Friday, April 15, 2011

Changing is Not Easy

The most unfamiliar and uncomfortable part of change is that in between place where you are not the person you were before but haven’t quite become the person you want to be.  This is the part where some people give up on the transition journey, become negative or get depressed. 

I hear a lot of: “darn it, I tried and it just doesn’t work for me” or “maybe, I just can’t change”.  What I don’t hear a lot but perhaps is going on in the client’s head is: “this is just a bunch of @#$%” or “I was better off doing what I was doing”.
I can personally relate to this level of frustration and have spent some time trying to understand the in between place inside the bowels of a major transition.

Breaking change and its following transition down into steps:

1)    Something triggers the need to change
2)    You earnestly decide to make a change
3)    Learn about what it takes to change and what it is exactly that needs to change
4)    End the way you did something or a quality or habit about yourself
5)    Practice the new way of being or doing
6)    Fall off the wagon
7)    Don’t get the results you had hoped for
8)    Lose some relationships either because you don’t relate to certain people anymore or find yourself questioning certain relationships
9)    Feel lonely and/or alone
10)    Recognize that you have changed indeed
11)    New relationships or new-old relationships or new opportunities show up

Steps 5 through 9 happen over and over again and the duration depends on how major the change is.  The in between place is right smack in between steps 5 through 9.  There are no remedies, quick fixes or words of consolation when someone is going through these steps.  It is a lonely and introspective time. 

Time well spent in these steps can determine the sustainability and success of the transition.  This is because, real change takes time.  If you rush the time between steps 5 through 9, you are bound to go back to the way you used to be and repeat the whole process.  That is what happens to people who jump from one relationship to another marrying or dating a slightly different version of the same person all over again, or take a different job to find out they have created the same scenario with their co-workers or boss just in a different organization.

The next time you find yourself frustrated with the in between place or the journey of your transition, remember that it is natural.  Even your frustrations are natural.  It is ok to be angry, lonely, depressed, etc.  It will pass if you let it be and learn and practice what you need to do and how you need to be.  Use the lonely time wisely, get help from a counselor or a spiritual life coach, and when you come out of your cocoon, you will spread your wings like a butterfly transformed and the wormy experience you had before becomes just a distant memory!

If you are going through a transition and need help and support to make sustainable and deeply meaningful changes in your life/work, please contact me for a complimentary 30 minute consultation.
Spiritual life coaching is about changing the way you have been living.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Parenting in 2011

I noticed I disagreed with my daughter’s point of view regarding something she was talking about with her BFF in the car while I was driving.  In fact, I found myself curiously wondering how she formed the opinion that she was discussing.  I was quite sure that my husband would have disagreed with her too.  She is eleven and clearly her own person.  This is where parenting becomes a challenge.  Where do we draw the lines?  What are we responsible for?

I am noticing in my peer group of parents of eleven through fifteen, we all seem to be walking on shaky ground.  Some of us are still hanging on to memories of when they were little.  Others are apologizing to themselves or others for their kids’ behaviors/manners/language.  Some are clearly depressed and do not know how to be an effective parent anymore.  We are all going through yet another transition.

There are days when we ask ourselves: who are these young, yet big people in our homes and what happened to the innocent little girl or boy who did as we asked them to, etc.  I am sure that they are confused too, like we were at that awkward stage before adulthood.  What’s different, is that they know so much more than we do about what goes on in their world which has a lot to do with technology.
They crave the newest gadget, they are connected and can figure things out faster and less laboriously than we can.  This gives them the upper hand and they know it too.  This upper hand, makes them believe that they do indeed know more than we do.  I believe this makes parenting that much more difficult these days.

Setting boundaries becomes challenging, because they are connected through the internet and social media.  Sending them up to their rooms as a punishment, does not work.  Taking away their hand-held device works until they go to school or anywhere where there is a computer they can use or borrow.  And they are very resourceful.  While we are busy worrying if we have done the right thing, used the right punishment, they are back on Facebook and forgotten that they were being punished to begin with.  All of this makes us less frightening, less knowledgable, and frankly, less effective.

Going back to my daughter’s conversation with her BFF in the car…  I realize that our children live in a much bigger world than we did and are influenced by more than we could have been.  This is a wonderful opportunity for young minds, and a scary reality for parents.    It’s like when your kids go off to college, but they haven’t really and they’re much too young to do so.  They seem to be growing up faster and faster and we are attempting to keep up. 

Since I am always one step behind, I have decided to enjoy the moments when I do connect with them, laugh together, share a meal or a walk.  All of this high speed living only makes me treasure these rare and short lived moments even more. It is indeed a different day…

Questions to Ponder:
1)    Are you torn about your parenting abilities/skills? 
2)    Do you find it difficult to relate to your children and this worries you?
3)    What would a perfect day be like in your home?  When was the last time you had a perfect day with your children?

If you are concerned about parenting these days and would like to come up with a plan that would work in your home and with your family in a non-judgmental space, you might want to consider spiritual life coaching.  Contact me for a complimentary 30 minute session to see if spiritual life coaching is the answer to your concerns.