Remember that classic Billy Joel song? It goes on to say…”I’ll take you just the way you are..”
That’s all well and good. But Billy doesn’t address the elephant in the room. What if your old patterns are no longer serving you? What if the world around you goes changing? What if your circumstances change? If you don’t adapt and change won’t that make you not an elephant in the room, but an extinct dinosaur? (To be fair, Billy is really saying don’t change just for me….and there is power in that)
“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.”*
Big. Or small. Sometimes change is required for growth.
Yesterday I changed up the order of my workout. Just the order. You see, every morning I begin with some light stretching, then I dance, THEN I target specific areas with light weights, bands and body resistance. On most days I do change the actual workouts and target areas….BUT, I always begin with dancing. And then sometimes I use the excuse of “whew I am so tired already…” so, I go easy on myself with my targeted areas first. In essence,I have my dessert before eating my protein. So, yesterday I ate my tofu first, metaphorically speaking.
Why am I telling you this? Well, about two weeks ago we changed up our morning routine. For years I was very fortunate, and the morning flowed around my needs…in order for me to be able to work out before going to work. Now we switched it up to favor the needs of my #farmboy. I did so reluctantly, but for sure with my heart in the right place.
So, I packed up my workout clothes, my clean outfit for the day, my shower stuff, my weights, my lunch and snack……and, away we went. I was pretty much exhausted just having to carry all that stuff around, and, if I might say aloud, a tad resentful. I am immensely grateful that there is even a great space for me to workout and take a shower….BUT, this means I am up at 5am to make my smoothie and coffee and take my supplements. I have to pack my clothes and my lunch the night before. The first week I even had to bring my weights and mat back and forth, and stock my shampoo and body wash…It was tiresome. And, I actually had little interest in actually working out once I got to work. I struggled getting YOUTUBE connected and then I couldn’t find my regular workouts…PFFFFTTTTT. It was just too much. I chose to not complain. But that does not mean I was happy. I actively chose to continue to find the good in all of it instead of focusing on the frustrations. To be fair, my guy did thank me, which went a long way in my wanting to support him!
I set up my new area, which is separated from our regular work station, and I chose to embrace my new space. So much so, that after working out and showering, I decided to set up my work station there, away from others. I am kind of digging my new set up so much I don’t want to go back to sharing the office together….I am digging it SO, so much, that he now is talking about making a door in between the 2 spaces because he realizes I might never come back…and might be a little worried!
But, I got to wondering about why change is so difficult. Why do we fear change? Why do we push back on change? Anything that is different?
When we see our body change we go into “Take Action” mode, right? We embrace immediate change in a VERY big way. We know what we need to. We take pride in telling anyone who will listen, and even those who do not want to listen, all about our dietary changes, our new workouts, we expect praise from those around us when we go to the gym and how we are seeing such IMMEDIATE change, or not. But, when it comes to changing our behaviors, or our mindset, or our patterns we put up a fight. We are not willing to even really talk about making a change much less take action. Even if it would help our whole being. Our physical self as well as our mental safe.
Even if the status quo is no longer serving us, we dig in. We make excuses. We see it as too monumental. We don’t feel that we deserve the goodness that might come from the change. We think we don’t know where to begin. But, we really do. Don’t we.
As I mentioned earlier, yesterday I even switched up the order of my work out. Instead of starting by dancing, I instead did my light weights and targeted my areas with intention, and THEN I danced. I even had my mat facing a different direction. Why am I sharing this minutiae? Because when I did, my workout was more effective, I noticed new things in my space….how the light hit the space, where there was a cobweb I had not seen before. My workout was better. I was able to focus more. I ended with the dessert of my workout, instead of eating my dessert first. Sounds so minor, but I found myself oddly more motivated and able and willing to work harder.
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin
In our Group Making Joy..we spend day 3 talking all about change. We know that change might be necessary, but out of fear of the unknown, or fearing vulnerability, we put the kabosh on change. We also often seem to blame others about why we are in whatever predicament we find ourselves….and we even try and change those around us, instead of doing the work ourselves. At the end of the day, our brains and our hearts never want us to to feel disappointment or hurt…so, they will do anything to keep us from feeling vulnerable and therefore, potentially getting hurt. Powerful stuff. EVEN if we keep running in to a wall, and it hurts…our brain thinks, well, at least I KNOW this hurt. If I stop running into the wall, the pain could be WAY worse over there.Instead of entertaining that if we switch our path, we might not have any pain at all.
So, there I was faced with change. Schlepping my stuff back and forth, the ultimate bag lady, feeling resentful and tired and unproductive. But, not at least trying a new path would have just been stubborn on my part. And that is when I realized I just had to change my thoughts. MINE. I couldn’t spend my time trying to get my guy to change what he needed…I needed to change my approach. I spent a little money and purchased the workout gear I would need to keep at the office. And all of the other supplies I would need to be productive. I had to REBOOT my brain and look for the positive in my routine. I knew that if I looked at this from a negative point of view, it would BE a negative situation. BUT, if I tried looking at it from the positive, chances were great my view going forward would be a positive one.
I had to own my thoughts and feelings. Why? Because my thoughts, my feelings, my energy create my reality. AMAZING. When we take ownership of our self, instead of complaining or blaming, we can actually change how our day flows and what we are able to achieve.
I had to remember that it was 100% in my power to choose what I would focus on and decide how I would react.
My routine wasn’t changing because my guy was being mean spirited, so why would I then choose to focus on the negative? If I allowed myself to focus on the negative and not accomplish anything…I wasn’t ruining his productivity, or hurting him, I was only hurting mine. So, by me allowing myself to go down the rabbit hole of resentment I was the only one loosing out.
And then I remembered this quote. “If you change nothing, nothing will change.” If I keep running into the wall, I will continue to hurt myself. The wall isn’t going to move out of my way. I would have to change my direction.
I am not condoning changing to serve another, I am however, saying that we will all face crossroads where we can hold the course, or change. Change can be scary, as the unknown is often scary. But, change can also bring about a wonderful new and exciting opportunity.
Also, personally, I want to keep working on staying fluid. As we age we can become so rigid in our thoughts and beliefs. I want to be one of those cool old(er) people….willing to ebb and flow for the good of my family. Willing to ebb and flow for myself. Willing to learn and grow and be better. AND, willing to find the good in my situation. To find joy in flux.
That is how I then ended up even changing the order of my workout. That is how I was able to be kinder to my #farmboy. And yes, that is even how I ended up cleaning up the cobwebs on the ceiling.
Much love all!
*quote by Raymond Lindquist