelly, for your support and support through recommended resources.

    • Kelly November 9, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

      Thanks Linda. I’m glad this found you & just the right time. Wishing you lots of gentleness & love!

  2. Linda Gotsch November 8, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

    Autocorrect really brings laughter to the world!! I sold my mother-in-law’s sterling silverware set not her warden!

  3. Tom Burkhart November 9, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

    When I’m in change I tend to withdraw inside myself (the safe place) so it’s good to read this and be reminded to use self compassion, acceptance, curiosity (especially this) and connection to get out of it.

    • Kelly November 9, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

      So glad this was helpful!

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