What to do when things change

what to do when things change life makeover retreat John Brant

I once heard the quote: “the only permanent thing is change”.  In fact, it seems change is hard wired into our lives.  “Impermanence” is so fundamental that it forms one of the top three pillars in the Buddhist philosophy.  But even if change is a constant in life, why do we often find it so hard to embrace, accept and adapt to it? 

This short article covers four key principles to help us let go of the resistance to change and provides some simple tips to enable you to embrace, accept and adapt to change wisely.

Principle 1:  Forms change but we never truly lose anything

There are physical laws on conservation of energy and conservation of information – but what if it was also true that we never truly lose anything in life, it just changes form? 

Fear arises if we believe that we can lose something we love. However, there would be no reason to fear if we think what we love will remain, even in the event of significant change.

This principle relies on us consciously being aware of the subtleties of transformation of form – meaning not focussing on the form itself but what they represent to you.  For example, if we fear losing a job at a time of economic change, ask yourself what does the job represent to me?  In this instance, the job could represent security and stability to you.  Of course, these two items can take many forms (so maybe your relationship could become more secure and stable as a result of changing jobs).

Try this principle out with an exercise.  Think of the last thing that you became resentful about losing.  Ask yourself what is the most important thing that this object or person represents to you.

Principle 2:  We resist change if we believe that life owes us something

If we believe that we have sacrificed ourselves and have not been “fairly” rewarded, we are likely to resist change.  When we sacrifice ourselves, we naturally expect that our sacrifice will be repaid in the form of some type of future reward.  If this sacrifice is not fulfilled, then resentment and resistance build.  Of course, if things change, there is the possibility that our sacrifice will have been in vain.

Therefore, if we have worked hard at something or taken substantial personal risks with the anticipation of a future reward, we are likely to resist change.  If you feel you are owed something by life, take a look at what you perceive you are lacking and what form you desire to be compensated (e.g. loyalty, security, love etc).  Ask yourself where you have already been compensated, just maybe not in the form you imagined (see Principle 1).

Principle 3:  Adapt in times of change, but know your limitations

Those who thrive in times of change are those who can adapt and those who resist change often falter.  However, trying to be something you are not can be equally as disastrous as resisting change.  For instance, even if the water was drying up, it would be foolish for a fish to venture onto land for food and oxygen.  Fish are for swimming and rely on water.  The fish would need to find another way of adapting to the lower water level and perhaps learn the art of patience until the rains come.  Honour your own unique talents, experience and insights and adapt them to all forms of change.

The best way to embrace and adapt to change is to ask yourself how any change is helping me move towards what I love. 

Principle 4:  Every crisis has a hidden blessing

Change is often accompanied by challenge.  Sometimes change can be accompanied with unwanted closure, destruction or disruption.  However, in the same way that there is no yin without yang (and no yang without yin), blessings can be found in any crisis.  Consider this for a moment:  Yin can be associated with the human state of “rest and digest” and yang associated with “fight or flight”.  They both work together – sometimes we are in a yin state to allow us to sustain a future yang state and vice versa. 

Hindsight they say is a wonderful thing, and is the most effective way of testing a principle like this.  Remember a crisis that happened in your life a while ago.  Consider now, given hindsight, what were the benefits to you of that event in your life.  Ask: how did that event end up creating something that you love?  Look for things that you know wouldn’t have happened without the crisis and also consider the downsides if they were now missing in that form in your life.

Online Coaching at La Crisalida Retreats

Our mindset and how we perceive what is happening to us is as important as the action we take in life.  This is why mindset is a core component of the La Crisalida programme and why the coaching offering at the retreat and online is so important to help our past and future guests to adapt to change and flourish.

La Crisalida offers two types of online coaching.  Firstly, with our Life and Success coaching sessions, you decide on the right goals and action steps to overcome your fears, to set you up for success in any area of your life. Your life and success coach becomes your cheering squad, confidant and holds you accountable.

Secondly, in a one-off transformational coaching session, you will work hard to discover the underlying cause of feeling chronically stuck or disempowered in any area of your life. Through proven tools and techniques and with the help of a fully trained coach you will aim to identify the patterns and release the key underlying causes, so that you feel lighter, calmer, more congruent and clear about your future.

Success in all forms of La Crisalida coaching is measured by an inner sense of calm, inspiration and self-confidence.  You can find out more about transformational coaching or Life and Success coaching at the retreat here or online coaching here.

John