Change is a natural part of life and an opportunity for personal growth. However, too often fear prevents us from having courage and embracing change.
This is the conversation I had with my six year old daughter, Sam, while driving to the grocery store yesterday.
Me: “ Are you happy or sad about leaving school and going on an adventure?”
Sam: “Part of me is happy and part of me is sad.”
Me: “Which part is happy?”
Sam: “My left side is happy, and my right side is sad.”
Me: (Smile, pause…) “I feel the same way, but my right side is happy, and my left side is sad. And that is o.k. I think Pop feels the same way too.”
For everyone, change brings about mixed feelings. On one hand, change pushes us out of our comfort zones. Change can be hard. Change is often accompanied by fear and loss. On the other hand, change can be an exciting time of self discovery and personal growth. Musician, John Porter said, “People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing.” When you sense change is on the horizon, do your embrace change, or do you shy away from change?
This was the question my husband and I grappled with this summer. Do we change courses and take the fork in the road, or do we continue on our current path, knowing we are not moving farther ahead, but it is a familiar, easy, and comfortable path. Our moment of clarity came while working in the kitchen together after dinner one night. My husband was washing dishes while I was putting leftovers away. We stood back-to-back discussing changing job situations, our housing situation, finances, life goals and our lack of time to pursue personal projects and dreams….all familiar things parents discuss over and over. Out of frustration, my husband suddenly said, “What we need is a year off, a year to travel and experience.” The words came out of his mouth so quickly. It is an idea that so many people talk about, dream about, and talk about some more. It is an idea that few people have the courage to act upon. Dish rags and spoons down, we turned to each other at the same time and with the same wide eyed look of excitement. The light bulb had gone on. This was our defining moment. “Let’s do it!”
Deciding to embrace change takes resilience and courage. Fears need to be set aside to allow the mind to remain open to possibilities. That evening in the kitchen our decision was made. We decided to take the fork in the road, leave the Monterey Peninsula, our home for over ten years, and head out to experience the country. We do not know where this adventure may lead or what we may discover along the way. But we do know we are making this journey as a family, with open hearts and open minds. It will be just one chapter in our life story – likely a chapter with lots of twist and turns, challenges and triumphs, exciting times and hard times, calm moments and tense moments. With less than one week until departure, despite our mixed feelings, we are ready to embrace change.
“To exist is to change, to change is to mature,
to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”
(Henri Bergson, French philosopher)
As I crested the hill on my early morning run today, I noticed on my left side the full moon still lingering in the clear sky over the bay. On my right side, the bright sun had just rose above the hills, filling the sky with light. It was a rare moment. Night was giving way to day. I paused at the top of the hill reflecting on how I was witnessing nature change while at a precipice of change myself. As I looked to the bright sun on my right, I was reminded how I told my daughter just yesterday that Mom’s right side is happy about the upcoming change. The rising sun today filled me with more courage and excitement as I started off down the hill, ready to meet what ever challenges may be ahead.
A note to MEKPT blog followers…Although I may be leaving the Monterey Peninsula, rest assured that I am in no way leaving MEKPT. In fact, just the opposite is true. My goal is to create an online educational resource where people can come to learn and be inspired. I want to provide you with tools you can use to take greater responsibility for your own health and wellness. Please continue to follow MEKPT as it grows and share this site with others so they may learn and be inspired too.