March 6, 2015

Dealing with Change.


I left my job last week.

After 12 years of consistency, my security is gone. This is—to engage in a slight bit of hyperbole—a huge change and this will lead to many resultant changes.

No matter the cause, big change often brings the death-by-pinprick sensation of many little changes. Or sometimes these little changes lead to the big change. .

Everything. Changes.

And we must deal with change (because, everything changes).

I’m no expert. But I’ve lived a bit, and I’ve discovered a few things that do not work when dealing with change. And I’ve figured out a few things that work nicely for me. Individual results may vary.

Dealing with change. 

1. Be Human About It.

Change is often unwelcome. It can be scary and overwhelming. And only a fool thinks they can handle it.

Allow yourself to be human. Humans get scared and overwhelmed sometimes. It happens to the best of us. Allowing yourself humanity under the weight of change allows strength and connection.

2. Reach out. 

No man is an island, and if you are fortunate enough to have friends who you know you can reach out to, take advantage! This is a gift! And if you have these kinds of friends, it is because they have been able to similarly reach out to you.

3. Flip It.

Always try to laugh at the situation. Flip the fear around and laugh at it.

Take the power away from the fear. You win.

My gallows humor has served me very well in this capacity over the years.

4. Go with it.

Sometimes you just need to ride it out. Accept the fear and pain and go with it.

Crawl into your PJs and get into bed in the afternoon. Have a cry in fetal position, and give in to a night of comfort food and Netflix.

But, make sure you establish a firm limit on riding it out. Wallowing should be a finite resource.

Any longer than a few hours and you’re giving in. 

5. Be good to yourself.

Sure, take care of yourself, work out, mediate and do not deal with change by going on a two-day bender (trust me). But beyond that, simply be good to yourself.

Good and gentle.

Buy yourself a book. Take yourself out for a nice dinner. Smother yourself in aphorisms. Bring your favorite soundtrack, crank it, throw the top down and take a spin. Hey, it’s a time of crisis —and you’re worth it.

6. Stay in the moment.

Stay with the confusion, hurt, pain, fear.

It’s human and natural, and it ain’t gonna break anybody. Actually it will, and that’s the point. Staying with the pain breaks down our fears, our natural inclination to run and hide.

This is Bodhicitta—awakened heart—and this is the way to become a true warrior.

We don’t know what’s going to happen, so don’t waste time looking ahead and engaging in wild speculation. Just stay in the here and now and be one with the change. It’ll take you to good places.

Change Happens:

the teachings of the Buddha distilled to two Words by Suzuki Roshi.

But we can always choose to react to change, no matter big change or death-by-pinprick, resultant change, in better and healthier ways.

And these changes will lead to healthy changes within ourselves.

Which is good, because, oh-by-the-way, everything changes.


Relephant read:

Everything the Buddha Ever Taught in 2



Author: Brian Westbye

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: media library, flickr

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