Change. Do you like that word? I am beginning to embrace it. It used to sound like a command to me, change your behavior, change your tone of voice, change your evil ways!! These days, I hear the word less as a command and more as a kind suggestion from a friendly motivator, a gentle advisor, helping me to live my life more authentically, and more "harmoniously".
I recently went back to school at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and I am in the process of changing my career from being a CPA to a Health Coach. This was a change that was by choice, a decision I made, to live my purpose and my passion. While all change is hard, this change has not caused me too much discomfort. I believe that is because when you truly have realized what your purpose is, you wake up excited everyday to figure out how to make it work. While I know I have a long road ahead of me to build my Health Coaching Practice, the challenges and obstacles I encounter each day do not scare me, they motivate me.
This past weekend however, I experienced a very different type of change. My husband and I moved my middle son to Austin, Texas for his Freshman year in college. Now this is the second time I have done this, moved a kiddo into college, and while it is another change in our family's journey, I thought to myself, "I got this! This time, second time around, piece of cake". Nope! This change did not feel exactly like a choice in my mind. This felt like something I "had" to do, more along the line of the command. Maybe because the school is so much larger than my older son's school, maybe because we were moving him in "early" due to my husband's upcoming business trip, or maybe because having 2 kids in college seemed really scary. While I still have my daughter in high school at home, somehow this change felt very uncomfortable to me.
Yet I embraced it, bravely went to Bed, Bath & Beyond (with years worth of saved coupons), Target, and Staples to get all the necessary items to set up the dorm room. I methodically made the bed... bed topper, bug protector, mattress pad, sheets, blanket (still not sure I did it in the right order, but it worked). All went well, a good meal with the new roommate and his lovely parents, some parting words of advice, "eat well, work hard, make good choices" I think I sounded like this, Momisms (The Mom Song), a long tight hug goodbye. And then the long drive back to Dallas. My husband and I chatted, he talked mostly about his upcoming trip the following day to Australia for business, I listened to songs while fighting back the tears, like Cat Stevens, "It's not time to make a change", "hope you make a lotta nice friends out there", Green Day, "I hope you have the time of your life", REO Speedwagon "I know it hurts to say goodbye, but its time for me to fly", Lee Ann Womack, "if you get the chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you'll dance".......you get the drift.
Then, the next day, the "change" hit me. Instead of engaging in my usual routine, I blew off my morning workout. "Well, I am tired from getting home at 1:30am last night so I can skip just today", I thought. Instead of eating my usual healthy breakfast, I snacked on some out of the box processed cereal, drinking way too many cups of coffee, while staring at my cell phone looking at all the photos I took of his dorm room. Instead of grabbing my calendar, seeing what was coming up this week and starting the day, I buried myself back in bed under the covers and wasted a lot of the morning on Facebook.
I will pause here to say that his school has an awesome closed Facebook group for Parents Only who provide incredible support to one another, and my post about not wanting to bug him and text him did receive over 130 likes and about 35 posts of advice for me!! But I am digressing.
The day lingered on, my husband left for the airport, I drove my daughter to an overnight party and came home to just me and the dog. (The dog who by the way has an ear infection, poor thing!). It was then that I thought to myself, I have wasted most of this day fighting this change. I need to embrace it. I need to hear it as that gentle guide, that kind motivator. SO I pulled out a book I have been trying to read on how to build your health coaching practice. I made a list of things I needed to do this week. I wrote in my journal. I stretched. I munched on cacoa nibs instead of cookies and drank herbal tea. I promised myself I would finally get my BLOG started. I did all the things I tell my clients to do when they feel stressed. And you know what, it helped. I felt better. I still felt uncomfortable, but leaning on those things that are good for me helped me to feel good and embrace this new change.
As a new season gets underway and a new school year starts, whether you have kids starting college or preschool, or no kids at all, I encourage you to look at change in a new way. Not as a threat, not as a command, not as something mean or evil, but as something new and exciting that will lead you on a fantastic adventure. When you look at change in this new way, you stop fighting it and you begin to embrace it, and in doing so, you will add harmony and purpose to your life.
So here it is, I am proud to say, my very first blog post, that was inspired by change! I hope you enjoy it.
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