Posts tagged ‘Change’

5 Tips for Career Change and Stress Management ll By Brenda Bomgardner

5 Tips for Career Change and Stress Management
By Brenda Bomgardner

It may be that you’ve reached a point in your career where things have stalled. To put it plainly, it’s just doesn’t feel the same going into work anymore. How are you going to make a career change and manage your stress?

Do the projects you’re working on no longer hold your interest. And the office climate may be less than desirable. Stay calm and make a plan.

Keep your eyes open. A new opportunity may suddenly present itself. However, there’s risk involved. Rolling it over in your mind, you’re convinced that your current job isn’t great. Yet, it’s solid, reliable, and has great benefits. What should you do?

Taking any kind of career risk can be stressful. Still, there are ways that you can keep your calm and make a transition to a new chapter in your career.

Look for the Logical and the Meaningful Reason to Change

One way to stay calm is to think about this transition logically. Remind yourself all of the logical and meaningful reasons why this risk is worth taking.

For example:

A chance to grow with a new organization

Having more responsibilities

The opportunity to be a leader

Financial incentives

• The intellectual challenge

When you consider things from a logical perspective, it will allow you to make this move more smoothly. Otherwise, you’ll have more stress from the anxiety about this career risk.

Stay Organized and Focused

When making a career risk it’s helpful to stay organized and focused on the task at hand.

There may be projects that you need to wrap up before you leave. Or, there is a formal exit interview process that you must complete before you can transition out.

Make sure that you have all necessary documentation required before leaving.

While at the same time stay focused on your future and even start brainstorming what you want to accomplish when you get into your new role.

Be Your Own Boss as an Entrepreneur

Does your career risk involve becoming your own boss and being self-employed?

Certainly striking out on your own has its own inherent stressors. Will you generate enough business to pay the bills? Or, how will you find clients?

It can be helpful to connect with others who have made the same move and are now successful.

Check online for groups that meet in your community with an emphasis on entrepreneurship or self-employment. At the very least, it’s nice to know you’re not the first person to ever try this and that the risk is worth it.

Remember to Take Care of Yourself

When changing careers, it’s important to still take care of yourself. If you are starting your own business it’s easy to commit all of your energy and drive to getting things up and running.

Yet, you can’t be really successful if you aren’t taking care of yourself. You won’t have the stamina to keep going, and it will be harder to manage the stress involved with taking such a risk.

Consider then these ideas for taking care of yourself even during a big career move:

• Try to get enough sleep at night (about eight hours).

• Avoid excessive snacking or on-the-go eating.

• Choose foods full of nutrients, energy, and protein.

• Exercise regularly.

• Spend some personal time disconnected from electronic devices.

You’ll find that by practicing some self-care you’ll be calmer and also more capable of dealing with whatever comes up at work.

Have a Confidant, Mentor or Guide

If you are still struggling with taking this big career risk, then maybe it’s time you talked to somebody.

A coach who specializes in career development can be really helpful at these times. You will be able to get all those thoughts and worries off your chest with someone who really understands what this decision means both for yourself personally and your career.

A fulfilling career often means taking risks. However, the stress and worry that comes with those risks can be tough to manage. By using the ideas above and also talking with a therapist, you can make this career move go more smoothly.

To learn more about Brenda visit her About Me page

About the Author: Brenda Bomgardner is in her encore career. One of her greatest joys in her career is seeing people move beyond life’s roadblocks toward a fulfilling and meaningful life. She believes each person has a purpose in life waiting to be realized and that purpose continues to evolve over a lifetime. The path to reaching your life’s purpose is as unique as each individual. We all have dreams. Step by step she will walk with you on uncovering how to bring your dreams to fruition.  Brenda is a counselor, coach and clinical supervisor and specializes in practicing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which is a cutting edge evidenced-based processes. This means there is scientific research proven to show ACT works. Before becoming a therapist, she completed a successful 17 year career in Human Resources at a Fortune 500 company. On a personal note she loves the great outdoors, ATV riding, adventure travel and family.

Walking the Path of Transformation || Mary Coday Edwards

Blog 7

Walking the Path of Transformation.


