9 Things I've Learned About Creating Change

“Never too old, never too bad, never too late, never too sick to start from scratch once again.” 
                                                                                                                                  -Bikram Choudhury

1. Dream big. 
Change brings contrast. We see, and feel, and experience what we don’t want. And so we begin to dream about what we do want. 

And please, dream big. Bigger. You are a magnificent, divine human capable of astounding feats. Just look at skyscrapers, the internet, and air travel if you don’t believe me. Humans created that. You, being human, have your own contribution of greatness. Let it come through. 

2. Take small steps. 
You’re not going to get there in one giant step. You’re going to get there by taking wee baby steps, one at a time. That’s the way we all do it, even Einstein. Even Gandhi. Even you.

3. Make it routine. 
Small actions done every day are more powerful than one big, momentous action taken once. Think water against stone vs. an afternoon with a backhoe. Think Grand Canyon vs. a backyard swimming pool. 

Add one small act in your already established routine that leans you toward the change you want to make. Maybe it’s sitting quietly for 5 minutes every morning before making breakfast. Or it’s reading poetry before going to sleep. Or it’s writing out your goals every single day before opening your email. Whatever it is for you, keep it small, attainable, and easy to integrate into your existing routine. 

4. Know your resistance.
Change creates upset. And despite how often you say you want change what you really want is the result of change, not change itself. Because change is disruptive, uncomfortable and often unpleasant. And to that, we resist. 

As new opportunities come up, the resistant self says, “No thank you. I like my stuff just as it is and no, I don’t have room for anything else.” Because then life can go on as it has, inside this known – if not confining – container. 

It’ll be up to you if you’re ready to challenge the resistance. 

5. Optimism is powerful.
Dark, confusing, terrifying moments are often the dark portal through which we travel to reach breakthrough. Take comfort this.  

Crying, raging, floundering around like a wounded beast are all normal. Things are upside down and spinning around. It’s ok to freak out, to lose your shit. And know – beyond any doubt - that this too shall change. 

                You will see light again.
                You will feel safe again.
                You will feel good, and whole, and free again. 

Just hang tight through the turmoil and everything will be alright. 

6. Expansion is required.
Change brings with it profound learning. Learning stretches and reshapes us. Your neat box of Truth will suddenly seem too small. And so you expand. Sometimes this can be exhilarating – like discovering new worlds inside a drop of water. Other times it can be frustrating to the point of rejection – like learning about something that threatens your wellbeing.  

Expansion can be unsettling. When we expand we’re moving into previously unknown places. And yet expansion is the natural state of the universe. And you are a piece of this universe. So, you must expand. 

7. You are not alone.
Even though out tendency is to withdraw from our communities during times of transition, nothing is really ever done alone.  

Time to reflect, center yourself, and listen deeply to your inner Self are essential for masterful transition. But just like grandma always said, everything in moderation. 

Make a date to have dinner with your closest friend. Call your support system. Find a community online. Ask for help. Share what you’re going through. Yes, they want to know. They want to help. It is one of our most basic urges as human beings – to help. Let them. 

8. It takes time. Sweet time. 
There are no rules. There is no recipe or instruction manual to follow for your life. And this applies especially to how long it’ll take – for anything. 

Sorry. I know you wish otherwise. I usually do at multiple points throughout the day. 

But just like how you can’t rush the transition of coal to a diamond, or an acorn to an oak tree,   you can’t rush your emergence. It just takes time. 

9. And then, when you least expect it, something happens. 
You wake up one morning and notice a new slant of sunlight coming through the window. You hear birdsong, where there was none before. You catch yourself humming, or shimmying your hips, or smiling for no good reason. And then you know – once again – that you shifted. 

Then one day you'll wake up and learn everything all over again.