Change. Such a simple word yet when acknowledged, often instills a gut-wrenching sense of impending doom. Change is a process. It references the unknown, the future, the ‘what happens next?’. One of my favourite authors, Paulo Coelho wrote about change in his novel “The Devil and Miss Prym” this way:
When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back”.
Change is inevitable. We can either embrace the challenge or we can try to resist it. I’ve learned first hand that it is when we resist change that we experience the most pain and difficulty.
I can hardly recognize the life I was leading less than a decade ago. A single mother trying to make ends meet I was working long hours in a job that drained every ounce of my energy: physically, emotionally and spiritually. I was scared because I was very unhappy and wanted to leave but I had a young daughter, a mortgage to pay and worst of all my pride which convinced me I could handle anything that came my way.†I knew I was working in an unhealthy environment but the fear of the unknown seemed worse to me. I was afraid of failing, of letting my family down…but most of all, I was afraid of change.
I soon learned the most important life lesson for me: I could not control change… It was happening and I needed to accept it because resisting it was causing me a lot of pain.
So after many tears, sleepless nights and moments of utter panic, I finally quit my job. I had no idea what I was going to do but I had a lot of love on my side. I mustered up courage and I simply faced forward putting one foot in front of the other with blind faith that something good would someday come of this. I remember that this was when I started to breathe again.
When I wasn’t expending my time and energy trying to avoid and resist change, I was finally able to see the numerous options available to me. I had always wanted to pursue my doctorate degree but I thought that I was getting too old and that it would cost way too much. How could I possibly afford to go back to school for 4 or 5 more years? Well, I put one foot in front of the other, took many deep breaths and within a week of quitting my job I was filling out University applications. Here, the lesson was to not look at the big picture all at once…. it was way too scary. Breaking it down to one step at a time and making lists helped me to prioritize what was most important… like how to pay my mortgage and feed my child!
That was the beginning of a journey that has led to many wonderful opportunities in my life. I completed my PhD., became a sessional professor and raised my beautiful daughter who is now living out her own dreams as an independent young woman. I also met and married my wonderful husband and together we are embracing change once again as we settle down into our new lives in Kelowna.
I still experience anxiety and fear when I face change but I’ve learned to embrace the challenges and work through the feelings. It’s okay to feel sad, scared and frustrated… It helps to have someone to talk to, reassure you and believe in you.
This is why I chose “Time for Change” as my tagline for my new private practice in Kelowna. It is a universal and inevitable truth. I have lived it many times and learned to navigate and understand it. I want to share this insight, my knowledge and skills in the work I love and most importantly the work I choose to do.