July 26, 2016

By Rev. Mary Coday Edwards.

After a long and arduous hike, this sign greeted me at the top of the spreading, wide plateau. I chuckled at the understatement: such an apt description of our lives at times!


Let’s say we’ve done the first half-of-life work: we’ve developed our skills and talents through training, education, and experience. Perhaps we’ve found a partner to walk with us and we’ve had children or the equivalent.

We may not have met all of our goals, but life’s good – onward and upward!

Then – bam. Something shifts within us, life seems to go dull, or we hit a roadblock with our personal or career goals. We think we know what we ought to be doing next, but it isn’t happening. Perhaps a death or sickness stops us.

We don’t like this shift – we want it to go away, we want to return to how things were. We work harder, using our standard mode of operation to get what we want and to avoid what we don’t want.

We start reading self-help books; we talk to our close friends and family members; perhaps we make an appointment for a psychotherapist, or a spiritual counselor.  “Am I depressed?” we ask. “Do I need a pill to make me feel better?” or “What am I doing wrong?” (1)

Or worse – we abandon our commitments because we believe moving to Nepal will solve all our problems. Our psyche has important information for us and all we’re doing is prolonging and increasing the agony when we believe changing our circumstances will make us happy. 

Outward changes may be required, especially if you are in an abusive relationship, but those decisions will be made in full consciousness.

“Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost,” wrote Dante, in The Divine Comedy

In other words, the path becomes “difficult to find beyond this point”.

“Relax!” I tell folks when they come to me, frustrated and hurting when they find themselves on this plateau with no discernible path. I also tell them:

  • It’s normal. Years ago when I was lost in the weeds, a saving piece of wisdom came to me through the writings of Carl Jung: “The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting it go.” In other words, what got you through the first half of your life won’t cut it for the second half. And these “halves” aren’t cleaved at the same age for everyone. There is no magic age when life seemingly falls apart.
  • Breathe, practice mindfulness. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, says mindfulness is “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.”

In other words, pay attention: pay attention to your dreams, write them down; pay attention to your moods, welcome them as your teachers; pay attention to your body, where’s the stress, the anxiety, and if possible, what’s the source; stay with the discomfort, live the question: “What next, higher self?”

And look for synchronicities in your life. The NOW holds the seeds to the future; when we’re anxious about that future, or have a pre-determined idea of what it should look like, or when we’re remembering our glorious past, we miss those seeds.

At one stage of my painful unknowing, I sought out a Buddhist Roshi/Catholic priest looking for answers to what my next step ought to me.

His advice? “You’re right where you’re supposed to be.”

That’s not what I wanted to hear. 

  • Listen to your inner wisdom. This is why we practice mindfulness. John Heider (2) says that very early on in the study of human nature there came about the concept of something like a higher self, or essence, as part of the psyche. This inner wisdom has your best interests in mind. By practicing mindfulness, we learn to access and listen to that inner wisdom. Heider believed that it is in this higher self that healing and growth occurs.
  • It’s your path of transformation. This usually nets me a look of disbelief – just short of a sneer.

Abraham Maslow as well as Jung referred to this as a self-actualizing principle driving the process in order that we become everything we potentially were created to be. This self-actualizing principle, higher self – whatever one chooses to call it – wants all of you to show up to all of life. It wants to become the best me I can become, that wants to grow, that’s eager for life.

This especially includes getting to know those parts of your personality that you’ve ignored, disliked, discounted, or swept under the rug with the hope that no one would notice the lumps.

“Unraveling external selves and coming home to our real identity is the true meaning of soul work,” says Sue Monk Kidd.

It isn’t that we now disavow the strengths developed in our youth and young adult stage. Again, referring to Jung, if extroversion defined us so far, it’s time to look for that within us that seeks solitude or meditative practices. In my case, I depended on my head to lead me; I needed to listen to those wise intuitive urges from within, parts I had barricaded myself against.

It’s not to say that we ever “arrive” as our psychic depths are vast. What we sense is that we’re now operating out of place of wholeness. And this wholeness doesn’t look the same for everyone – it will be based on all those bits of us we excluded.   

