Do You Resist or Embrace Change? Invite a New Way of Being
Just as I’ve written recently about the inevitability of leaves falling from the trees in the fall and the grief that comes with the changing of the seasons, it’s equally inevitable that our relationships and life circumstances will shift and evolve over time.
The truth of the matter is, we can choose to either resist or embrace those changes and that regardless of what we choose, they can feel totally outside our control.
We can avoid reality, doing whatever it is we do to cope and numb, or we can work with the unfolding by actively cultivating new ways of being that support us in staying fully engaged.
I imagine you or someone that you are close to is navigating changes in their life, and I want you to know that you are not alone, as I have seen several examples of this come up in similar and different ways with clients as well as myself. I find it is important to share this with you so you can adapt this to yourself and invite a new way of being that feels most aligned for you.
This has been coming up for one of my clients in the context of her wanting to be more intimate with her husband.
With what’s going on for them currently, they rarely have time to connect until the end of the day when they are both exhausted by their responsibilities. Rather than fighting what’s so and being frustrated that they aren’t connecting the way they used to, she’s been experimenting with letting go of her old ideas about what intimacy looks like and investing in cultivating intimacy in new ways.
It’s meant she and her husband are releasing their expectations and redefining what intimacy and connection mean to them at this moment.
Instead of being upset about what’s not happening, they’re getting clear about what kind of relationship they both truly desire and discovering how to make that possible, even with all they’re juggling.
They’ve found small but meaningful ways to connect more powerfully - be it simply holding hands, embracing in a warm hug, or taking some deep breaths together - even if it only happens briefly throughout the day.
They’ve also set clearer parameters in their sex life, playing with not rushing toward climaxing or orgasm when they do have time to connect, so that there is space for them to explore what they’re needing now, rather than falling into their old patterns of doing what “works.”
This has supported them in opening up to one another and inviting in new ways of being together, making the relationship feel more alive.
Another of my clients is experiencing a different kind of letting go in the face of changing circumstances. Her partner’s cognitive ability is declining, and as their relationship and needs are transitioning she is becoming less equal partner and more of a caregiver.
Previously in their partnership, she had two main ways of thinking: in terms "us" and "we” (as in “what is good for us” or “what we need/want”) or thinking of herself independently and trusting her partner would be responsible for taking care of his own needs.
Now, as things progress, she’s opening up to her intuition like never before as she cultivates awareness around how to care for him while also creating space to care more powerfully for herself.
She's letting go of her attachments to what she imagined their future together would look and begun cultivating a whole new paradigm of what "us" and "we" look like inside this new relationship dynamic.
While there is sadness, she is also discovering ways to trust herself.
In opening up to her intuition, she’s being guided to a whole new level of connection, with herself and her partner, and discovering the sweetness of reinvention in the face of what’s so.
As for me, I’ve been learning to let go and cultivate a new way of being in my relationship with my mom who was diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimers over 10 years ago.
I’ve been learning to accept that I can not control her health, her physical presence, or her capacity to connect with me; the only thing I can control is how I choose to relate to and be with her.
I have been gradually learning to let go of my attachments to my past experiences with her so that I can open up to accepting where we are now.
Every time I find myself trying to control what’s happening or lamenting how things used to be, I discover that I’m actually cutting myself off from the powerful awareness of what is... of that which is happening within me and around me.
When I breathe into the moment, letting go of my need to control and fix, my awareness expands, my senses open, and I can tune in more powerfully to the present experience of myself and others.
I am more able to feel, to interpret, and to choose how to respond from a place of power rather than contraction. I learn how to relate in the here and now, rather than living in my longing for the past.
Regardless of what shifts and changes you’re experiencing, let your intuition be your guiding light. Listen to the insight coming from within. In each and every moment, there is an opportunity to come to presence through the breath and to ask spirit “What’s truly needed in this moment?”
The inspiration, direction, and grounding that we need is always available. We can always access a deeper connection to self.
Even when we feel uncertain about what is ahead - when there is no way of knowing how things will go or how others will choose to be in any given situation - we have enormous power to determine how we will show up. What way of being we will embody in the world.
I wonder, where are circumstances shifting and changing in your world, dear one? How might you invite a new, more expansive way of being? Where are you clinging too tightly to control? How might you cultivate opportunity for deeper connection in your life and in each moment?
As you discover what it means for you to be with what is, I invite you to remember to have compassion for yourself and to give and receive generously.