In life we experience millions of changes, many of them evolve so gently and smoothly that they are barely noticed. Others are glaringly obvious and are forced upon us by circumstances outside our control. We may vigorously resist but have to accept and adapt for the sake of our sanity and health.
And then there is change-making – change from choice. Generally, we tend to shift away from discomfort and towards greater comfort and ease (whether real or imagined). With change from choice we are often dealing with major issues that will have long-term effects, such as whether or not to have children, to start or end a relationship, to start or quit a job … or whether, when and where to move home.
Right now I’m about one third of my way through a change-making process related to moving my home. Following my car accident last winter, I decided to move away from long, cold, icy winters and the treacherous road up the mountain.
Of course, there is another side to living on a mountain in a provincial park in the heart of magnificent nature. It has been the perfect place to write two books. Every day I am surrounded by breathtaking ever changing beauty. The place is part of me – every cell, my heart and my spirit. For over eleven years it has been my home – the longest I have lived anywhere in my nomadic life. The trees and rocks, bears, deer, moose, ravens, whisky jacks, blue jays, chipmunks, squirrels, the ever-changing sky, the sweet smelling air and my beautiful mountain itself are all part of me. All of this I will always treasure, but have to let go of to move towards change. As yet unknown, that change will have to be absolutely compelling.
The decisions and changes we make ultimately affect how we feel about ourselves, others and life. And they affect our stress levels and our health. Here is a process I am following to be sure that my choices will be balanced and fully integrated. There are three steps to simplify and ease the change-making process:
• Write down in two columns the positive and negative choices regarding a major change – what you want to change and what you want instead, the lists may evolve over time. This is a left brain logical process.
• Daydream what/how you would love the change to be. Imagine yourself experiencing the change (see, feel, hear, smell and even taste). Wild and fanciful is fine. Be creative. Write things down, cut out pictures and create a dream page. This is the right brain creative process.
• Imagine that there is a golden thread connecting your mind, your heart and your stomach. In your mind, run through one of the change scenarios (imagine living it) and check in with your heart and gut to see how it feels. This gets in touch with your inner knowing, heart, gut instinct or intuition as well as the mind – logic and creativity.
• Enjoy the process. Make sure it isn’t laborious.
• When something unexpected feels really good, the mind and intuition can often find answers and ways to achieve it.
• Begin to let go of the old in your mind and heart. This can be a process of appreciation, gratitude and love and at the same time letting go of ownership or dependence.
• Take no action until an imagined change feels really good.