If you stay with this calling, this drive emanating from your deeper self, one day you’ll notice you’re on kind of a path. You’ll know it not because it’s announced itself with a large, flashy neon sign, but because of that gentle, calming, inner peace.

It’s an exciting journey, to show up as we truly are. This is the gift we give to the Universe – ourselves!


Note 1: This is not to dismiss the reality of mental illness and the beneficiary aspects of medication; if mental illness is suspected or has been diagnosed, a trained psychotherapist/psychiatrist is recommended. In addition, a physical is recommended in order to rule out any physical disorders.

Note 2: John Heider, among other things, studied and helped direct long-term programs at Esalen Institute, taught at the Menninger Foundation of Psychiatry, and directed The Human Potential School of Mendocino, California. He is the author of The Tao of Leadership.


About the Author: Mary Coday Edwards is a Spiritual Growth Facilitator and People House Minister. A life-long student of spirituality, Mary spent almost 20 years living, working and sojourning abroad in Asia, Southeast Asia, East Africa, and Latin America before finding her People House “tribe” and completing its Ministerial Program. Past studies include postgraduate studies from the University of South Africa in Theological Ethics/Ecological Justice, focusing on the spiritual and physical interconnectedness of all things. With her MA in Environmental Studies from Boston University, abroad she worked and wrote on environmental sustainability issues at both global and local levels, in addition to working in refugee repatriation.


Here is a list of other blogs Mary has written for People House:

The Power of the Puny or how the Meek Shall Inherit the Earth || Lora Cheadle

By Lora Cheadle
New posts every other Tuesday

LC 4

Rome wasn’t built in a day. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! We have countless phrases in our culture that remind us that the way to succeed is to take small, consistent steps over time. Yet when we talk of physical, mental or spiritual or growth for ourselves, we tend to talk in terms of great gains. We talk of the people who lose 100 pounds and compete in marathons. We talk of former prisoners who find enlightenment through the prison yoga program and go on to dig wells in Africa. In short, we talk about the miraculous. Consequently, when we think of growth for ourselves, we think in miraculous terms. We will get into bikini shape by June. We will read and understand Chaucer. We will contemplate the teachings of Jesus and we will never, ever lose our temper again.

And sometimes we do. But sometimes we have laundry and kids and bosses and spouses that take a lot of our time and attention. Sometimes we are just worn out living or we just want to relax and have some fun.

That’s where the Power of the Puny comes into play.

 I like to think of it as how the meek (me) shall inherit the earth (whatever it is I want) and I instantly feel empowered. Mini-moves done consistently over time add up to big changes.

Even though it doesn’t sound very sexy to say that you walked around the block last night, even though it’s way more exciting to brag that you summited a fourteener, walking around the block every night after dinner gets you a lot further than periodically summiting a fourteener.  

Since I’m a mom, pregnancy is my favorite example of how small steps yield big results. Every day the baby grows such a tiny amount that it’s barely discernible, yet in nine months an entire human has been formed. Day to day, both on the inside and on the outside, not much seems to be happening. The changes are so gradual that nobody really notices at all, but at the end of nine months, everything is completely different! The same is true for whatever it is you wish to accomplish. Mini-moves, taken consistently over time, yield phenomenal results.

Say you want a bikini-body, or say you want to be able to sit in a full lotus position or do 10 full push-ups. Every day do something that moves you closer to that goal. Not something earth shattering, but something. Swap out one unhealthy food choice and replace it with a healthy one. Do one 15-minute block of exercise. Stay in lotus position 30 seconds longer than you normally do while pulling your legs in a bit tighter. Hold yourself in a plank position, do micro bends with your elbows or do push-ups with one knee bent and one straight. You don’t have to train for an hour, just do something.

Mini-moves done consistently over time add up to big changes.

Are you ready to overcome a certain fear or phobia that’s been holding you back? Do you want to be able to put your head under water or fly without fear? Practice something every day, whether it’s actually getting in water or simply imagining, visualizing or pretending that you are dunking your head under water. Watch videos of flying in an airplane, visit an airport or write affirmations. It doesn’t matter what you do, it just matters that you do something!

