Today’s lesson in my mindfulness practice was learning how to ride the waves of change. I was offline the past 3 days while camping and just now getting back into the rhythm of my daily routine and had a zoom call with some of the members of our sobriety team from TNM yesterday afternoon. The general consensus from my teammates is this feeling of some sense of loss and “what’s next” attitude. Once again, the topic from my mindfulness practice couldn’t have come at a better time.
I have always welcomed change and didn’t even realize how much I thrive in change until I was a young adult starting out in the work force. So many of my colleagues and friends, past and present, share how much they dread change, that “I don’t like change”, or “I don’t do well with change” mentality was always somewhat of a mystery to me.
I get it, for sure. The dread of the unknown. The fear that if things change, even in the smallest of quantities, that upheaval will occur. But, all my life, I’ve looked forward to change. I find I’ve always gotten bored and the feeling of getting in a rut is one of my biggest fears. And, in fact, I think many of my decisions in my life, good or bad, have been a direct result of me avoiding the boring rut of life.
I realize now, through this journey I’ve been on these past 10 months, how much of this is because of my upbringing. Raised as a park service brat meant we moved a ton. I think I shared in a previous blog that I had once calculated how many times I moved in my life, from birth to around age 30, that I had moved, on the average, once a year of the time I had been on earth. Similar to military families, park service people move around every 4-5 years. I had a discussion about this with one of my patients (veteran) once and he brought up how he believed this lifestyle makes people quite resilient. I had never thought about that before, but it sure made a lot of sense to me. Without a doubt, my resiliency and adaptability most likely came from my childhood.
I’m not saying that people who adapt to change easier than others are better or even more resilient. It would be interesting to do a sociological experiment, though, finding out if there is a correlation between people who accept change and roll with it are better able to adapt quicker or with less effort?
In closing, I’ll leave a few quotes about change. I have found these mantras so helpful during the trying times in life and refer to them often.
“Change is painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong” – Mandy Hale
“If you can’t change it, change your attitude” – Maya Angelou
“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind” – C.S. Lewis
“Growth and comfort do not coexist” – Ginni Rometty
“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar” – Raymond Lindquist
“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety” – Abraham Moslow
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