A Progressive Church inviting you to Live Fully, Love Wastefully, and Have the Courage to Be who God Made You to Be
Friday, May 21, 2010
Making Change Happen: A Moving Experience!
By William H. Tweedley (www.WHTcoaching.com; William and his partner Dan have been regular visitors to Douglas UCC)
In the last month or two I have made numerous large transitions in my life: I resigned from my 'stable' work of hospital chaplaincy, moved out of the place my partner and I called home for the last 7 years and we moved - with two cats that were unaccustomed to travel - to Washington DC, where we have established our new home.
Any one of those transitions is a major change. Any change in life can be challenging - even the changes we choose. Change is unsettling, energy-zapping, energizing, exciting, scary, freeing, joyous, depressing, and full of rich possibility. We survived our move and lived to tell the tale!
During this time I noticed what has allowed me to step into these changes with (mostly) enthusiasm. Whether you are looking to undertake a major change in life, or plan change on a smaller scale, here is what I discovered in my own transition:
We know in our hearts when it is time to change our life. There is a stirring within us that says, "This situation no longer honors my values", or "This task is no longer good for my wellbeing" or "This pattern is no longer acceptable to me. I'm ready for change." This inner awareness can happen even though your goal is uncertain and the outcome unclear. What is no longer acceptable in your own life?
Choosing our perspective is important. I saw that lived out in the voices of friends and colleagues. Some were excited and saw the positive that change brings, the exciting possibilities that lie in doing a new thing. Others were afraid of the change I had freely chosen for my life. Others were only focused on their own sense of loss, and not on what it meant to my life. None of these are wrong - just different perspectives. And in times of change the voices that you hear on the outside probably reflect your own thoughts happening inside your head. You get to decide which voice(s) you choose to listen to when you have decided on a change. What is your perspective on the change you want to make in your life?
It won't always go to plan!! And you will survive. The Icelandic volcano's eruption meant we had family stranded with us for 5 days longer than planned - just as we prepared to pack. The movers took longer than planned to load the truck, delaying our planned departure. We had 7 days with almost empty rooms as the mover delivered later than we had prepared for. The cable company (now Former Cable Company!) took 5 days and 5 engineers to connect our internet. With all that, we still made it work. We adapted, improvised, we learned for any future move and we used some of the time to go explore this new city. And to catch up on sleep. What positive thing has come from unplanned situations in your life?
People want to help - but you have to take the initiative. My main focus has been taking the initiative to ask the few people I already knew in Washington to help me connect to others they knew - in order to get grounded, establish some community, know the needs I can serve, and to think about what comes next as I create my future here. I've been astonished at how helpful people have been in introducing me to friends, colleagues and business acquaintances. And I've had to be willing to do the leg-work to keep this moving forward. How does the leg-work that change look different when you know you have 'unseen' waiting to meet you?
Take a risk. And then another. As I reach out to people and new contacts, I have been willing to take a risk, ask for what I want, and be prepared to hear the response: 'absolutely' or 'no - sorry'. I have not taken 'no' as a personal slight - because it isn't. It is also important for you to keep taking those risks if you want to be creating something new in your life. What risks are you willing to take, even if it is a small one?
They say moving home is one of the most stressful events in life. Yes, it is. Any change can be stressful. Yet change is inevitable in life - either it happens to us, or we make it happen. Most often life is a combination of both. When you invite change into your life journey, seeking to engage life at a richer, deeper level, you will find more fulfillment, confidence, achievement as you offer your abilities to the world around us.
Are you ready for some change in your life? Believe in yourself, set your goal and go for it!