Big Changes; on making them and what it takes.
Changed people are inspiring because great evolutions produce a type of beauty that illuminates and never fades. For Example, the Forest Chameleon changes the colors of his skin to suit the environment or his partner. He changes as many times as he needs, and he keeps his colors as long as he sees fit. We behold this phenomenon of nature. As humans of society, we are programed to change much less often than wildlife. Some of us reach a point of no change. Regardless, change is important and it can happen as often as we want. Change puts the wild card back in the equation. Change makes room for new life to flourish. If you are someone who feels the need to make a big change in your life then this essay is for you.
I recently made some big changes in my life, and without going into too much detail about what I changed, I’d like to write a general essay that targets how to make big changes and what it takes to change. This essay is dedicated to anyone who dreams of something else beyond his or her reach; my message to you is, you can reach it. Let’s investigate how:
1. Get Private.
At the beginning, own your necessity to make the big change. Refrain from publicising the inclination you feel. We tend to share our feelings about changing something major with our family, friends, partner or social networks before we really investigate what’s going on. So, don’t be afraid to keep your feelings to yourself.
2. Run Away.
This is not what it sounds like. I’m not asking you to abandon your life in order to change. I am asking you to take your feelings, your inkling, your butterflies, your uncertainty and get away from your routine or day-to-day, just for a little while. You need space to think. You need space to hear yourself think. You need space to be an adult and make your plan. A couple nights at a friend’s house. Go home to your parent’s house for a weekend. Airbnb a space to stay alone, even if it’s within the same city where you live. At this point, you need to actually get away, feel like you are running away, so that you can turn your gaze, looking into your own life like an outsider. You need to get surprised at your life. You need to be an anthropologist who is studying your own life happenings. Your job now is to figure out what is the most crucial part. That’s the part you will plan to change.
3. Disolve the Target; Be The Arrow.
Most people make the mistake of obsessing over the Target. Don’t let yourself get caught up in where you will end up after you make your change. For example, when you realize you need to break-up with your partner of 7 years. Disregard your impulse to decide who will ever love you again. Or, for example, you decided you need to move away from the city where you live and quit your fabulous job (shocker!). Ignore the part right after your big realization, which says to you, “Yeah that’s true, [insert your name], you want to change, but you can’t because you don’t have a place to go and you don’t have another fabulous job lined up!”.
Instead be the arrow. Meditate or concentrate on a new direction that calls to you. A direction, perhaps, that you have been pointing towards for a long time. I’ll tell you a secret, the structure won’t look like anything you’ve been apart of before. Being the arrow means going, zooming, getting clear about the direction. Eventually the target will apprear. Many targets all around you. If you can build enough energy to take action, you won’t miss a single bulls eye, I swear.
4. Enlist Allies, no really.
Most people don’t go further than this step. This is the step when you unleash what you’re feeling to select people. You unleash your new, chosen direction and you get really real with people about how they can choose to help you achieve your big change.
Enlisting allies takes guts. You have to believe in yourself. You have to believe in your allies. Truth be told, even your greatest ally might think your new idea to change your life is shit, even if they don’t tell you to your face. Still, sooner or later those people are the allies that will matter the most, and have a hidden sort of adgenda to challenge you. This will make you stronger. If you must, answer any doubts your circles throw your way. Or, don’t answer at all. At any rate, stand up for where you must go or what you know you must do.
Don’t ask; Tell. Tell people about your big change. Don’t tell it like a question. You don’t need responces or advise in particular. You need volunteers, supporters, and (frankly) you need people to doubt you. A hater or two never hurt. Don’t leave room for people to shoot you down though (believe me, this will happen no matter who you let in). The idea here is to be as confident as possible so that every one of your chosen allies, including yourself, gets on board with the changing you. No questions asked.
Here is proactivity, for example: “I’m dumping my boyfriend; can you help me pack his things on Friday?”, “I’m starting a company; can you lend your accounting sercives for my first three months of business?”. Now is the the time to get very, very clear.
