Face the strain.
I was in a city *alley with one of my best mates last night, we were squatting on a stoop, leaning up against a bin at the back of a chinese restaurant, having a laugh and drinking a beer. It was the most alive I have felt all year.
(*not a ‘laneway’, there was nothing hipster chic about it – it was an alley, a dark, dirty, old-fashioned alley)
The past few months of my personal life have been quite a ride, to say the least. Emotions have been high, drama has been simmering, and human connection has been few and far between. This happens to me, when I go through a change. I eject. I find it difficult to face the changes head on (even the ones I want) and actually deal with them.
I am not going to spell out the details of particular changes, but what I want to highlight is how all change is integral to your development – duh, as if this hasn’t been pointed out a million and one times over, right?!
BUT hey captain obvious (i’m talking to myself, don’t be offended), do you comprehend that you must actually ‘face the strain’ before the change can do anything for you?!
It has all been said before – the benefits of change are recognised in many, many forms of art, science and self-help manifestos, and even in everyday banter – I get it, it is philosophically stamped on my brain, but guess what? I have become a culprit of under-developing almost all of my changes. My changes are half-baked.
And you cannot do anything with a half-baked any thing!
So, to help shake this – not so obvious – change phobia broiling within thyself, I am now going to break it down nice and simply in terms I will not ignore anymore.
Sitting there on that stoop, with my mate – catalysed by a slightly momentus change in my person – I was feeling totally free, totally alive and new. Wondering ‘why haven’t I felt this in the longest time?’
As much as I crave change and attempt to practice in it, I don’t actually ever give it the light it deserves. So, nothing really ever changes. Things have changed BUT by not properly recognising the change, nothing actually happens.
So how do we recognise changes?
Sure, there are Manda-tory ‘celebrations’ that I/we practice when something changes: drinks with friends when you get a new job, going shopping when you lose some weight, decorating a room when you fall pregnant (figuratively speaking of course), having a cosy night at mum and dad’s when something has come crashing down in your life…
All these things above are happened by an individual when things change. But such menial things in themselves aren’t properties of change! They are activities that you indulge in – a way of pulling you back to your reality when you are feeling out of depth. Not a good way to embrace change is it?
Okay, to bring my point home: back to the ‘alley of enlightenment’.
Over dinner, a few drinks and a much-needed heart-to-heart with my old mate, I felt that I had experienced the shift I was looking for, that I had changed my emotional state for the better.
I had changed. But I knew that once I hopped on that train/caught that cab/walked a mile in my old shoes, and found myself back at home in my routine, that change would have probably taken a hike.
Ok, so this was not conscious to me at the time it was happening, I was a bit drunk and I am not that bright.
Regardless, sub-conciously it was apparent I did not want to escape my change. I did not want to go back to life without celebrating the shift. I suggested we took that last beer from the pack and drink it on the street –before we went home to our respective lives – not something we do everyday.
And that’s where it developed. That is where it baked. That is when my change-cake rose. And I felt alive. I had celebrated a change by doing something different.
In that alleyway, on that stoop, looking up at the quizzical faces of sober, wandering tourists and kitchen hands taking out the trash, I had nailed that beauty into the coffin of change. My old way was gone and a new way was set in stone.
There’s the changing agent, the baking soda of life – if you want to properly embrace change, like an ever-evolving human being – and move toward a place in your life, a place that has been given opportunity to experience every facet of itself (and you’self within it) – then when celebrating a change, do it by doing something else completely different! Even minutely different.
Propel that change into your future, grasp what this feeling of change is. Keep the momentum going!
You got to back up a change of life with a change of behaviour, and vice versa!
If you are going to change your diet, don’t just change your diet – change where you shop for food, change how you prepare your meals, change where you eat your dinner.
Back up change with change!
Drinking a beer in an alley, doing something slightly different, set me free and launched my new person – or small part of my person. When I sat in that alley, I saw the world a bit differently. This is what it’s about!
This may all sound like waffle, or perhaps it sounds obvious, but that does not bother me, because I needed to spell it out for myself, because I need to embrace the change. I need to face the strain to ch-ch-ch-ch-change.
So try it. You don’t have to sit in an alley like a homeless person – take new route home, sleep on the other end of the bed, eat a banana backwards, whatever! But when you tackle a change – a change that you want – face the strain, back it up with something new. Bake that cake proper, I promise, it will preserve the constant.