How to get back on the driver’s seat when change takes you off course.
My twin daughters are high school juniors. Our family of four is dancing — or should I say spinning — to the tune of change these days. Not that change is new to us.
These girls have been changing our lives since they took their first breath and even before that. And you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The day I had my first ultrasound the doctor pointed to the screen and said, “Here’s one head and . . . here’s the second. Congratulations! You’re having twins!”
My husband jumped up. He couldn’t contain his excitement. He was over the moon. If he had any cigars on him, he would have passed them around.
I remember getting dressed and excusing myself for a few minutes. I walked into the bathroom – the only place where I could be alone. I stood there for a few minutes, trying to comprehend what had just happened.
I kept breathing, trying to untangle the web of emotions I was flooded with. I was feeling ecstatic, terrified, and everything in between. There was this huge neon sign flashing in my head: Warning! Unknown territory ahead!
At this point, you’d be right to ask, “Well, what did you expect? You were pregnant, right?”
I know but, you see, I was thinking in terms of ONE child. I thought I could handle one, but twins?? A whole new ball game.
I was a corporate executive working an average of 50-60 hours a week. I had worked hard to get where I was and I liked it.
My husband and I had no family living near us. We had been married for twelve years and our relationship was strong. We were now given the chance to really see what we were made of. Fasten your seat belts!
When was the last time change brought you to a standstill?
I’m talking CHANGE as in life happens, good or bad, wanted or unwanted, planned or unplanned, it really doesn’t matter. Change comes, broadsides us out of the blue, and before we even realize what happened, we’re airborne.
You know what’s unfortunate?
We’ve bought into the myth that, getting what we want in life, will make us happy and we won’t have to go through adjustment.
We forget that . . .
Humans are creatures of habit and routine. The slightest change can throw us off. Don’t believe me? Just watch what happens when you rearrange the furniture, or your favorite product is reformulated. OR, how the people around you respond to last minute plan changes.
Have you noticed what happens at the slightest hint that Facebook is introducing changes? You get my drift.
How can you take care of yourself as you adjust to the changes in your life?
Allow yourself to feel the way you feel. Don’t doubt or discount your feelings just because you think you should feel differently. If that’s too touchy feely for you . . . let me say it differently.
Be who you are in the moment. Stop looking at yourself in the mirror and shaking your head in disbelief. Instead, look at yourself in the mirror and say something encouraging. Remind yourself that this is just an adjustment period. You’ll figure it out in time.
Speaking of which . . .
Time is your friend. Don’t rush it. Be patient with yourself.
Don’t place unrealistic expectations on yourself. Transitions are for learning how to do things differently. You need time to figure out the new landscape of your life. Be gentle and kind with yourself.
Surround yourself with people who can give you the support you need without judging you or pressuring you to be who you cannot be right now.
If you need to be alone, make time to be alone. Create space for yourself. Read a book, listen to your favorite music, meditate, write in your journal, spend time in nature.
Take good care of yourself. Adjusting to change may seem slow and tedious but pretty soon you’ll be up and running again. You’ll need your health and stamina.
Most importantly . . .
Be very wary of the voice of dissent in your head. You know what I’m talking about. That little voice with a big punch that whispers to you every time you try to do something differently or take a risk.
”What do you mean you want to do such and such? Are you kidding me? That’s not for you! Give it up!”
You don’t have to believe everything this voice tells you. It usually comes from a place of fear anyway.
Answer back. “I know you’re trying to protect me but you’re not helping. You’re holding me back and I need to do this. I can take care of myself.”
Don’t engage in a lengthy conversation. The voice of dissent is stubborn and needy. Don’t feed it. Let it be and move on.
What is your relationships with change? How have you handled big changes in the past?
I invite you to leave a comment below and share your experience and wisdom with us. We can all learn from each other.
In addition to her work with individual clients, Yota speaks and writes on mindful living, overcoming self-doubt, and the art of letting go.
Latest posts by Yota Schneider (see all)
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