Ever had to process a really big change in your life? Something which was going to change your life forever?
Well, I’m just back from dropping my daughter off to University in Holland and I’m pondering how different life is going to be from here on in.
Now, any of you who have teenage daughters know that there are certain things I’m not going to miss. Endless bottles of shampoo – dry shampoo, untangling shampoo, purple shampoo for dried hair, shampoo for brittle hair, shampoo for coloured hair.
And then there’s the towels, the bedsheets, the clothes, originally white but now with nice long brown streaks of tan all over them!
And the friends – beautiful, smart, capable, boys and girls, descending in on the house morning, noon and night…truckloads of them.
And the prinks nights, with the plastic straws, the bottles of vodka, the cardboard cups and all of the jackets that nobody ever seems to miss.
I remember when she was 5, stopping people on the street and telling them that her name was Kate and that she was shy, very shy.
Now I see her, hopping on her bike at 10 o’clock at night in the pouring rain in a foreign city, because she wants to get to that party and meet new people and have just the one!
How can my heart be breaking, when in the next breath I think, I’m free? Life is going to be so much less hectic. And then I think to myself, how many dinners can she really cook and is she going to remember to cook the pasta al dente? And then I wake up in the middle of the night worrying about dams bursting when I had never given Dutch people a single thought in my life before this.
Now, even though I’m a wellness coach and know what to do to manage these changes, I’m still human and I still have this brain which takes on a life of its own and makes up these crazy scenarios, especially when it comes to my kids.
And that’s what the brain does, because its job is to keep us out of danger. But that might have made sense in one billion bc when we were stuck in a cave and we were about to be attacked by a tiger but take it from me, it makes absolutely no sense now.
So, how am I going to manage this change in life?
Well, first of all, I’m going to reign that crazy brain of mine in and bring it right back into the present.
And then I’m going to give myself a chance to process everything and this is somewhere where we often go wrong. Our mind says to us, ‘you’ve got to stay in control’. ‘You can’t be loosing it’. ‘Pull yourself together and you certainly can’t cry’.
Well, I like to look at nature sometimes for the answers. Take a look at the caterpillar when he’s going through the change. He goes inside and he rests and processes.
So, that’s what I’m going to do. Rest and Process. And I’m going to do it with cups of coffee, lots of croissants, lots of tears and lots of snot!
And then I’m going to bring in the big guns; gratitude.
Gratitude for having had her, gratitude for the memories, gratitude for all the amazing boys and girls who have crossed our path because of her, gratitude for the fact that she is independent and is able to spread her wings now.
And finally, gratitude for all the free time I’m going to have for me!
So here’s a list of some helpful tips to manage a big change in your life:
- Use Mindfulness to bring you back into the present moment when you become upset about how things used to be
- Process the change and this means leaning into the emotions, validating the feelings and crying as much as you need to
- Use gratitude as a means to appreciate the little things
What big change are you navigating in your life at the moment?