|“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for
us.” Joseph Campbell
There’s not many who will disagree that change is hard. Even if you are a person who loves change;you
must admit it comes with its challenges. Our bodies, minds, and hearts lean towards what we know
even when it is something that is no longer serving us well. Like a favorite pair of jeans, we find comfort
in routine. Yet, we and the world around us are always changing.
Sometimes we invite change. It may be taking a new job, moving to a different part of town, or starting
a new friendship. Then there is the uninvited change that happens – our children grow older, our bodies
change. Sometimes, what we have been planning and dreaming of changes simply based on
circumstances we cannot control. There is also change that we reluctantly invite – like changing old
habits, pushing ourselves towards growth, or making health changes in order to live life to the fullest.
Instead of resisting change – big or small – experiment with embracing the change.
Welcome change. Resistance is probably one of the most common reactions to change. We stomp our
feet, complain, and wish it were back to “the way it was.” Especially when we cannot control what is
being changed in our lives, it is helpful to lean into it versus resisting. Look at the thought patterns and
see if you can shift them. Try taking a breath, turning the corners of your mouth slightly upward, and
silently say to yourself, “Welcome change. It’s good to have you.”
Honor the grief. If you want to embrace change you first need to acknowledge its existence and that it
is a natural part of life. With this we must recognize the grief in change. With each new beginning there
is an ending. Honor the grief when it accompanies change.
Look to nature as an example. Nature is my favorite teacher. There is nothing constant about it, yet it
is beautiful and inspiring. Take some time to sit outside to notice the subtle and big ways in which
nature changes. Watch the direction of the wind; listen to the rise and fall of the sounds; feel how the
temperature changes even within a few moments.
Reserve judgement. When we are uncomfortable (which we are during change) a common reaction is
to label things as either good or bad. The nature of change is that it is unknown. We don’t know if it is
good or bad, but tend to associate unknown with the negative. See if you can resist this urge and not
see it as either good or bad, but just change.
Practice change. If we want to get better at accepting change and even embracing change, we must
practice. Practice means that we will never perfect it, but that we will continue to experience it
mindfully. Give yourself opportunities to practice change. Take a different route to work. Take a new
class or sign up for an experience you’ve never had. Look for opportunities to practice embracing
You may find that change isn’t as scary or negative as you thought!