Well 2020 is going to be an interesting birthday for me this year… No beaches, no cider houses, no friends, and no family. The world has changed, and locked down from the global pandemic COVID-19 this past Spring. Here in Michigan our lock down was extended to June 18th and began creeping in on my birthday at the end of the month.
As the shelter in place order in our state was lifted, we decided to cautiously go back out into the world after 100 days of self imposed quarantine. During these 100 days of late Winter and all of Spring, we only left our home and went into public for groceries for a grand total of 14 times. That is just insane to me. For 100 days its just been me, my husband, our two cats and endless video calls. Our step back into the world will be tucked away in our favorite secluded camping spot to celebrate my birthday.
Normally for my birthday I like to get dressed up in my favorite hippy earth mamma outfit of choice, swing by my favorite cider house to fill up a growler or two before heading off to a beautiful Michigan beach, all while celebrating with my favorite people that live close by. My birthday this year won’t change too much, I’ll still dress like a hippie, pick up my favorite cider (probably from the grocery store while sporting a face mask instead of direct from the cider house), and head off to our favorite primitive, and very secluded, camping spot.
With all of the craziness of the world right now, I wanted to reflect on the 34 Lessons That I’ve Learned About Change & Uncertainty.
Two years ago on this day I shared the 32 Spiritual Lessons I’ve Learned In 32 Years.
Last year on this day I shared the 33 Things I’ve Learned This Past Year, and today I want to share what I’ve noticed about change and uncertainty.
34 Lessons I’ve Learned About Change & Uncertainty…
Lets get the hardest one to accept out of the way first shall we?
1. Change is going to happen whether you like it or not.
2. Change is good.
The Nature of Things
3. The world will go on without you, which is how it’s meant to be.
4. We are all born seeds and will sprout into being as we change and grow based on our upbringing, and how we re-parent ourselves.
This is good news. Its a blessing that we don’t have to stay the same as who we were raised to be. We all have the chance to change our circumstances and mold ourselves into who we WANT to be. As we leave our childhood homes and enter adulthood we all have the chance to re-parent ourselves and set the new habits and rules for our own home and lives. Adulthood is our chance to keep sprouting and growing in as many directions as the sun leads us to.
5. There is a rhythm to our lives that we see reflected in nature.
The human experience and the hero’s journey in film and literature is a story archetype that has been passed down from generation to generation. It’s an archetypical conceptual story that early mankind took from nature as he sought to understand his world. As early mankind struggled and overcame his obstacles he did along side the seasons and blossomed into being. In winter mankind and nature rested, in the spring they were revitalized with energy, in the summer they started to see the fruits of their labors, and in the fall they celebrated and harvested their accomplishments. As fall turned to winter, they both slowed and began to turn inward on the journey into the physical and metaphorical darkness.
6. We all ebb and flow like the tide, and wane and wax like the moon, and should take comfort in this cyclical change of our lives.
7. At any time of our life we can jump back and forth to change to and from different seasons in our life.
This was something that I learned this past year that struck me. Obviously we humans have vast capacities for change. But I had never thought of wanting to change to go backwards in the march of time. I felt as though I would march forward through time and never look back.
I unknowingly sought out to embody the story of a child in spring, a young man in summer, a grown man in fall, and his death in winter. This is an adage that we have all heard of, along with the riddle “What creature walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?” the answer is mankind.
There is another set of archetypes for women specifically, the maiden, mother, and crone. Looking back at my life I felt as though I had left my maiden days behind me and that I was now in the childless motherhood phase of my life and that I would continue on in order, next stop the crone as time marched on.
Then it occurred to me that I knew women who were “supposed to be” in their crone years, but embodied the energy of the maiden. I looked back on this linear march through time, and consciously decided for myself that I was going to jump around a bit. I chose to embody the wisdom of the crone, long before my years, dip back into maidenhood as I celebrated myself, and to add a new phase, the warrior.
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As I turn 34 this year, I feel as though I balance between the mother and warrior, both similar in energy, fiercely protecting and rearing her flock. I also feel most like the maiden when I take the time to care for myself mentally, physically, and every morning when I adorn myself as I get ready for the day. Most deliciously, I feel like I am stealing away future wisdom from myself as a crone when I read, research, and write to you. It is in sharing my story with you where I most feel like the crone.