Make a list. Answer these questions: Who are your strongest allies? What are their individual strengths? How will they help you to achieve your big change?
There are two REAL things at this stage in the game that you might not believe are true (but, I assure you they are most certainly true):
PEOPLE WANT TO HELP YOU.
YOU WANT TO LET THEM HELP.
Help is your key word here. Changes, especially big ones, are not achieved alone. No matter how capable, wealthy, experienced, powerful or successful you take yourself for; you are starting over. You can start seeing yourself as a baby that needs full time care. You can get on your knees and ask, if that’s what you need to do. The sooner you learn to bow your head the sooner you change, the sooner you can realize your true beauty and the beauty of everyone around you.
5. Become one with chaos.
Change is messy. I’ll be the first to tell you that. In the middle of changing you’re going to feel out of control. You’re going to suffer, or get sick. You’re going to feel alone. You might gain some weight or loose some. Whatever your qualm with chaos is; end it now. There’s no way to prepare for chaos. The only remotely advantageous thing you to do for yourself before the storm of your life hits, is to go on top of a very large mountain on a windy day, stand there, let the wind push you around for 30 minutes, and scream. This may prepare you for what’s about to hit you. But, not even. Chaos has a greater plan for you than you had for it. Like a woven rug. You are taking out a single thread that you no longer need and exchanging it for another. Yet, in the process, the whole rug might just fall apart. But, maybe that’s just what you truly needed after all. Maybe you need to start over. Maybe a sturdier, more colorful rug waits for you.
6. Use Tools.
It always comes back to this. How do you really make a change, any change. The only answer I have is to reach down into your metaphysical tool box, grab the only tools that you know you need, and start doing two things:
Break down and build.
Breaking down? You’ll need your “sword”. Building? You’ll need your hammer, wood and nails. Breaking down includes the elimination of excess. What no longer serves your change. What stops you from achieving your change. Cut it out, Break it down, desolve it. This is the part where everyone gets shy. This is the part that takes courage. You have to be a warrior. You have to defend yourself or no one will. You have to be selfish. “This is mine. This is everyone else’s. Cut.” “This I don’t need. This I do need. Cut”. “I will keep her friendship. I won’t keep her’s. Cut” “This food feeds me. This food makes me sick. Cut”.
The phrase comes to mind: Decisive Action. Meditate on that. Imagine your sword. Imagine I am giving you permission to cut things. If you were previously taught that change should be neat and clean, you are wrong. There’s apart of you that needs to go to war for a while, to defend your life. Give yourself the summons to go.
Building can be more of a gentle action. Building takes time, process and patience. Like the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Little by little, after you make room with all the cutting you need to do, you will have your space to do your building. It doesn’t take a lot to rebuild, you’ll see. Mostly it takes imagination and vision. Some people already have the space and materials, but no inspiration to erect a meaningful structure. Don’t rush the building part. It’s okay if there’s a pause between the breaking down and the building. The pause is also more room to change, or breath. The chaos at this point is apart of your beauty. Your allies watch your power and get inspired to claim their own. You will return to them to help eventually.
Most importantly, you will have the strength, the tools, the time, and the capacity to build something you are incredibly proud of. Whatever you choose to build now won’t have to be destroied ever again, or at least for a very long time…so take your time drawing up your new plans.
Secret? You already changed even if you put nothing new in place of the old. It’s enough that you are enough. The rest fills in itself.
First, this little essay is dedicated to my mother, Ellen Bauer, who made, and continues to make big changes. She unspokenly taught me everything I know about instigating changes and transformations.
Second, this little essay is dedicated to spiritual queen, Oya/Iansa, who makes it possible for all of us to meet the storms that are nessesary to make the change, to become the exposed and ballanced butterfly.
Third, this little essay is dedicated to my allies. I lean on them. I cry with them. I ask them to help. I ask them to see me when I am sick or not able to see myself. Especially to my lover and boyfriend, who (thank god!) instigates changes just as quickly as I do. Thank you, and I am eternally grateful.