Change

Love change, fear staying the same. Maxime Lagacé

Nothing to say…

When I was working as a team lead in a past corporate life, I would often say “the only constant is change” as the latest curve ball was thrown us. We live in such a twilight zone kind of world right now where almost nothing feels familiar – everything is changing and it’s happening more rapidly than what used to seem normal. It’s a tough reality to navigate. I have found that over the last month or so that I have had no words – no desire to comment on anything or initiate a discussion. As a result, I felt unable to produce this podcast on a weekly basis so I took an unexpected and impromptu break. Unusual for me in that I can always talk – I like to say that it’s my super power. I didn’t want to speak for the sake of speaking however and decided that silence was indeed golden for a few weeks. It was exactly what I needed. My other interests kept me busy and, in fact, there were lots of opportunities to talk about other things. I did not check myself into a monastery or take a vow of silence.

Pondering Lessons learned

I took some time to just “be”. I let stream of consciousness take over and think about what is important to me and ponder changes in myself, and, in the world around me. As a result, I am embarking today on Season 4. For the foreseeable future, I’d like to chat about my own personal “Round Trip” a little bit more and, what I think, are the universal lessons that revealed themselves over the past few years. Not the literal Spyder ride but rather how I re-discovered who I am. It’s crystal clear to me now – on the other side of my – what I will call – mid-life crisis – that I needed a reset – in so many ways. My life became reacting to everything around me. I had stopped being me and had become a cardboard cut-out of somebody else. I joke that I ran away from my life and, while true, it does not mean that I abandoned everyone and everything that was and is important to me. I needed space and time and I made that a priority. Perhaps self-indulgent. At the same time, I believe, that unless we look after ourselves first and foremost – we can never be truly present for anyone else. We can be there physically and keep things running but in fighting to hang on to the status quo we neglect to ask “what could this be?”

Greenlights

I just finished the Audible version of Matthew McConaughey’s book “Greenlights”. A colorful book and his oration is entertaining. One line jumped out at me. He said “Sometimes we have to leave what we know to find out what we know.”  That resonates with me in so many ways – it is what I did when I took off on Bullwinkle in 2019. McConaughey is an adventurer. He talks about taking off for weeks to see the Amazon and float naked for a spell on the river. Or how he lived for a few years criss-crossing the US in an Airstream trailer.  He takes life by the horns and lives it. Not for everyone and that’s ok. What I find inspiring from his story is his enthusiasm to explore and live life on his own terms. Not everyone can or should live life in such a way – there is no “one size fits all”.

Detours

For me, it comes down to being true to myself and living in a way that is authentic to me. It means being free to be who I am so that I can be truly present for the people in my life. Realistically, all that we have, at the end of our lives, are the relationships with ourselves and the people that we meet along the way. It doesn’t always go well. I love the same people that I loved 5 years ago before I embarked on my own personal detour through life. What I found, in fact, was that I had stumbled back onto the right road. I had been on a detour trying to be what other people needed. I wasn’t a bad person, my motivation to nurture and be there for others was always intact. And I didn’t break any laws or commandments along my reset but that doesn’t mean that everyone has welcomed me back into their lives with open arms. A few no longer recognize me – I’m like a doppleganger in my own life. I look the same but they have no idea what I’m all about. Some have no desire to engage.  They’ve  decided that I blew my chance – I’ve been canceled. That hurts, quite frankly. But here’s the thing – I cannot have it both ways – it is impossible for me to be simultaneously true to myself while acting like the person that slept walked through life for more years than I care to admit. There’s no going back. There is going forward. There is asking “what is possible?” I can invite people to engage and respect them enough to let them decide if they want to – allow them to make their own choices. Invite and allow. All of the people that I encounter – friends, family and strangers. I’ll do me and you do you.

Change happens

Change is not something to be feared in and of itself. There is no good or bad or right or wrong. The trick, for me,  is knowing what fits me and act accordingly. My tendency is to internally-reference these days. I look to my own core values and navigate my life using those as my compass. I think that I would go mad if I tried to follow the roller coaster of what’s going on outside my door these days. The onslaught of contradictory rules, guidelines and judgements can stay outside my door. I’m happy to take a break from it all and work on what I can offer the world through my words, art and coaching. And spend time with the magic people in my life that I love beyond words – whether in person or using some electronic convenience. I love people and I respect everyone enough to let them figure out what is right for them. I believe that if we all learned to express our own special gifts and talents the world would shine so much brighter. I do not believe that chaos would ensue but fear of change and the unknown can make people act in very strange ways.  Things will continue to change and it may get worse. How will you respond? What are the core values that guide you through life? Are you paying attention to those?

Happy New Year!

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