How Do You Know When It Is Time to Make a Change?
“If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.” –Abraham Maslow
The weekend before last I participated in the Northwest Passage Ragnar Relay. This is a 192-mile relay run that snakes its way mostly on back roads from the Canadian border down to Whidbey Island, where teams are rewarded with pizza and beer for being crazy enough to stay awake and on the move for nearly two full days. I was runner number twelve on our team of twelve—the last runner, a position I’m used to and comfortable with.
On one of my legs (the second one of three), the one that started at 5:30 on Saturday morning, I ran for nine miles alone over rolling hills on streets surrounded by evergreen trees. I watched the morning gently emerge and appreciated the coolness in the air even as I was beginning to feel the heat the day promised to burn down on the runner who would take the baton from me.
Because I hadn’t slept for twenty-four hours and was addled with fatigue, my attention was hazy. There wasn’t much traffic, so I didn’t fear a run-in with a car, but I did worry about getting lost. Runners were spread out so far that there were several points on the course when I couldn’t see anyone in front of or behind me. I was grateful that Ragnar had placed signs at every turn. This meant I could do the work of running—placing one tired footfall after the next in a rhythm that echoed the beat of the music playing in my ear—without pulling up the map of the route on my phone. I could focus on the task at hand until a three-foot high blue sign with a red flashing light and an arrow appeared on a street corner.
I never lost my way.
Only later, after a couple nights of good sleep, when I was reflecting on the race during one of my morning meditations, did I realize that those big blue Ragnar signs were a terrific metaphor for something I’ve heard many of my clients talking about in therapy sessions lately. At least five different people have recently said something like this to me: “All of a sudden, when my child left for college (or when my spouse died/when I received this diagnosis/when I got divorced), I realized something had to change. I can’t keep on in this meaningless job (or this cement jungle/this lifeless relationship/this breakneck schedule).”
My clients are naming something really important: Life sends us signs when we need to make a change. Events, be they crises or normal life-cycle transitions, are very often signals meant to tell us that it is time to up-level our commitment to life, that it’s time to turn a corner and change directions. Our circumstances call us to re-evaluate our approach to our activities and to our relationships (with self, significant others, work, the body, etc.).
Though change can be anxiety provoking, it’s also an opportunity to upgrade your self-image and renew your vision for your future. It is a chance to catch a second wind for the miles ahead.
I’d love to share with you what my clients are discovering in our work together about how to follow the signs to change direction.
Join me for a FREE tele-conference called:
How to Catch Your Second Wind:
Transforming into the Next and Best Version of Yourself
I’ll be sharing with you what I’ve been guiding my clients through:
The three key tasks that you need to complete in order to catch a second wind.
The number one habit you need to incorporate in your life in order to upgrade your Self-confidence.
How to master jumping over the biggest hurdle that keeps people stuck when they hit a crisis or major life change.
When: Wednesday, August 12 at 5:30pm Pacific Time
Where: On the phone. In the comfort of your own home.
How to sign up: Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with “Second Wind Workshop” in the subject line. I’ll send you the conference number and a reminder email.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” –Mary Oliver
(Note: If you don’t want to be added to my emailing list when you sign up for the tele-workshop, let me know.)