Twenty-two years ago I went to the Grand Canyon for a personal retreat—a much needed break from the human condition. Previously, I traveled to the canyon with my best friend the summer after my father died, which was also twenty months after her sister passed away. We both left the area feeling more refreshed and clear than we had in months, which is why I chose to return a second time hoping for the same result. I had just left an unhealthy marriage, moved to a new home, had my doctoral comprehensive exams looming just six weeks ahead with my dissertation soon to follow, and was struggling to make sense of my own upturned human condition. I traveled alone and spent five full days perched on the edge of the big hole in the ground—the only place I could imagine getting the perspective I needed to move forward. Everything had changed.
I wrote in my journal, starred into nowhere, wept behind my sunglasses, pondered where life would go, and worried about what others would think. Before I left for the trip I purchased a portable CD player and a newly released album by folk musician, Tracy Chapmen, which I listened to over and over again throughout the journey. It wasn’t until the last day on the trip that I happened to look at the cover of the CD—the album was titled “New Beginnings” and was all about the changes going on in the world and in the artist’s life, complete with heartache and despair, but also instilling hope that everything would eventually be ok. I had no idea I had picked up the perfect musical antidote to my ailing human condition. I still listen to this CD when I’m going through major changes, partly to remind myself that I survived that time many years ago, but also to remember the hope that the album instills.
Whether we choose it or not, change is constant part of the human condition. How we manage it decides the path of our evolution. We can either resist this natural state, or embrace it so we can thrive despite any discomfort that change brings. Each day, I am privileged to witness the journeys of many clients who consciously choose to evolve, entering their healing process fully knowing that they must change something in their lives to feel better. They must face change in order to grow.
William Throsby Bridge, a senior military official from the 20th century, stated that, “Much as we may wish to make a new beginning, some part of us resists doing so as though we were making the first step toward disaster.” This quote rings true of the fears I experienced over the last several months in making the decision to purchase my office space. Being someone who checks in with her soul to make decisions, it always felt like the right path, but the human condition still wreaked quite a bit of havoc on my worries about finances and the future. There’s nothing like draining your long-saved resources to challenge your trust that things will work out.
Years ago a client shared a quote that brought her strength. I have these words printed and placed by my desk at home: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anaïs Nin, a French-Cuban American writer penned these words and has inspired millions to leave the “bud” of their lives in order to evolve.
What disaster are you trying to avoid by resisting change? What would hurt more—to choose to grow or stay the same? What decision could you make today that would catalyze a more fully aligned and fulfilled life?
Change is good. Is it uncomfortable? Quite a bit. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Do I still resist it? Hell yes! But I choose to do life anyway.
What will you choose?