Change is in the Air. FUEL YOUR PASSION!
My deadline for this article could not have been more timely. My last article dealt with the transition into back-to-school mode. Even those of you who do not have children feel the effects of this mid-western seasonal fall energy. In Cleveland it’s the shorter days, allergies, beautiful changes in color and the anticipation of what is yet to come.
I love transitions! I love change! Ok, I said it. How many people really enjoy change? Think of it this way. Along with change comes challenge. Along with challenge comes an opportunity for growth. That really excites me.
Five years ago I made one of the biggest, most frightening, and most meaningful transitions in my life so far. I was in a very bad place in my career. I was feeling desperate, depressed, hopeless, and stuck. I decided to go to an early morning yoga class one morning. Waking up at 5:45 for a 6:30 am yoga class was not something that I frequently chose to do. It turned out that being in that class on that particular day at 6:30 in the morning changed me.
The young yoga instructor – we’ll just call him Steve – had us go into child’s pose on our mats. He then proceeded to tell the class that this would be his last class. You see, Steve left his corporate 9-5 job and was moving out of state to begin a career working for a nonprofit. For the first three or four minutes of his message, I had this big ol’ pity party going on in my head. By about the fifth minute, I snapped out of it and something sparked inside me. The only person keeping me stuck in my present situation was me. In that moment I decided to make a change from desperation, fear, and depression to freedom and excitement.
I felt driven, light, relaxed and happy for the remainder of the class.
I’d been in the same career for 17 years. This still boggles my mind. I had job security, a nice salary, great health benefits, and much deserved summers off. There had been something lingering in side of me for many years that I had other work to do. Less than a week later I took a leave of absence from my job in pursuit of my new career and “Take Two”, as a new and improved mom and wife.
It is so easy for us to make excuses for the things we need or want to change in our lives. I am not here preaching to leave your job or your career. In 17 years I grew in my career and I grew up. What I thought was missing in my career was really an absence in my personal life. I felt disconnected to everything and leaving my career allowed my personal relationships with my family and my friends to blossom.
I now have a career I love and look forward to every day. It is ever-CHANGING, and does not provide me with the securities my former career did, but I am happy.
Here is an exercise to try when contemplating change in any aspect of your life.
Write down your dreams. This is called visioning. This can include career, partners, and family. What is important is that you do not edit, write everything that comes to mind.
What energizes you in the present moment?
What are you looking forward to in the near future?
What will give you the flowing positive energy and vitality to make your first step toward change?
You can apply this theory to weight loss too. Maria Siros, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist and an expert in teaching resilience says, “When we shift the emphasis away from weight toward health and vitality, benefits accrue that not only change the shape of our bodies, but change the experience of how we see ourselves. Competence grows as well as confidence”.