The philosopher Heraclitus once said “the only thing that is constant is change”, something that – ironically – has never really changed since the days of Ancient Greece.
All we need ever do is look out of the window to the natural world to recognise that things around us are changing every single day; more in fact.
Of course, if things are changing outside then we all know what that means; that they’re also changing within us.
And we recognise that don’t we? Maybe not in the moment, but then suddenly one day we open up Timehop and realise that the person who wrote that Facebook status ten years ago, took that photo three years back or shared that Instagram post this time last year isn’t some one we even recognise any more.
That in itself isn’t a problem… in fact I’d argue it’s exactly the opposite of a problem since it’s totally natural and shows just how much we’re growing and learning – something I firmly believe is the absolute point of life.
The problem though, comes with the fact that we’re often so uncomfortable with that idea of constant change that we hold our lives in the way they were until they become, frankly, unbearable.
Gripping onto the way things were
You know what I mean here, right?
I’m talking about the times that we outgrow a job but stay in it because the crippling self confidence of who we were before is enough to stop us looking elsewhere.
Or the friendships we built a decade or more ago that leave us feeling more flat than fulfilled, but that we don’t feel we can step away from because there’s just so much history between you and you don’t want that to change.
And of course there are the romantic relationships that just aren’t right, but we stay in desperately hoping the other person will grow and change in the same direction that we are.
(Sidenote: As someone with a not so fun history of staying in romantic relationships much longer than I really knew was right, I can tell you that one really is to be avoided!)
We cling on desperately to what was once right for us, even when we know it no longer is because no matter how uncomfortable our current situation is, staying in it is almost always a damn sight less scary than the idea of facing an unknown alternative.
But what does that do? Well, aside from keeping us in that place of discomfort, it also stunts our growth and keeps us stuck in a life that isn’t right for the person we have become.
Let me put it another way; it’s like wearing the same shoes and jeans you wore to graduate high school well into your thirties.
And I don’t know about you, but with a couple of especially awesome exceptions, that’s not something I’d be comfortable to do either physically or energetically!
So what do we do about that? We set about creating a life for the us we are right now.
Creating a life for the you you are now
That starts with checking in firstly with yourself in the here and now – who are you today, and what does that version of you need from your life?
Then it’s about checking in with your life and the various aspects of it that influence your day to day circumstances, mood, time and experiences. Where are the highlights? Where are the lowlights? Where are the thing that feel right and where are those that feel restrictive like that old too-tight pair of jeans we talking about?
Creating the life that’s right for the you of today will mean a lot of sorting through things and figuring out what does and doesn’t feel good. In this Soul Led context that means bringing together all of the development work you’ve done over the years on every level and understanding where that has brought you, and what that means for you moving forward.
It means getting fiercely honest about the ways in which we’re holding ourselves back – and that includes the ways we’re letting outside circumstances do that for us.
And then it means making the decisions, choices and changes that will help us to reduce those restrictions and live a life of greater freedom, expansion and fulfilment… the life that’s right for us now and moving forwards.
Some of the changes we make will be small; I notice more and more how my clothes change as I move through the different phases of my life, and right now I’m decorating my sitting room as the old colour scheme just didn’t fit with me anymore!
Some will be much bigger, and at times will be terrifying – for me that’s involved walking away from a stable, corporate job and from a business partnership that had once seemed like the key to my dreams.
Some things are lovely – booking the holidays we’ve always dreamed of and finding new friends that share our views of the world; while some are painful – walking away from relationships or choosing to go back to full-time study after years of paid work.
But as long as they feel right, as long as they’re the callings of your soul and the you that exists in the here and now, they’re all important!
And of course, it’s important to remember that they’re all just one step on this journey.
Because, as Heraclitus reminded us – change is constant and so this isn’t a one step process, it’s something we’ll repeat time and time again throughout the course of our lifetime as we grow, change and evolve and our lives must too.
I can’t promise that will always be a super fun or easy process, but I can promise you it will be worthwhile, and that it will get seem more possible with each evolution you move through
For now though, if this is something you’re struggling with then get in touch… Soul-Led Therapy is a great way to work through and understand these transition times in your life.