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Life Changes

Growing up, I loved playing soccer. It was my favorite sport and first love as a young girl. I played on a local team, practiced with my dad in our neighborhood at night and also loved to play during recess at school. I especially loved it when the boys picked me to play on their team. No, not in that way, boys still had cooties at that age, but it meant I was good enough to play with them, I didn't shy away from the team captains as I waited in the line up, when some kid made eye contact I wanted him to know i was ready, to pick me!

As an adult I find myself in a much different situation in life. I’m no longer in the line up of recess soccer teams, but in the line up of life. Over the past six months I’ve experienced a lot of change in life. The funny thing is I had been hiding from that change for a long time. In the line up where I stood I did everything possible to not make eye contact, perhaps crowd behind the person next to me, so I wouldn’t be chosen, avoid any attempt of change choosing me, but I learned the hard way that change doesn’t ask permission, it picks you out of the line up of life and places you right no the field when you don’t want it, you’re not ready and it’s painful as (insert four letter word here). .

I think as a culture we can often view change in a romantic way and sometimes it is. WE can choose to change and there are a lot of good and flourishing choices when we bring our voice together as one in society. On a more individual note, we can choose to leave jobs, change relationships, move cities, heck even choose what type of iced coffee we want from Starbucks on any given day. But what I think I've discovered in the past six months is this type of change that doesn't ask permission - the change you never wanted, never saw coming, guts you from the inside out-is where some really tough, yet important work happens. It’s the type of change that shifts you so deeply you have no choice but to rebuild from the inside out.

I don’t have magic solution on how to handle change or do it well, but feeling like I’m slowly starting to get my feet underneath me on the field and I want to offer you some encouragement if you too are experiencing change:

1. Be in the present, the good ole days are just that-OLD.

When change happens it’s so easy to slip into the mind set that the old was better and that this new will never do. I’ll be the first to admit that I love to live in the good ole days, I'm a sucker for nostalgia through and through. When change happens I don't accept it, I will sit there all day and talk about, think about how things used to be better. I’ve come to learn this key thing about the “good ole days”, they’re just that-OLD. Not to put it too harshly, but they’re gone, and they are most likely never coming back, so move forward my dear. Be present, start to orient to the good that might be right in front of you, believe it or not one day this moment you’re in will probably be another version of the “good ole days”and you’ll have missed your chance to embrace everything that is here and now.

2. Find your anchor (s)

How do you move forward when you feel like everything in your world has just been turned upside down? You find your anchor (s). Change will bring a storm with it and I think the transformation as you endure the storm is crucial to growth, so don’t be afraid to stand defiant in the wind and torrential rain, face it all, be rocked by it, but don't be taken out to sea. Find a few key anchors in your life that will tether you into the bedrock below. This can look like a variety of things. For me it's turning to my faith, turning to my family and friends and finding routine. Routine has been a more recent love in my life, but even when everything is spinning out of control, there’s often some small things you can control, make routine, to help keep your sanity. Maybe it’s getting outside everyday, hitting the gym, setting aside time to read or binge watch a tv show, small reminders that we’re still us and can operate within the storm of change swirling around us is so important.

It’s been said change is the only constant thing in life, so I’ll muster up all the courage that nine year old girl had and head fearlessly into whatever is coming next.

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