Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Change take 1

As we reach the midpoint of the first month in 2018, what sorts of changes are stirring within and around you?  Which changes have you initiated and which have others decided to initiate for you?  Which did you welcome and which would you like to show the door and say, "Thanks for coming, bye-bye"?  Are the changes happening in your head (thinking), in your heart, in your soul, or in your body?  Or all the above?  Are there changes in relationships, at your job, the place where you volunteer, in family or with neighbors? 

I am already one paragraph in on this post...and haven't even touched or talked about changes in our culture or country or world.  The one constant (ironically) is change.  William Bridges in his book, Transitions, says that change is what happens around us and to us, but transition is our response, reaction, and process by which we travel through the change.  That is an important distinction and difference.  We have an important part to play in the midst of change.  How we deal...or decide to not deal...with the change is crucial. 

If you made a list of changes right now, what would be on that list?
In our country

Beyond describing or defining the change...what sorts of emotions does that shift awaken?

Taking time to notice and name the change is a great first step.  Taking time to describe and define.  Taking time to be acquainted is as a great place to begin.

Bridges in his book will say in every change we need to grieve and let go of the loss.  Second, we enter the neutral zone.  Third, we embrace the new beginning.

What kinds of ways we grieve a loss?

I think you can get out a piece of paper and write down everything you celebrated about the past as well as the concerns it caused.  Remember to take off the rose colored glasses, nothing is ever perfect and very few things are ever completely broken.

As the past twenty questions and the first ten don't count.

Get our your colored pencils and color the loss.  Which ones to you find your hand naturally going toward?

Write a poem or sing the loss a song.

Go for a walk...better yet go for a walk and talk with someone else.  Speaking the change out loud I believe makes it more real, especially when someone else is listening.  For the person who listens, s/he is not allow to fix or give you advice.  Just one affirmation.

Find a symbol for the past.  You may need to hold it in your hands for awhile...or you may need to bury it in the earth.

Give yourself time and space...be gentle, but firm...grieving is a process that no one else can define the timeline for you.  But it is good to write in light, light pencil the process.  Feel free to erase as the slow work of the Spirit moves in your midst.  Please know, this process needs to be constantly edited. It needs freedom.  It needs to take unexpected exit ramps.  It might go backwards or stop/stay still.  But check in with the process to listen silently to the truth it longs for you to hear.

Fill in your better ideas here!

Defining the ways we let go of a loss is one way to begin...then you roll up your sleeves.  Or to use another metaphor, you set aside your dinner napkin and put on your apron to get into the kitchen to cook and taste and try the recipes you need to move through this first stage of transition.

May there be more than a trace of God's grace as you do so...


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