Good Day. I want to first start off by saying that I hope you are staying safe and well. These times are extremely challenging.
I have been reading some great articles lately (hey, we’ve got nothing but time). I am also taking an online Yale course too – you know, the ‘nothing but time,’ blessing, right? But back to the articles I have been reading. They speak to point that if you don’t take this COVID-19 time to:
- Learn a new language
- Marie Kondo your space
- Work on your side hustle
- Learn how to meditate
- Create a new craft
- Grow a vegetable garden
then you’re not using your time wisely. I call bullshit (and I’m in the space of self-improvement and wellness). These times are hard. REALLY hard. If they’re not hard for you, you are in the minority and please consider yourself so fortunate. If you have discovered something new, that’s beautiful. Keep exploring. I, for one, have improved my cooking skills. I still ain’t no Martha, but I am getting better.
But as I shared on Global TV last week- LOWER THE BAR. Yah, really. It’s okay for now to lower your expectations. Cut yourself some slack during these corona times. If the kids watch extra TV while you’re on a work call, or are eating less fresh fruit because you aren’t going out as much for groceries right now, a little forgiveness. A little softness. Our teachers will get our kids back into learning shape- and the same goes for our lives. Life will improve when we can all get out. In the meantime, it’s okay to allow things to slide a little. And in the meantime, I also wanted to talk to you about change.
I know – they sound like opposing arguments.
Stay as you are! Erica says that’s okay.
Go evolve! Erica says we can still change and evolve.
It sounds like a contradiction, right? I have told you it’s okay not to change during COVID19, and now I’m presenting the opposite idea at the other end of the spectrum.
I read the other day that, “We are afloat between no longer, and not yet.”
But here is the true psychology behind life. Change really is the only constant in our lives. We can fight it, we can try to avoid it, but change happens. And what better time to discuss the concept of change than now? We just need to look outside our windows and see the empty streets, or better, look inside our homes to see our children there 24/7 to see that whether we like it or not, change is happening.
Now no one likes change. No one likes chaos. No one likes being pushed off fences when they’re not ready to go. And while change can come as a relief if we’ve just moved past a bad chapter in our lives, change can also be very scary. It involves a tremendous amount of risk, and puts us outside our comfort zone. But, I quote the title of James Moore’s book, “You Can Get Bitter Or Better.” It’s true, you make that choice about how you’re going to respond to change. You hold the power.
I would also like to quote my mother, a wellness counselor who also gives workshops on change and transformation, and Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder of the Omega Institute focusing on health, wellness, spirituality and creativity.
“It is easy to get lost in the past, which you cannot change, or to get lost in the future which is not here yet. If we adopt the attitude that transformation is a magnificent process, it will cross us over the bridge and take us from one state of existence into the next. When we are able to see the ever growing aspects of ourselves, we open ourselves to an abundance of possibilities. Transformation welcomes in a wonderful sense of freedom. And remember, new experiences keep us young and maintain our sense of wonder. Everything in the landscape of life can change in a moment and to be human is to be lost in the woods on any given day. Embracing our biggest challenges as gifts or opportunities will hopefully help us discover a clearer sense of purpose and a new passion for life.”
So, if you have been forced to adapt to change, and I know WE ALL HAVE, if you’re feeling uncertain, or lost and confused, what can you do? Hopefully a few of these suggestions will help you go with the wind a little, instead of trying to swimming upstream:
- Develop the attitude that our “thoughts” create our “realities.” It’s a bit of an overused concept and cliche, but it is true. If you approach change with negative thoughts, negative energy, and negative emotions, your situation will most likely have a negative outcome.
- Understand that change will ALWAYS involve some loss- mourn the loss and look for the lesson. Even change in happy situations involves a loss- when you get married, you gain a wonderful partner, but you lose some of your freedom. When you get promoted in your career, you may get a better and higher paying job, but you lose the comfort of your old position. Change often signals loss- the sooner we can mourn it, be resilient and move on, the better.
- Use the business model of “strategic thinking” and keep your life goals and vision in front of you. If you can find time to think past COVID19 on your spare time, you may start to get creative and think up new ways to IMPROVE what wasn’t working before lockdown.
- Let go. Welcome the change. Believe that things happen for a reason, and if the change is a negative one, believe it brings a gift. Find the gift. Change has come upon us all– find the lesson, and learn from it. When I did not get into my MBA school of choice, I was devastated. I thought my life was over. So, I took another road. And the outcome has been wonderful even though I couldn’t see it at the time. This virus has forced us to our knees – it has also given birth to new and innovative ways to recreate ourselves. Let’s all find the lessons, and try and make the goodness stick when life returns.
- Live in the moment. If you let your thoughts wander to past moments or future times, you won’t have the coping skills to face the change. The past can yield regret, the future can bring on anxiety. If you’re not in the moment, you will most likely feel totally overwhelmed. So deal with today, today. It will all seem a lot less scary. BE HERE NOW.
So, back to my original argument. I think the answer to the dichotomy is we can both embrace change, while cutting ourselves some slack as we do.
What do you think?