- Do you avoid or embrace change?
- Does change make you feel powerful or powerless?
- Are you a victim or a survivor?
- Have unexpected life changes prevented or promoted personal growth?
Change is constant. The cool thing is that we can be the catalysts for powerful personal evolution through the conscious choices we make. Like the time when I was twenty-three years old and decided that, to live my dream of becoming a professional dancer trumped my parents desires and expectations for my life. So despite their disapproval, I left my small home town in MA, moved to NYC, and made those dreams come true. Change like that - the kind we're in control of - feels empowering, affirming, and liberating.
But... there are two kinds of change that totally freak me out. Like, unexpected life change. The kind that picks you up and throws you down on your ass. Unfortunately, we're not always in control of what happens or when it happens. Like the time my ex-husband asked me for a divorce, or that time I got laid off from my dream gig. I wasn't mentally or emotionally prepared for either of those changes, or their residual effects on my life. I didn't have a Plan B. I was 100% committed in both situations. And then suddenly I was uprooted and tossed around in a vicious tornado of uncertainty, fear, self-doubt, and insecurity. And that kind of heartbreaking or traumatic change leaves you feeling completely ungrounded and full of distrust.
And then there's the kind of change that comes from those difficult choices we sometimes have to make in order to uphold our integrity. The kind of change that seems to require a sense of loss; loss of a relationship, some of our financial resources, or our comfort zone. And sometimes it means giving up on an eagerly anticipated outcome and being open to the possibility of something different. To me, that sucks, especially when every other conceivable outcome in your head fails to compare with what your heart is set on.
In general, I think big life changes freak me out because I like feeling grounded, certain, and in control. And I thrive on momentum. But it seems like, for the last eight years, the Universe's main gig has been to challenge my personal and professional comfort zones. Like it's hellbent on breaking my flow. But the cool thing is that, even in the midst of fear and self-doubt, I'm learning to channel my momentum into different directions whenever necessary. And the more I practice redirecting my energy into something positive, the more faith and trust I have in my ability to adapt to change no matter how devastating it might feel initially. Because now, I have the presence of mind to stop and ask myself "What do I want next? What do I need to feel grounded and full of integrity? What new outcome do I desire?". Experiencing my own strength and resilience in the midst of change is the foundation for trusting my ability to adapt to future change. And because I've also experienced as many unexpected opportunities as I have daunting "setbacks", I've also learned to trust in the unknown - possibility.
What major life change or life choice are you undergoing right now? What do you need to feel grounded and full of integrity in the midst of it? Ultimately, what new outcome do you desire?
And tell all your single sista-friends!