You don’t have to follow the march of time, you have vast capacity for change multiple times in a given season of your life, down to the day, hours, and even to change minute by minute. Don’t feel like you can’t be the crone one day, the maiden the next, the warrior in the morning and the mother in the afternoon. Embody the energy of these archetypes when you need it most and look to the stories they hold and what wisdom and advice you can glean from all of them when ever you need it.
Having Faith In Yourself
8. Faith and doubt are weird things.
During times of change and uncertainty we can lose our faith in what we believe to be true and even lose faith in ourselves. As our faith fades away, doubt begins to bleed into the way we see and experience the world, which can lead us to become cynical, cold, and angry.
9. When you are feeling anxious you have to lean in and start embracing uncertainty.
Add this to the long list of life lessons that were hard for me to accept… I think that I was an anxious child, teen, young adult, and now “adult”… so… ALL of my life. I wish I would have learned how to harness my anxiety earlier in my life so I could embrace the magic of not knowing what is coming next.
10. Doubting yourself during times of change and uncertainty will do you absolutely no good.
Take it from a chronic worrier. If you keep doubting yourself and never give yourself a break or a chance to find the good in the situation and in yourself, then you will never find it. You will not be able to DO any good or SEE any good around you.
11. You have to lean into the uncertainty of the changes you want to make in your life.
I realized this past year that I had to change my mindset when it came to the huge change in my career and finding my dream job. For too long I was letting change and uncertainty rule my outlook and foster fear based thinking when I thought about my job and career. I had been trying to balance two vastly different ways to perform at work and it was tearing me apart. I felt like I was straddling two pools of water that were drifting further and further apart as I sank into both of them, unable to stand up straight and keep my head held high with confidence. I was drowning in both of them.
I had to lean into the uncertainty of the changes that I was on the cusp of making in my career. I knew that if I made these changes my mental health would finally become stronger again and I’d have the boss lady confidence that I needed and deserved in my career.
I’ve talks A LOT about stress this past year and one the best things that I have done is learned how to Write better goals to manage stress & reduce anxiety to take control of my life.
12. Change is stressful – “good stressful” and “bad stressful.”
13. Uncertainty is usually just “bad stressful.”
But when you give into uncertainty and surrender to it, you’ll find the stress melts away.
14. Making hard decisions goes hand in hand with change and uncertainty.
We will always be faced with a daunting decision during times of change and uncertainty because of the nature of the emotions that we feel during these times. Everything is magnified and feels heavier, harder, and insurmountable. But that is the nature of what change and uncertainty brings into our lives.
15. To get control you have to let go of the death grip you have on what you’re trying to control.
Once you let go of something that has been alluding your control and stressing you out, you will find that things will fall into place like it was planned all along. Let go and free yourself from the stress of having to keep your thumb on it. Just ignore it, then blissfully wake up a realize what you wanted has finally come to pass.
16. Trust is hard to lean into when we are faced with change and uncertainty, but it’s what we must do to move forward.
17. Within uncertainty, hides the cure you’re looking for.
Without uncertainty we humans wouldn’t be pressed to find answers to life’s problems, diseases, economic disasters, and cures for what ails us.
18. Mindfulness and stress plays a big part in your ability to stay calm during times of change and uncertainty.
The bad, stress ridden, days are the times I have to remind myself that mindfulness is the only way out for me. I also need to remind myself of the effects of meditation, what meditation does for me, and the power of meditation. These days that are anxiety ridden and full of the inability to focus are reminders for me to find ways to be mindful. Its hard to hang onto habits in these times. I have to keep telling myself about the benefits of daily meditation in my positive self talk instead of letting that negative voice get to me and tell me to give up on my dreams, goals and habits. If I can stay mindful, I know that I will squash out any self doubt or negative feelings I have having when change and uncertainty happen.
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My husband I have have a marketing business in addition to Owls&Indigo, and I learned a lot in the last year about change and uncertainty in business and wanted to make sure I shared it with you.
