I’ve been thinking more about change and started writing last night, but it felt and looked wrong somehow so I began again this morning. A year ago, maybe even more recently, I’d have spent hours agonising over re-writing, perfecting the grammar, dragging out of myself what I thought I wanted to say like bent, rusty nails from old floorboards, instead of simply changing or deleting. Yesterday I just read it a few times, thought s*d it, and deleted it so I could start again with a clean page (well, computer screen…). Maybe this is what change looks like sometimes: the willingness to ditch something that’s no longer serving you. Part of me is terrified of change because the familiar is known, even if it’s not the best place for you; uncertainty feels very risky and scary. That old caveman bit of my brain is most definitely in charge a lot of the time, fight/flight/freeze always just below the surface, but you’d be hard pressed to notice if you met me in person.
However, there’s also a tiny bit of my (brain? mind? soul?) that’s so weary of hiding and keeping quiet, of feeling unseen, of squashing down her needs all the time, and it’s trying to make itself heard because it desperately wants change. Not having much success, mind you, but trying nonetheless! I’ve previously likened this to being a Borrower in reverse: wanting to be seen and heard, instead of being quiet and unseen. Is this the start of some kind of personal evolution? A suggestion that change isn’t to be feared, but rather something to be approached with curiosity? My friend, Juliet, touched on change in this week’s Psychologies’ InstaLive on Instagram. She invited us to be curious about our state of mind and being, both during and after the creative task that she set. The task is to think about a guiding word for the rest of 2020, maybe changing from the one you’d chosen at the start of the year. This year has changed tremendously in so many ways from previous years, and from what we expected/planned in January, and those guiding words we may have chosen simply don’t serve us now.
I suppose it’s the ultimate about face: you’d planned, or looked forward to, all sorts based on previous years’ experience, and perhaps chosen your guiding word based on those assumptions, but instead we’ve all had to make totally unexpected changes very quickly. One thing we spoke about at Deborah’s Impact Club this week was about what change we’d made. For some it was simply an accountability exercise, for others it was about actual changes they’d made, or had recognised they wanted to make. I’m consciously planning and incorporating little changes in my life now, to see how I manage before I make the bigger ones, although that tiny part of my brain that’s longing for change keeps pushing for more, sooner. Dare I let it out? Is it wise to do so? Is it just some sort of rebellion against years of no real change, resulting in a mad desire for big change? Well, I’m the last person to know!!
Being creative/artistic/innovative is one way to make changes, maybe the best way, and what I’m turning to after years of denying I was creative. Perhaps change is necessary when you’re engaged in creative pursuits, maybe change and creativity are two sides of the same coin. There’s a sort of curiosity at play when you begin a painting, write a poem, turn wood or stone into new forms, cook, or create music. Very few creative pieces end how they start out; they tend to evolve, almost organically. That’s change at its finest, purest form, I believe. Maybe creativity and change are meant to go hand in hand: the spark of an idea that grows, shapes, takes different paths constantly, until it finds what and where it’s meant to be. Nature doesn’t resist change, it simply alters direction, tries a new path, and mostly survives, even if it’s in a different form. If you’re not sure what I mean, go and find a tree that’s more than a couple of years old, somewhere it’s been exposed to the elements day in and day out. Chances are it will have bent with the wind, adapted its shape to remain firmly rooted whilst also changed. When a tree meets a stone wall or other immoveable object, it grows around it. It doesn’t try to resist or stop growing at all, it simply changes tack.
What could you change this week? If big changes makes you a bit uneasy or scared, why not make little changes, as I’ve started doing? How about changing the type of book or newspaper you read, try some herbal tea in place of your coffee, cook something very different from your usual fare? Some of my little things are becoming bigger gradually, and I hope that I’ll feel more confident in making the bigger changes soon. Could you tell me about your changes? Message me here or pop over to my Instagram, @yorkshire_wellies. I’d love to see/hear what you might come up with, or how you’ve managed changes in your life!