A Change Would Do You Good
Editor's Note: I totally hate coming up with cute blog titles. I am going to challenge myself to name my posts after songs from here on out. :) I mentioned previously I have done a ton of “self-help” style work over the last few years. I wanted to share one of the most valuable lessons I learned in hopes that someone reading this may benefit from it.
Change comes when your desire to be someplace new is stronger than your desire to stay the same. Sounds simple enough, right? Any time you change something there is a natural evolution that occurs to lead you to your goal. However, people often rush the process just to get to the other side when the magic actually takes place in the during. Change is the vinyasa of the yoga world (inhale high plank > exhale chaturanga > inhale updog (or cobra) > exhale down dog). You could just skip to down dog but you're missing the beautiful soreness of the in-between!
So, the process of change should look like this -
Break down > Break *open* > Break through
I forget where I read that so if you know please leave it in the comments!
Break down seems simple enough - lose yourself in the moment ala Eminem and just let it all out. Write it out, talk it out, scream it out - do whatever you need to do to get “it” out in the open. It's liberating. In my personal life I have a few key sounding boards that help me to work through why I'm upset, what's frustrating me etc. The goal of the break down isn't to come up with solutions; that comes later. The goal is just to get to the root of the issue(s). One of my sounding boards is a work mentor and she sent me this quote, which has stayed with me:
Unpack everything that's detracting from your happiness but then keep in mind that you need to tackle it. You can't just live in this misery and hope for the best. As Taking Back Sunday taught us hoping for the best is hoping nothing happens. If you want change, you can't stay in the same, old spot and magically feel differently.
Now that you have it all out in the open you need to do the tough part…. break it open.
Break open means pulling apart the broken thing and examining the causes as well as the solutions. It helps to stay open-minded but it also helps to recognize that you can't do this alone. I highly recommend a sounding board (someone you trust both with the nature of the problem as well as your emotions. Don't choose someone you wouldn't cry in front of, trust me!). Make sure that person thinks differently than you do - now is not the time for someone feeding you sweet words. You need to be challenged. You need to be questioned. You need all those thought-provoking inquiries out in the open. One of my best sounding boards is someone who let's me get all my venting out before he says "OK, what outcome are you looking for?". Funny, those few words always catch me off -guard. What DO I want? Why do I want it? Why am I upset? If I could rent him out, I would. :)
Let's say you're fed up with your current job and in desperate need of change. In order to actually come out the other side successfully you need to be open to exploring every possibility. Is it a good time to go back to school? Could you take the skills you have and apply them to another field or position? Do you have a passion that could be a job? Could the problem with your job actually be something outside of the work itself (your location, other work responsibilities, the impact it has on your life balance). The times I've been the most miserable at work often had nothing to do with my job itself but more with the people and processes I was spending my time with. Examining your situation through the lens of a stranger always helps too. How would you explain your current state of disarray to someone you just met? Simplify and then study the results. Analyze the facts. Remove the emotion (sooo much easier said than done, trust me I know). You'll be amazed how quickly things come into focus when you remove the feelings you tie to situations.
The fun part comes at the end....and by fun I mean beautiful messiness. Once you get through the break down and the break open comes the change - the break through. Change is funny, it can be an all-encompassing, whirlwind tidal wave you get swept up in or it can be slow, gradual, seemingly innocuous ~ until you pause and realize things feel differently, oh wait, things ARE different. Sometimes the change you need is really a change in attitude, with a shout out to Maya Angelou:
The most important part of the break through is the feeling it gives you after the dust settles. Sometimes you're happy as hell, sometimes you're relieved, some times you're saddened by the realization that you're letting go of something you once treasured. Remember, the things that define you should evolve with you.
I hope it helps to see my crazy thoughts all written out and I wish you luck in your vinyasa sequences and your life changes! :)