“Nothing stays the same forever” was my father-in-law’s mantra. He had plenty of evidence for that over a span of 94 years.
It has become one of my favorite sayings as well. Reciting this phrase in the face of change keeps me from clinging to yesterday or trying to keep things “under control”.
I had a hearty laugh when I heard a comedian quip, “Why go traveling if things are going to be different?”
When we like the changes that occur, we say its good news, but when we are faced with change we don’t like our first impulse is to resist it. Our fear of change can be pretty strong. How often do we resist necessary change until things become too painful the way they are?
The truth is we are all travelers into an unknown future. Change is merely ongoing creation.
This quote from martial arts expert Tom Crum, helps me and my clients create a mindset for maintaining personal power during challenging changes. “Instead of seeing the rug from being pulled out from under us, we can learn to dance on a shifting carpet”.
This reminds us that we have a choice- we can avoid or be flattened by change or we can direct it!
Here are 4 ways to keep your footing during change:
1. Realize that everything is temporary; everything comes to an end. Leave room for change each day with a mental expectancy. When you recognize it, name it. “Ah, here is some change to dance with.”
2. Realize you have a choice to resist change or look for the opportunities that come with it. Lingering in indignation, disappointment, or defining what is unacceptable is not going to move you forward to a good feeling place.
3. Realize that while you may have no inkling of an outcome, you can direct this moment toward the good you would rather experience. Use the words “I choose to” instead of “I can’t”. Say,” It’s important to me to…” to get you on a positive track.
4. Develop an anchor. Know what center feels like so when you are knocked off you can get back there quickly. Realize that how you behave presently counts much more than controlling the results. The outcome will take care of itself through a series of well chosen moments.
Two things are certain. The carpet of life is going to shift again and again. And, we can avoid unnecessary suffering if we learn to become nimble and adapt.