Living in the U.K often means a change of weather and quite often without warning but what if seasons of change is something much bigger? September and January are full of new starts for many people, starting new jobs, new schools, college, house moves, relationships, the list is endless! Seasons of transition and big life changes could feel like you have literally been caught out in the rain! Anytime in our lives, change is possible and can often feel thrust upon us! Our brains rely on predictability and meaning making to keep us safe, which means on occasion we may have patterns where we find it difficult to trust change. Change can feel scary, new, unpredictable and this can bring up emotions such as fear and anxiety however what happens when we realise much of what it means to be alive will come from change. Of course, this is not to say all change can be experienced as good or without pain, but it is an acknowledgement of how we handle the inevitable flow of life.
There is much known about the “comfort zone” and it is called that for a reason, many quotes quip how to get over your fear or apprehension about change and just embrace it as it is going to happen anyway! They don’t always include that your comfort zone is likely developed from a longstanding repetition causing you the ability to rely on and make meaning from the world as you know it, key words being “you know it.” We do not know change, we can imagine, catastrophise and overthink what might happen as a result of change, but the crux is we never truly know until it happens! And so, our brain might tell us not to allow it or go with it, because we do not definitively know what will happen and if it will be safe for us! This is argued about as inheritance from our ancestry in life threatening situations although in 2023 not such a drastic everyday occurrence! However, what happens if we consider if life were to stay exactly as it is for us right now in 5,10,20 years would you be happy? Content? If nothing ever changed again!
Change and new seasons can be miraculous for things such as new growth, personally, professionally, and globally, at times if we let it. It can spring new hope! Instrumental, in how we face and accept change can be as simple as identifying the meaning we assign to it and the history we have with it. Recognising our minds part in how we react to change will help us move closer to striving for change in all and any aspects of our lives we wish to see a difference. There are many changes in our current world that could improve our mental health, stress levels, environment, physical health on a micro and macro level but we all have to want and engage with change in some regard for it to take place and for us to make it to the other side! As Lauren London once said, “I learnt to flow with the river and stop fighting with the rocks!” Sometimes it is about realising we are in the midst of flow, change which can be scary but fighting the rocks along the way will sure make it harder for ourselves. Admitting to ourselves we are exactly where we are and how we feel about it might be one of the steps that can help our path with/towards change.
Making lists can also help, if that is so your sort of thing; it can include things that have changed before and you have survived, things that are not changing that you are currently comfortable with, even happy about, especially changes where you initially thought about it one way and it turned out different. What about practicing just being in the moment with the change, so often we can envision a whole scenario; what that change might mean in the future but try bringing it back to the now, today, tomorrow, the drama of forever can make change feel unmanageable but we are capable of handling more change than you know, you’ve done it just now by reading this blog! Compassion for self and change might be a new thing for you, but sometimes new is what is needed.