Craving a spiritual connection or a wishing for a deeper understanding of self? Pray. Even if it’s only for two minutes while you wait for the light to change. Meditate while you wait for you pasta water to boil. Take five conscious breaths every time you visit the restroom. Read a daily affirmation. You don’t have to finish a whole chapter, meditate on a mountaintop or be involved in Bible study in order to grow spiritually; you simply have to take mini steps, consistently, over time.

Don’t forget to make it fun and reward yourself either! Put a gold star on your calendar every day that you do something that nurtures you and your dream. Team up with a friend and reward yourselves with a visit or a coffee date after so many days of consistent behavior. Tell people what you are doing and ask for them to support you. Not only will you increase your chances of success, but you might motivate them too!

Not that there’s anything wrong with dreaming BIG or taking gigantic steps if you are able to.

Dream as big as you want, tackle big things when you are able, but always remember the Power of the Puny!

Remember that an elephant can only be eaten one bite at a time, and focus on consistently doing things one small step at a time.


About the Author: Not sure what lights your fire, or do you know exactly what lights your fire, but you keep spinning your wheels? Either way, Lora’s got you covered! Whether it’s through an Angel Reading or through hypnotherapy, where the subconscious mind is brought on board with the conscious mind, working with Lora reveals your divine path and gets you chugging down the road in no time. As a former lawyer, (She knows firsthand the courage it takes to following a new path!) Lora is very straight forward and process- oriented, using modalities that that yield results. No crystal balls or goddess robes here! See more on her website. 

Spirituality in Daily Life: Reject the Box – Not the Mystery! || Mary Edwards

By Mary Coday Edwards
People House Featured Blogger

In last week’s blog, I mentioned three items relevant to this week’s:

1. Staying present to your current experience: basically, HOW is your NOW?
2. Not only does this NOW hold valuable information, it’s also where we experience Oneness with the Universe, Divine, Higher Consciousness, Gaia, Brahman, Ultimate Reality, Goddess/God, non-God, Light, Love (space limits the ways this concept is expressed), and
3. Spirituality seems to imply we are seeking a connection with something greater than ourselves.

So, combining those three items, did you experience anything when you read that last phrase of No. 2, words I used to describe the ineffable, the unexplainable, the Mystery? Did any of those limiting words cause a reaction within you? In your body? Is one of your emotions screaming at the edge of your consciousness? Did you stop reading at that point? Or is one rising gently, peacefully? Did a past memory surface, pleasant or unpleasant? What did I leave out that feels important to your experience? Do you believe that some of those words/images are just flat out wrong?

I encourage you to bring your awareness to WHAT you may be rejecting and WHY.

No one can tell us exactly what – or who – this Ultimate Reality really IS. Mystics and poets down through the eons have described their own experiences and thus have given us intimations of what this Reality may look like, but at the end of the day, all these terms are metaphoric variations.

A metaphor is used when we don’t know what something is in order to give it some sort of meaning that we can connect the concept to.

Feminist Christian theologian Sallie McFague says that to think metaphorically “… means spotting a thread of similarity between two dissimilar objects, events, or whatever, one of which is better known that the other, and using the better-known one as a way of speaking about the lesser known (Note 1, pg 15).

Scholar Ian Barbour first studied science and then religion, eventually drawing comparisons and differences between the two, in particular how both used metaphors, models, and paradigms to explain the unseen (Note 2). Barbour says that “Religious language often uses imaginative metaphors, symbols, and parables, all of which express analogies” (Note 3, pg 119).

Models & paradigms: Helpful, but not the same as Reality!

Some of these analogies evolve into models. For example, Western Christians are familiar with the metaphors of God as father, king/conqueror, to the point where the Divine is restricted to this patriarchal-defined reality, leaving analogical language behind. In parts of Latin America, the model of God as Liberator informs reality.