19. Change isn’t always the best teacher.
20. But change can be a wonderful teacher.
21. Implementing change in times of economic uncertainty is flat out terrifying.
As lock down took hold in the Spring, we experienced a brief moment of panic as partners and business owners. All of our meetings went from in person to virtual and we were terrified of what that would mean for the relationships we had with our clients. We knew that our clients would need our help to change their business models to online services and products, but we weren’t sure if they were going to agree. We were terrified that the change during economic uncertainty was going to cost us our relationships with our clients.
22. Uncertainty breeds creativity and curiosity.
23. Uncertainty keeps you alert and on your toes.
24. Empaths have a hard time dealing with change in the workplace… it’s never fun…
You’d think that change would be exciting especially in work when things have a tendency to become monotonous. But it’s not when you run your own business let alone multiple businesses. Managing change in the workplace is hard for empathic emotional sponges like me. Everything was upsetting me because of the quick changing nature of what happened in the Spring and because of the emotions of others. I had to work hard to enforce my own boundaries and remind myself that those were not my emotions and I didn’t have to carry them for someone else. Their emotional burdens were their own.
25. The world thrives on change.
26. We can’t and shouldn’t know everything, which includes the future.
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27. Moving a business during a pandemic is crippling.
Hell, just pivoting your business model during a global pandemic is maddening. All of our marketing clients were affected and forced to pivot and make their businesses work online. It wasn’t easy for them. Most of them were face to face businesses that had no online sales model. This maxed out all of their stress, affected their families, and plunged them into a mental state deep with despair. It was really hard for us to watch our clients go through this because they aren’t just clients, their our friends. Once the initial shock wore off they faced the fear, uncertainty, and change, with targeted, mindful thinking.
28. Don’t stress about how to get into meditation when times are tough and you want to change your perspective.
Just begin. Keep sitting down everyday to build the habit. It’s as simple as that. Don’t let the stresses of change and uncertainty effect how you take care of yourself. Its never a good time to start anything, which is why you need to just jump in head first and keep going. Don’t stop. Keep showing up for yourself every day in whatever way you can.
29. A basic ten minute meditation can help you over come self doubt and handle change in a positive mindful way.
The best meditation techniques are the ones that you can keep a habit of. There are days when I can’t focus on a silent meditation, let alone a guided meditation. My go to meditation process on these days is a sitting meditation with my eyes open that engages my senses. I have found that this is the best way to learn meditation if you are looking for meditation techniques for anxiety. This meditation process is hands down one of the best mindfulness meditation techniques because it peels you away from your anxiety and doubts, and MAKES you focus and zero in on things outside of yourself. This removes you from your anxiety by giving you perspective through mindful thinking and mindfully focusing your attention.
30. Focusing mindfulness for health will change the way your world works.
Once I stopped berating myself for not being mindful enough and failing every time I sat down to meditate or to try and stay in the moment with our friends and family, I felt freer. I had to pivot my mindset from short term thinking to long term thinking. Once I decided to dedicate my mindfulness habits to improving my health overall and in the long run, I began to experience a shift in mentality.
Honestly I didn’t notice it at first. But because it was now “baked” into my lifestyle, mindfulness just started working. I had to stop thinking about it for it to work. Which I know isn’t easy. The take away here is that you need to resign yourself to making life long lifestyle changes instead of setting short term changes. Once you decide to make mindfulness a part of your life, it “becomes” a part of your life.
31. Mindfulness psychology will help you understand why we make the choices we do during times of change and uncertainty.
This was a really really hard one for me to accept, but when I started going to therapy and discovering the mindfulness psychology tools synced up perfectly with how I wanted to see the world and how I wanted to be, a whole new world opened up to me. I asked my therapist for countless resources to help me set mindful boundaries and get to know myself better through C.B.T. (cognitive behavioral therapy).
These concepts led me down a path to discovering books on my inner child, shadow work, and Jung’s philosophy on the shadow. All of these topics, concepts and new ways of thinking and framing my experiences have led me to understand why I make the choices I do during times of change and uncertainty, which has enable me to help others, like you.
32. A dash here and there of mindful thinking and mindful meditation goes a long way.
There have been many days where I groan to myself and whine “does meditation help?” And I have to remind myself that I practice meditation techniques for anxiety and mindfulness meditation techniques because it works. These practices of mindful awareness help me and I think that they can help you stop doubting yourself too.