Change, please!


“A change in heart is the essence of all other change and it is brought about by the re-education of the mind!” (E. P. Lawrence)

Wherever we are in life, there is always another place to go- I say often to my clients and friends. But to go to that other place, we need to move from our current realities and enter into another reality which often requires a shift, a mental readjustment or, at times, a more dramatic change in our life. Change is a hard concept to swallow for many of us, especially when we really do not want a change but life just happens. (Well, we may not want the change but surely life is trying to tell us otherwise).

When my father passed away, the whole village cried. He was a man of heart, full of passion and vitality. He was living for the world but gave little to my mother-emotionally and spiritually. After his funeral my grandmother hugged my mother and said: I know it is hard to lose him but I think God is trying to tell you to start living your life! So my mother, after many years of confusion and pain started to readjust, made a shift and started to go to that “other reality”, which she really would not have done had my father stayed alive. She still mourns, after 7 years of losing my dad but she also learnt to swim in the current of life with strength and power, rather than sit in the muddy water and cry over her leaking boat.

The psychology of change is deep; it is hard to stomach and stretches us beyond what we think we can do. Understanding how to navigate through change is in the core of any leadership training you attend. Change is endless and constant. We have no choice in the matter except mastering our ability to adapt and learn!

But change it is also extremely simple! It is essentially about learning how to break old patterns of thinking and existence and open up to change with positivity, faith and authenticity to embrace whatever it brings. It demands going beyond preconceived ideas because resistance is a losing battle.  When we resist change we feed our fear, victimhood and negativity. When we open up to change, we feed positivity, learning and growth!

Before you jump the ship, let me tell you, I am not scared of change. I am terrified of change but I have learnt a great deal in the last few years about it. My learning is summed up in the questions below. They helped me through the darkest times in my life and I hope they give you fresh and new perspectives, too.

  1. How does this situation help me clarify what I want?
  2. How can I make it a small deal and not a Big Deal?
  3. How can I appreciate myself in this situation?
  4. What am I grateful for in this situation? What are the blessings?
  5. What are my opportunities here?

“Those who cannot change their mind, they cannot change anything!”- goes the saying and it is really that simple. If we want to create better situations for ourselves, we need to change because things do not change unless we do.

My new theme for 2013 is going to be Change and everything that comes with it- learning it, doing it, living it full out! I found this beautiful and very apt piece of writing from Danaan Perry from the Warriors of the Heart on change. Enjoy!

Sometimes I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I am either hanging on to a trapeze bar swinging along or for a few moments in my life, I am hurtling across space in between trapeze bars.

Most of the time, I spend my time hanging on for dear life to my trapeze- bar-of-the-moment. It carries me along at a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I am in control of my life. I know most of the right questions and even some of the right answers. But once in a while, as I am merrily (or not so merrily) swinging along, I look out ahead of me into the distance and what do I see? I see another trapeze bar swinging towards me. It is empty and I know that place in me that knows that this new trapeze bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth, my aliveness coming to get me. In my heart-of –hearts I know that for me to grow, I must release the grip on this present, well-known bar to move to the new one.

Every time it happens to me, I hope that I won’t have to grab the new bar. But in my knowing place I know that I totally must release my grasp on my old bar, and for some moment in time, I must hurdle across space before I can grab onto the new bar. Each time I am filled with terror. It does not matter that in all my previous hurdle across the void of unknowing, I have always made it. Each time I am afraid that I will miss, that I will be crushed on unseen rocks in the bottomless chasm between the bars. But I do it anyway. Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call the faith experience. No guarantees, no net, no insurance policies, but you do it anyway because somehow, to keep hanging on to that old bar is no longer on the list of alternatives. And so for an eternity that can last a microsecond or a thousand lifetimes, I soar across the dark void of “the past is gone: the future is not here yet”. It is called transition. I have come to believe that it is the only place where real change occurs. I mean real change, not the pseudo-change that only lasts until the next time my old buttons get pushed.”

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