Most of us try to live our lives comfortably. We try to minimize uncertainty by making plans, doing things the same way and having expected outcomes of particular decisions. Our fear levels settle and we live a life that might not be fulfilling our wildest dreams, but also is not accommodating our worst fears either, so we believe we are in a happy place that is safe.
This is a perfectly normal way to be. We are hard wired to survive and by knowing the terrain, this makes it easier. However, CHANGE is happening all around us all of the time. Life and the world we live in is constantly changing; evolving, growing, moving and dying. The ground shifts all the time underneath our feet. Nature has a cycle of change that we see each day. Animals migrate and change their location in order to survive. No two days are exactly the same, yet we yearn and invest so much energy in trying to keep things the same I have come to realise that this is actually coming from a place of insanity!!
We always consider uncertainty to be terrifying. A paralyzing situation that must be avoided, but what if uncertainty held space for joy, wonder and fulfillment? We do not know what is around the next corner, but we can choose how we approach it.
I write this as I am going through a pretty major life change. After living in NZ for 12 years, my husband and I made the decision to move back to our home country the UK. A new job for him was the catalyst, but we had been talking about getting back to our families and aligning our actions with our priorities. The chatter we had about the move was always so positive and I agreed wholeheartedly that it was the right step. Until it became real.
As soon as my husband secured a UK based job and we were looking at containers to take our belongings back, I went through a hugely tormented time. I had spent the last 6 years of our time in NZ building a business from scratch. It was now at the point where I had more clients than I could manage, it was in all reality a roaring success. I had poured my heart and soul into the people who became my loyal clients and my ‘tribe’ and (albeit unhealthy) the business made up everything of who I was! On top of that we had beautiful friends who we connected with so strongly and we had access to one of the most beautiful countries on our doorstep. I was terrified of giving all of that up and heading back to somewhere that I had ‘escaped’.
I resisted the idea of this massive change in all sorts of ways! I got snippy with my husband, I resented going to work and I probably wasn’t a great friend. I let fear do the talking and did not behave as my highest self as I was terrified. I couldn’t imagine a life back in the UK, and filled up on negative self-talk that was coming from a place of fear. I think that is a normal reaction (!) My poor husband was getting himself in a tangle as he put it on himself to make the new job work and everything he needed it to be so that the move didn’t end up as a ‘mistake’ and I let him as I was so scared.
Change is terrifying, but change is essential. Why didn’t my brain say, hey this could be fantastic for you? It tried to, that’s for sure but somehow we put such a high value on our current circumstances, often believing they are the best they could be and convincing ourselves that making any sort of change will create a far worse situation than our current status quo.
I have always felt I have had a strange relationship with change. My focus shifts very easily and I have, in the past, welcomed some new and different element to my life. I love nothing more than going somewhere new, having a new haircut or meeting new people, but I guess this is all controlled stimulation rather than forced or unexpected change. I must admit that the first few weeks were very odd. It was wonderful to reconnect with family but there was a lot of time to sit and ponder what I wanted my life to look like. I would sit paralysed by indecision and fear on what steps to take and kept thinking of our life back in NZ. I was quite weepy and was quite frankly trying to resist my situation. The more you resist, the more there is push back; basic law of physics I think!
Enter yoga and some meditation and I realized that I can embrace this new life with gratitude and wonder. My opportunities are endless and if I can fully throw myself all in, this change is going to unfold into the best thing I could have done.
I urge you to recalibrate your default setting as to what you think change will bring you. Instead of resisting, grab it with both hands and let it allow you to grow and evolve. To resist it is insane, lets live our fullest life and see change as an opportunity for growth and wonder.
Debbie Rolmanis is a Sports Therapist, working with Olympic Equestrian Athletes, and is based in the UK. She has embraced a new lifestyle of yoga and meditation and is a writer and lover of sports and healthy living. She is also an Ambassador for The CatWalk Trust, helping raise funds for research into a cure for Spinal Cord Injury.
The CatWalk Trust: www.catwalk.org.nz