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How Do You Feel About Change?

Art by Kiki and Brad Thome

Many of us acknowledge feeling jittery when things in our lives begin to noticeably change. I use the term “noticeably” because things are always changing. Life is just another word for change.  Indeed personal growth, as well as life itself, cannot occur without it.

How we feel about change has a lot to do with our perception of what is occurring, as well as our perceived level of control over things, and how we ultimately assess or label what is happening and its impact.

Changes we initiate or perceive as welcome, also bring stress, but it is a healthier form of stress, like the stress of striving to meet a healthy challenge.

Though it sometimes feels as if too much change occurs at once, or perhaps not enough is occurring, and it often feels as if change is occurring too quickly, or not soon enough, all of these perceptions are imagined. Change occurs exactly when it is supposed to occur, according to the concept of divine timing.

I have been doing quite a bit of traveling within the USA lately. Having  just returned from a 16 day trip spanning three States. I will also be re-locating in another month and that is why I am discussing change.

Frankly, in the last six years, having lived in two cities in Chile, and in various parts of three different US States, I have moved more than a mathematician can count, or at least it feels that way.  Though fond of travel, now that I am a bit older, this girl is hoisting a white flag. I hereby declare my wish to be retired as a gypsy. I believe I can be happy almost anywhere as long as it is not too remote or isolated, and at this point in my life, I am starting to feel uncomfortable with changes that seem big, like re-location as opposed to travel, which I find much simpler. Having been given the choice to move this time, I chose to move, but soon after, wished it did not have to be so soon.

I longed to longer know this place

Of deserts gold, and brown, and grey,

Whose dusty storms of desert rain

Remain intriguing…

I find when things are good, and life is happy and comfortable, and we are with the people we really like, when it all seems relatively simple, I often wish that things would stay the way they are longer than they actually do, for one reason or another.

During times like these, change is perceived differently.  If change feels too soon to me right now, isn’t it really a message to calm down and focus on the present moment only?  For it is only by showing up maximally in the present, and shining a bright inner-light on each day¸ that we can lengthen its value,  deepen its meaning, and experience each day of life more gratefully lived. This too makes us more open to change.

Please tell me below.  How do you feel about change?

Namaste, Michele

From Confusion To Clarity: Vital Personal Growth in 30 Days or Less is available everywhere in print and as an e book. For signed copies please visit http://micheleharveyauthor.com  Stay tuned for my upcoming book of poetry, Poetry for Living an Inspired Life:  Poems  as Spiritual Meditation, currently a work in progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

24 Responses to How Do You Feel About Change?

  • As you say, change is life. Nothing stands still. Many people will invest a lot of energy into trying to make things in their life remain the same. Keeping the same job, partner, house etc are seen as a measure of success – of being content. But these things can just be a veneer. To be content with and within yourself is the trick. To walk through life adjusting, changing and embracing new challenges without needing to try and nail anything to the ground – that’s a worthy goal!

    • Indeed, Barbara, many folks tend to bury themselves in routine. Many are trapped and fearful of change. Better to craft a seaworthy sail than to resist what is. I love your remark about not needing to nail anything to the ground. Flexibility and openness create a more grounded foundation for value and joy in one’s life. Please check out my book, From Confusion To Clarity, which delves deeply into the subject of change.

  • Grace says:

    The biggest change I had in my life was when my husband of 25 years wanted a divorce. I thought I was going to die! I was terrified. But, I carried on and came out of the experience a stronger person. There are certainly times when I long for “the way life was”, but I have come to realize that there are no guarantees, and the change has actually been good for me.

    • I admire the way you’ve used your experience, Grace Thank you for sharing this with us. The biggest change I had in my life, is in my book, From Confusion To Clarity. This change to which I refer, has completely transformed my experience of life. I believe change, big change that is, has the power to shatter our truth. Though this sounds severe, it can actually be very beneficial when it causes us to question our understandings and evolve beyond them.

  • Tanya says:

    Only as I’ve gotten older, have I accepted change- realizing that it is apart of everyday life. When I was younger, forget about it….Sometimes we don’t always realize that we need change in order to grow. To know what to do and what not to do…

  • Hi Adrienne,

    I completely agree with you about all change being good, although it doesn’t always seem so, at first. It is true that we need contrast in order to experience our lives. My teacher, Neale Donald Walsch says, “In the absence of that which you are not, that which you are is not.” Eventually, we would fail to see the “good” without its perceived opposite.

    Thank you for your comment.

  • Adrienne says:

    We all want to stay in that space where things are good and fun because it makes life simple. I try to keep in mind, though, that bad things are a part of life; sometimes we’ll deal well with them and sometimes we’ll get knocked on our asses. But, without some crappy times in life, we’d probably become bored with the good times and maybe even fail to see them as good anymore.

    In a sense, even negative changes are good because they help us see what we need to be happy.

  • Change means I’m alive and hopefully growing.Change is also one of the most persistent challenges in my life, but I think if we embrace it as not only a necessary part of life, but a good one, we’ll generally lead happier lives. I don’t know who first said it, but when going through a tough change, I try to remind myself that the alternative to change is death.

  • Diana says:

    It would appear we are all traveling like a gypsy here 😀

    I LOVE traveling, can’t get enough. I am too relocating in a few months to another country – primarily because often traveling for a week (more or less) to some place doesn’t give me enough – i prefer to merge into new cultures, to live like natives do, to do what locals do, to learn more about the culture… not so much to be somewhere different.

