Throughout our lives we transition from one way of “being” to new ways of “being”. When I realize that something has to change, I begin to feel afraid. What could I be afraid of? Maybe, I just don’t want to face any more change or I am afraid of the unknown. A few concepts have helped me. Maybe your loved ones facing change can consider some of these.
Perspective is important. All of life is about change and we can help ourselves through the process by trusting it and reaching out to people who have created good change in their lives and who will support us through our changes.
How do I make change more manageable? First, I ask myself some questions. For instance, “What tiny step could I take today to understand where to step next?” “What am I missing out on by staying put?” or “What habit that I love to do could I continue to do in my new phase?” “Can I imagine what my life would look like?” or “Am I remembering that I do not have to have all the answers today?”
Here are some rewards that come from adapting.
A. Peace of Mind- I won’t have to rely on “just myself”. I will have people around me that want to get to know me and enjoy me.
B. A sense of accomplishment. I will begin to feel as if I can try lots of other new situations. My thinking becomes refreshed, and I feel broadened and rejuvenated. Gaining confidence increases my energy level.
C. Acquiring new friends gives me a sense of belonging, helping me feel more positive and connected.
Change comes with stages of grief that we must move through before we become our new selves. Realizing that this is part of the normal process of change can be very helpful. This takes time. These are what I might be grieving about:
A. Losing My identity. I am used to being who I am now. But if I don’t change when I see the need, necessity takes over and forces our hand.
B. Fear that I can’t do it.
C. Fear that the rest of my life will not be enjoyable.
D. Fear that I can no longer rely on just myself and that I must trust others.
All of us have changed many times in our lives, so we know we can do it. Together and with support. New people come into our lives just as we need them. Never have I gone through change alone.
With each new phase of life there are parts of our past that will be missed. Yet I try to focus on the long term benefits of change: an abundance of growth and a sense of fulfillment. Soon I will be a new me, a broader me. But at the same time, I will be bringing with me some of my cherished past, some of what I am used to.
Often we forget to trust in beginnings and endings. Most often change leaves us exactly where we are supposed to be. “Leap!”, the dance teacher says. That dance step has helped me to move through my uncertainty to trust that I will land balanced and buoyant.
Today, I am going to RELAX and enjoy taking the next step, even if it means taking some steps backwards. This is the dance of life, forward and back. This is how I step through my life, with my clients and my friends, because this is what I love to do best. Let’s Dance.
Mary was a dance teacher for 32 years. It was her first passion. She continues to find ways to keep dance in her life.