Wellness Matters 21.01.2022
Change Takes Time.
Be patient. Whatever goals, intentions or plans you have set for this year, don’t give up just because you aren’t seeing or experiencing immediate change. You wouldn’t plant an acorn and expect an enormous healthy substantial oak tree in just a few weeks. A tree needs sunshine, rain, periods of dormancy, a safe environment and room to grow.
You also need to nurture the seed you have planted, sprinkle on a healthy dose of realism, and attend to any negative elements that might sidetrack you. If you want to enact any of the changes you have your heart set on, be patient. And determined.
I’m not just talking about resolutions, but change that will come to us whether we like it or not: adjustments through the pandemic with social distancing and working patterns have all affected how we plan our days, weeks and possibly months.
I’m still a little reluctant to plan too far in advance with confidence, but for every small effort I make, I know it is a step in the right direction for my personal and professional development.
There was a time when I would use self deprecation as a defence mechanism for being slow off the mark, at times missing the subtly in a joke or sarcastic comment. I used to feel inadequate and ashamed that I had got it wrong or missed the point. Now I understand how my brain works, I’ve stopped panicking that I won’t get things done, or overthinking a comment from a friend or acquaintance.
It’s taken time, and I’m glad about that, because I have developed an effective process for how I live and work, which led me down the right path to find my authentic self.
My slower processing brain is a gift: allowing me to be clear in my responses by taking time to consider all the facts, and using my skills to gently probe, by becoming curious, and practicing patience.
When working with my clients, I try to reassure them that every step they make towards the positive outcome they wish to see, is a step in the right direction, even if they feel shackled to old habits and disappointments.
Change is hard, honestly it really is, but if you even have a small desire to enact change, invest time, be patient and you will make it a reality.
It’s a privilege to be on the receiving end of another's thought processes. I hold the space, I keep them safe and we work through their issues together. When I was with a client recently, I was in no doubt that when they spoke of one possible course of action, it would have been wrong for them: their face was heavy and sad.
I asked some challenging questions, I provided lots of thinking time, and when they talked about another option, their eyes lit up, they smiled, became animated and visibly energised.
This was the feedback I received:
Some of you may have been thrown a curve ball when social media, radio and TV stations bombarded us with the Blue Monday Affect on January 17th: that relationships suffer, good intentions fall by the wayside, and we can expect to be affected by gloom.
However, I was reassured that this so-called phenomenon was actually fabricated by the travel industry as a way to entice us to book holidays. Thank you to Kamalyn Kaur for conducting that research, which serves as a wee reminder to be mindful of what you pay heed to as it might sabotage your good intentions. Instead, I encourage you to walk your own path, sing your own tune and be proud that you have moved in the right direction.
So whether you are happy with your schedule, your life/work balance or want to experience change, be realistic, be patient and don’t lose sight of where you want to get to. Nobody suddenly got to be a world class scientist, outstanding leader or Sir David Attenborough. Walk away from meaningless distractions, and focus on what is true for you.
One of my favourite poems of all time is this, because it articulates that pivotal moment about the choices we make:
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down as far as I could
To where is bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Hard worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
No-one knows what’s in front of them but unless you make a choice, you will be stuck gazing down long paths without ever taking an opportunity for growth and development.
Photograph in memory of Jackie McKenzie.