It’s Your World
Imagine that you decide it is time to upgrade the software on your computer. You commit to going through the process, you look at the options to upgrade, and to purchase and install the new software. You turn off the computer to reboot it, and that begins a new process. It feels fresh and new as you see the new screensaver or icon, and you take steps to learn how to use the new features. Some of the old keystrokes are outdated and it takes time to learn the new ones. You may even feel sad or revert to old patterns only to find out that your computer will no longer respond to those commands.
That is my life. I am transformation. The evidence is in my book, Heal My Voice: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey, and in the 30-day series of videos I am creating to talk about the experiences and topics that are in the book. What happens when you experience abuse, divorce, the loss of a job, the loss of a child, an autoimmune disease, the death of a spouse, an eviction, starting a non-profit, freeing your mind, becoming a writer, and live house-free all over the world? I came to this planet, this life, to live one transformational situation after another, and demonstrate it with words and stories, and my voice. In upgrading the software in of life, this is what it means: a road map with feelings, and examples of change and uncertainty, with keys to adapting to the situation. I am a living, breathing example of limitless transformation.
I was thinking about an experience a few years ago when I was in deep pain with my people-pleasing behavior. When I finally reached rock bottom and began to make different choices, my whole body changed. The outcome is, I can’t people please anymore. Kindness, yes. Courtesy, yes. But, whenever I try to people please now, my body goes into a frozen state. I can’t do it anymore! My body refuses. My mouth won’t say the words. Just like the computer that has gone through an upgrade, the new software will not process some of the old features.
A few years ago, while I was visiting my parents in Florida after my Dad had a stroke, I noticed how my parents were putting new systems into place in their home. My mother had marked the dials on the washing machine and toaster with arrows to point to the settings they use the most. My dad’s medications were set out on the shelf. It was so easy for anyone to arrive, slide into the systems and help. My dad also traded in the first walker for an updated model with a seat and hand brake so he could increase the distance of his daily walk.
During my visit, my dad and I were watching a television program called “Animal Misfits” on PBS, I was fascinated by the adaptation each animal had made to its environment. That is what happens at each phase of our lives. Things change, we accept the circumstances, and we adapt. One insect, the Arctic woolly bear moth, is best known for its very slow rate of development: to complete the life cycle from caterpillar to adult moth, it has to go through a process over seven years:
The Arctic woolly bear moth, is found within the Arctic circle, in Greenland and Canada. It was once estimated that it had a 14-year life cycle from egg to adult moth, with the ability to withstand temperatures below −70°C. Subsequent studies have revised the life cycle duration to be 7 years. The Arctic woolly bear caterpillars are unique in their combination of adaptations to the polar extremes. They spend nearly 90% of their lives frozen and only about 5% feeding on the tundra during June; the remainder is spent in summer protective cocoons. ~Wikipedia
It reminded me of how change requires patience, adaptation, and time for integration of the new. Transformation is a practice, slow down, set up new systems, reboot your life, and adapt to the new system. The transformation is happening — just wait and see.
As humans, we experience endings and new beginnings at the end of every year. December 31 ends one year, January 1 begins a new year. Then we all go through a transition of remembering to write the next year, writing 2019, instead of 2018. It is part of the transition; it is part of change.
Transition is a part of transformation. We all have other endings and beginnings every year: changing jobs, moving, deaths, birth, rebirth. Sometimes we choose endings and new beginnings. Sometimes we have change thrust upon us, and sometimes change is happening so subtly we may not have even noticed it was happening.
When I was laid off from a job in 1990, there had been small warnings at department meetings, but it felt like we were just going through a rough patch. I had no idea that our whole department of 20 would be laid off. When it finally happened, I spent a week in disbelief and shock. Then, I took a week to sit in the uncertainty of it, and did a few things like spending a day walking in silence to at all the monuments in Washington, D.C. Then, I went on job interviews. I was hired for a short-term consulting job and then discovered I was pregnant. My second husband and I would be having our first child. I continued to look for work because I saw myself as a mother with a career, a mother who needed to find the next job. My first two children had been raised in a day care routine, when I worked, and I assumed the third child would be the same. I was a mother with a career.
And then a standard sonogram in the seventh month of pregnancy showed that our child was male, and he had a problem with his heart. With no job, it made sense that I would be the stay at home parent while he was undergoing heart surgeries. I never returned to a full-time job outside of the home. Life changed and new beginnings kept showing up. Nothing was ever the same again, my whole life path and expectations had been altered. I adapted the skills I had learned at work to running the home, caring for my son’s health needs, and homeschooling our children, and organizing community groups and activities.
Since the birth and death of my son, I have learned to feel when there is subtle change and early warnings in the air. I have learned through meditation, journal writing, Tai Chi, and other practices that have connected me to my intuition and awakened my knowing and trusting feelings. I’ve learned to recognize the subtle patterns that appear when I am moving from an ending to a beginning. There is a thing called the in-between space. And when I am there, the recurring pattern gives me a clue.
The typical clues for me:
- I feel lost.
- I feel like a failure.
- I feel like I am letting people down.
- I feel like people are mad at me.
- I become irritable.
- I have a running dialogue of other people’s voices in my head, questioning every move I make.
When I wake up and realize that something is shifting, and change is coming, the next part of the pattern is put into motion.
- I start making different choices.
- I spend more time in silence and writing.
- I become a detective looking for clues in signs, conversations, and bubbling desire.
- I take baby steps.
- I ask more questions.
- I turn up the patience quotient and I wait…
Free your mind dear Human. You have placed too much emphasis on a limited view of success and you have forgotten why you are here. Life is an experience, every breath, every moment. It’s falling down and getting back up again. There are infinite possibilities, all of your life experiences have value. You came here to feel and experience life. There is a menu of choices and your soul is on board, and will bring you the experiences that are best for you. Do you accept this mission? Of course, you do! The evidence is that you are alive!
- Birth, illness, well-being, and death.
- Buying a house, selling a house, foreclosure, eviction, home-less.
- Marriage status: single, married, divorced, widow.
- Camping, couch-surfing, the Hotel W.
- And, so much more!
There is no right or wrong. Every experience is an opportunity to feel, to move into the cocoon, and to emerge in each experience as the butterfly. As a new color, a new species, a new world.
The adventure is here, dear Human! Live it, and go on the ride. Still not sure? Here’s the first clue: feel it all!