    This type of change i handle well (i think).
    To my surprise, i am a person who definitely hates change – i can go nuts if my morning coffee is a different brand than the one i usually have; or if i have to go do an errand on a let;s say Monday evening when i am used to watch Mad Men…

    The little things changes are what cannot handle well most of the time. silly, huh? 😀

    Nice post – thanks for sharing it and good luck with your relocation and “retiring” as a gypsy – i think if it’s in your blood (the love for travel, i mean), there;s no escaping it 😉

    Diana

    • Thank you for your comments, Diana. I wish you all the best with your relocation. I lived abroad for close to 3 years and really liked it a lot. Your observation about tackling big changes well, yet sweating the small stuff, is something I believe many folks can well relate to, particularly your example about the coffee. However after living abroad where many things we are accustomed to, are not always readily available, I have learned to turn the volume down on my preferences, meaning, simply to have preferences, as opposed to fixations or addictions, or too much attachment regarding what I prefer. I am able to appreciate things more that way, and to stay on a more even keel. Thanks again. 😀

  • Edward Reid says:

    When I was younger I hated change. The main reason was that I would easily attach to people that surrounded me. After a few years I grew to realize that change was an important part of life to expand relationships. Also, we all grow and in time it becomes necessary to move on and grow with other people surrounding us. At this stage in my life I truly welcome change and now understand that change always occurs when it should.

    • “Change always occurs when it should.” I couldn’t agree more Edward Reid. Even if it doesn’t always seem so at the time, change always occurs when it should and it is ultimately for the best, with regard to everyone impacted. It’s a wonderful gift to be able to connect easily to those around us, yet not become dependent. Of course, when we are young, we are dependent on others. Thank you sharing.

  • I’ve always welcomed change having moved around like a gypsy too but I too am relocating soon. I’m finding the thought both stressful and exhilarating. I’m at a point though that I really believe I want this to be the last time… A home in Florida and a vacation home in the UK… This hopefully will keep my ‘Gypsyness’ happy 😉

  • Mary Slagel says:

    I often think of change as being a positive aspect in life because change can be renewing and refreshing. But at the same time, I thoroughly enjoy my comfort zones even if they do impact my happiness. Change can be hard when it involves cutting people out of your life or moving to a new city, but the opportunities that arise out of that are amazing and once you start reaping the benefits of the change, you can see change as positive again. Sometimes it just takes patience.

    • Thank you for your input, Mary. We always establish comfort zones, I think, and personal boundaries are also important. Change is a challenge and patience is always helpful. Patience for me, is something I must always work on. I used to think I was born without it, but with faith in life, patience follows.

      • Thank you for sharing your comment, Claire. I think many times change is experienced as exhilarating. Releasing anticipation helps to relieve stress. I work on this by staying present now, and living one day at a time, even while making future plans. When I start to plan or think too far ahead, I feel stressed. This is when I know it’s time to slow down. There is no benefit to allowing our imagination or thoughts about tomorrow, to stress us. I wish you the best.

  • Thank you for your comment Patricia, and for sharing your experience and wisdom. I don’t believe there really is any such thing as normalcy. In today’s world, things change fast and we are faced with many choices. There are no right or wrong decisions since all choices lead to further growth. As a spiritual person, I too have used the serenity prayer to help shift or maintain my perspective during challenging times.

  • Patricia D. says:

    I have encountered change more than I ever thought I would as I entered adult life. Looking back, I suppose that it was foolish to assume that life would stabilize and normalcy would dominate. In the last 10 years, my husband and I have lived in 6 different houses in 3 different states and powered through 3 separate unemployments, and had 2 children. Whenever I think of change, I think of the Serenity Prayer, which is funny because I am not at all religious. But, the wisdom behind it is so special:

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    The courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.

    I suppose I use this to guide my life, just subtracting the whole reference to God in the process. 🙂

  • Thank you for your comment Susan. I agree with your comment about one’s energy level, although our energy level is also affected by our perception of things. I find that when I just surrender, rather than trying to control things, I have much more energy and am more ready to greet and welcome change. My book, From Confusion To Clarity talks extensively about change since now more than ever before, we are all experiencing rapid changes in nearly every aspect of our lives.

  • Susan Cooper says:

    I have always been capable of managing change but, like you, there are times I feel enough is enough. For me it all gets down to my energy level. There are times I say bring it on and I could run for ever, until I crash… LOL. Then all I want is to have some sameness (not sure that’s a word) for a while.

  • Glynis Jolly says:

    I went through many physical moves when I was a little younger. Now, later on in life, I’m more likely to stay put… that is physically. I know go for changes in mental ways. Usually one relates to the one before, yet it is still a noticeable adjustment each time challenging my perception.

    • Thank you Glynis. I totally agree that it is mostly about looking at one’s perception. Since mind and body are connected, I think changes in the way we think can also result in physical changes on all levels as well.

  • Thank you for your comment Rosa. I agree with you about being grateful for the education. My book, From Confusion To Clarity discusses perspectives on life altering changes in depth and contains useful tools. Blessings to You,a kindred spirit on the road.

  • Rosa Seyah says:

    Glad to be invited to your blog. We seem to be in the same gypsy caravan, wanting to slow it down a bit. Been doing this since 2003, but well worth the time spent to get this type of education. So much crammed into ten years on the road, and need to write that book, but life keeps happening. Need to check out your whole blog here, but I believe I feel you as a kindred spirit.

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