We’ve had to make A LOT of changes in our daily lives this year. Sure, change is a part of life. And without the challenge it presents, there would be no personal growth. But right now, in our collective future, there are significant happenings that will result in our having to deal with even more changes: the U.S. election outcome and aftermath; the course of the pandemic, and national and global economies; the ever-escalating effects of climate change; and on and on. And if you’re “of an age” like me, in our personal future there’s also uncertainty about how existing and emerging medical conditions will play out and what changes they’ll impose on our everyday lives.
Personally, in some domains I can be a “glass half full” kind of person, while in others I’m painfully “glass half empty.” And rather than “live in the moment,” I tend to dwell on and get overwhelmed by the nebulous future.
But just this morning I had the thought: what if I explore and break down “nebulous” to see if I can make it a bit more concrete, easier to deal with, and actionable?
So let’s set aside the anxiety and uncertainty for a bit, grab a cup of coffee or tea (or a glass of wine or champagne), and do some analysis. It could be quite enlightening . . .
Do a “Change Analysis.” (I suggest you read through the instructions first and then do the exercise.)
* Assemble some materials. Open a new file in MS-Word or whatever software/App you use OR get out your notebook, journal, sketchbook, or even just a ruled paper pad; and some markers, colored pens/pencils, or even crayons—whatever works to have this be a creative process for you. (I’m a firm believer in the effects of color on emotions and mood.)
* Make a list of the top three current and potential changes of concern in your life. (Trust your inner knowing and take the first three that pop into your mind—large or small. If desired, you can do more later.)
* Do cost/benefit. For each item, write about the cost(s), and then write about the benefit(s).
* Develop remediation. Go back and for each item, list any actions or things that can help you deal with—and even take advantage of—the changes.
(Notes: **None of this has to be editorially correct or comprehensive. Again, trust that whatever comes up is right for you at this time. If you choose, you can add list items later as you think of them. **Consider using a red font or pens/markers/pencils/crayons for “Change” and “Costs” to expunge some of your anger or anxiety, and healing green for “Benefits” and “Remediation.” Or use other colors that have meaning for you.)
I know, in the U.S. emotions are at a fever pitch as we face the election this upcoming week. I hesitated publishing a post that feels somewhat off-topic with all of that going on. And yet I’m “guided” to post this. Maybe the analysis exercise can help with election-related issues and changes. All I know is that I did the analysis for another current pressing issue that presents change and was surprised at what I discovered . . .
I did this exercise for the probable second big wave of COVID “stay-at-home” that’s coming. It was a challenge doing stay-at-home over spring and summer, but will be even moreso over the long fall and winter. In my analysis I discovered something interesting: my “Remediation” list of possibilities is waaay longer than the Cost list. It’s stuff that I’ve been wanting to do—personal, home, and creativity projects and tasks. And oddly, the extensive list of possibilities provides a sense of hope and some control over my life. (You can read my analysis if you like.1)
Of course, there could be different surprises in another change analysis. And I certainly won’t complete all of my remediation items for this analysis. But seeing a long list of possibilities to choose from somehow helps to soften the prospect of an extended stay-at-home.
Which leads me to what I think are the two most important things to remember about change:
- You can choose how you respond to change. You can resist, complain to the sky, and struggle to find your footing in the swirling muddy water OR you can be proactive and adaptive.
- Trust that whatever changes you encounter are on your (and our collective) Path for a reason. Maybe for some soul lesson and growth, or as an opportunity for connection with others (thus promoting Oneness). And maybe (I think definitely) leading to that Light- and peace-based global New Paradigm I keep talking about.
As intimidating as change can appear to be, it often heralds a new beginning. So let’s adopt a “glass half full” or even “three-quarters full“ stance.
Instead of focusing on what used to be, let’s look forward to what can be.
P.S. Whatever the outcome of the U.S election and the course of the pandemic, as always I have faith in Humanity—in us. We’ll work it all out one way or another, even if it takes a lot of time and effort, and some creative thinking and working together. In the meantime, if you need to vent, or seek to get some clarity for yourself about any of this, I’m available to chat with you. I’m a certified Life Coach—and a really good listener and question-asker. Feel free to Contact me.