Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last six months, you’ve probably experienced some changes lately. Actually I take that back. The only thing I know of that lives under rocks are roly polies, at least that’s how it goes in my yard. And I don’t think much changes in their world, but then again, what do I know about roly polies? I think it’s safe to say that unless you’re a roly poley, this shit-show we call 2020 handed you some changes.
I have a strange relationship with change. On the one hand I just absolutely LOVE it so much, because I’m a fairly restless person and I hate it when things get stagnant or when people are too set in their ways to change with the times. I love the change of the seasons, changing hairstyles… loose change.
But on the other hand, sometimes changes really get under my skin. Like when I have to change plans or when people randomly change their minds. Mostly because I get set on a trajectory of forward movement and have a hard time changing directions once I think I know where I’m going. That’s both a metaphoric observation as well as a physical observation. I heard recently that that’s an Aries trait but haven’t had time to study the hypothesis for myself.
But 2020 handed us changes that we didn’t expect… and they’re still coming. It wasn’t like just a change or two, it was like a whole sea of changes that, so far, we’ve had six months to swim around in. Some days I feel like I’ve got seaweed wrapped around my ankle and every time I come up for air I get hit with another wave! The tide has me so turned around that if I ever do make my way back to shore I’ll be miles from where I started and nothing will be recognizable.
It seems like I just can’t wrap my head around some of them. They don’t make sense in my brain and I want to get all judgy with them and decide what’s right and what’s wrong and take sides.
Those who know me know that’s really not my style but my brain really wants to try to justify the unjustifiable. It’s not like I need to explain it to you - I’m sure you get it! Again, we’ve established that you’re not a roly poly, right? Apparently we’re all in this together whether we like it or not.
I think sometimes we forget that whatever we’re going through as individuals, the collective is also going through. So it was with this in mind that I decided I could coach myself through the challenges I was having.
Since you likely haven’t been through life coach training, I'll elaborate. The training had such a profound effect on me, and I would venture to guess, all of my fellow coach trainee comrades, that we now look at our world’s in a vastly different way than before our training. And now, well over a year later, I can still hear Misty and Dez (our most esteemed and fantastically awesome coach trainers) asking the simplest, often just two or three word questions. Questions that instead of eliciting answers, bring forth more questions. Some that were so simple, to contemplate them seemed ridiculous, and yet they challenged our deepest belief systems at the same time.
Learning to look at reactions and emotions is new to most people, as it was to me. I found it interesting to look at the beliefs I know to be true. Or rather, the beliefs I believed to be true. Or, as it were, the beliefs I chose to hold on to with their “truths” being more about opinions than facts.
As I get a little further down this path of coaching myself, I find that most of what bothers me about changes is not the change itself, but rather, what I think of it. How I label it and what I decide to do about it.
I’m here to tell you, it’s way easier to call it a shit-show (in the running for my favorite phrase of 2020 along with the term “awesome sauce” which I’m having a hard time working into this blog) and point fingers at everything I don’t like than it is to put on my big girl pants and get over it. Ugh… this grown-up “responsibility” thing was annoying in my 20’s and some things just don’t change.
It’s really a conversation between my ego mind that wants everything to go the way I want it to go, for mostly selfish and insignificant reasons; and my emotions that change like the wind to feel all comfy and loved and “okay”. It goes like this:
Emotions, “Zoom again? When is this Covid thing going to be done?
Mind, “It’s fine, you didn’t need to go to that meeting in person anyway. I need to make a strategy to get everything to line up the way I want, so shhh while I figure this out.”
Emotions, “yeah but I wanted to so that Sara would know I’m serious about the commitment, and I wanted to do my hair all cool so everyone would see how long it’s getting, plus at least I would get out of the house and maybe our marketing person will be there and I can talk to her about the video instead of having to call her, ugh, it’s just so much easier in person and plus if I can go in person I’ll have a better chance of convincing the group that we should do the group client event because I don’t want to try to do it by myself because what if people don’t show up and I don’t know where to hold it now with covid…” it goes on but you get the idea.
Mind, “Are you done?”
“The rules are all stupid. Those people on the news are stupid. Except for that group, I agree with them for sure. I know how to fix everything if they’ll just listen to me, I could tell them.”
“I just need a plan to fix everything.”
“I’ll make a list. Yes, that’s it. A most perfect list of things I can get done to make me feel in control again.”
Emotions, “no I’m not done. But let’s get a snack first because I’ll feel better if I eat. Do we have anything creamy and cheesy in the house?”
Mind, “You’re going to be late for the zoom call and you probably should look decent and not be eating”.
Emotions, “I don’t feel prepared for the meeting, what if I look stupid?”
Mind, “Go find your big girl pants and put them on”
Emotions, “it’s Zoom, I don’t need pants”
Please tell me you occasionally go through some version of this. Otherwise my emotions just got all weird about sharing this with you and now I'm sure you're wondering what my point was.
The point is, one of the most useful skills I learned years ago, that was emphasized during my coach training, was how to observe my own emotions. They say awareness is the first step of, well, pretty much everything. So when I’m struggling with anything, one of the first things I do is observe my emotions. Sometimes it’s easier said than done but after practicing it for so long it’s definitely getting easier and more automatic.
Once I was able to observe my emotions, my mind was free to make some pivotal decisions regarding all these changes and how I was feeling about them. I was able to soften the emotions and put a stop to most of the judging and fixing. I won’t bore you with all of the little details that lead me down the path, because this blog post would be painfully long, and boring.
The point is, and the reason I’m sharing all this with you is about what I stated earlier. Whatever I’m going through, the collective is also going through. So if you’re feeling uneasy (or downright pissed off and frustrated) with all of the big and little changes that have landed in your world lately… you’re not alone. It’s okay to feel however you feel about them. Emotions are what make us human, literally. Without them we wouldn’t function as a society. Not that we’re so functioning with them, but without them we’d be robotic and logical all the time, even Spock-like. Emotions are the awesome sauce of humanity. (*fist pump and a high five for using awesome sauce!)
You see, it’s in the contrast that we find the good stuff we’re all striving for. Without the contrast of the stuff we don’t want, we wouldn’t appreciate the stuff we do want.
And that brings me back to the problem of all these changes. I did finally put on my big girl pants, I gave my emotions a voice, and answered some of my own tough Misty & Dez questions. And along the way, I found some healthy and holistic hacks to make them suck less. And I’m not talking about fru-fru wine and bubble baths… although if that helps you there’s nothing wrong with that!
I’ve given it a few months to practice what I learned and found it to be both simple and effective. This is what inspired me to create a workshop to share what I learned in hopes of helping others. I believe when we come together to explore the option of finding something good, hidden within these changes, or at the very least a way to worry about them a little less, we create a tiny energetic shift that has the potential to expand exponentially, and the world needs all the good it can get.
You can find my Navigating Changes class on my event page along with others that I'm currently hosting.
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