But the New Testament scriptures are replete with other metaphors, such as God as the woman seeking her coin. Although that is mentioned in the same Bible verse as the parable of the good shepherd, how many stained glass windows do you see depicting God as Woman seeking her lost coin? Or Jesus as a Mother Hen, gathering up her chicks under her wings (Note 4)? Neither of those metaphors even made it to model stage.

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And this is not just true of Western Christianity; I’ve seen and experienced this pattern repeat itself all over the world. Every religion, every sect, for the most part, has definite ideas about Ultimate Reality, leaving little wiggle room – in other words, little room left for Mystery. It’s the mystics who shatter the walls of their respective boxes.

Barbour goes on to explain how a model can then crystalize into a paradigm. A paradigm, whether in science or religion, includes metaphysical assumptions and captures the imagination of its adherents. In the process, a paradigm defines reality, determines what sort of questions can be asked, and what sort of tools are used to analyze this reality (Note 5).

“Doubt frees us from illusions of having captured God in a creed.”

We have inklings of this Otherness, but our words anthropomorphize this Otherness. When we say, “God is Love,” our human ideas, images, and definitions of love immediately surface. Whatever negative or positive attributes we associate with love are now imputed to the God we defined as love.

When we reject “God”, what we might really be rejecting is the metaphor, the model, or the paradigm presented to us as the only or primary version of Ultimate Reality.  Perhaps it was imposed upon us in our childhoods and it no longer fits our experience. Our world picture changes as we grow and change.

Additionally, if you’re reading this blog, you’re either my good friend or relative, and/or you’re interested in growing spiritually. As noted in last week’s blog, spirituality conveys the idea of living peaceably with ourselves, with each other, and with our natural environment. The global battle for religious supremacy still rages among us. Thinking metaphorically vs. in absolutes (OUR absolutes) about the Divine opens up a space of humility within us where we can cultivate kindness, gentleness, and compassion for our fellow travelers.

Barbour says that, “Doubt frees us from illusions of having captured God in a creed” (Note 6).

So does thinking metaphorically.

Note 1: McFague, Sallie. Metaphorical Theology: Models of God in Religious Language. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1982, 1987.

Note 2: The atoms subatomic construct cannot be directly observed, but based on theories we’ve developed amazing technology, such as this computer I’m typing on, my cell phone, and information available at my fingertips due to the internet.

Note 3: Barbour, Ian. Religion and Science: Historical and Contemporary Issues. New York: HarperCollins, 1997.

Note 4: Luke 15:8-10; Matthew 23:37

Note 5: For more information on metaphors, models, and paradigms, see Barbour, Religion and Science; Barbour, Myths, Models, and Paradigms: A Comparative Study in Science & Religion; Harper & Row, 1974; and Kuhn, T.S., The Structure of Scientific Revolutions; University of Chicago Press, 1996 ed.

Note 6: Barbour, Myths, Models, and Paradigms: A Comparative

About the Author: Mary Coday Edwards is a Spiritual Growth Facilitator and People House Minister. A life-long student of spirituality, Mary spent almost 20 years living, working and sojourning abroad in Asia, Southeast Asia, East Africa, and Latin America before finding her People House “tribe” and completing its Ministerial Program. Past studies include postgraduate studies from the University of South Africa in Theological Ethics/Ecological Justice, focusing on the spiritual and physical interconnectedness of all things. With her MA in Environmental Studies from Boston University, abroad she worked and wrote on environmental sustainability issues at both global and local levels, in addition to working in refugee repatriation.

How to Get the Most Out of Counseling – Gideon Killion

It may surprise you to hear this, but the most important factor in making counseling successful is you — the client. That’s not to say picking a good counselor isn’t important, but what you bring to the session matters more. So, what can you do to make your counseling experience as helpful as possible?


1. Be honest with your counselor and yourself.

As much as we might hope, not talking about something won’t keep it from being true, or from having an impact on us. It is usually better to be honest about something we don’t like about ourselves — even if we choose to accept it rather than change it — than to pretend it doesn’t exist. Here’s an example. I spent months working with a client named Mike, but after every session I scratched my head, wondering why he wasn’t making any progress. That is, until he revealed a secret that made change impossible. Only when we understood the role this secret was playing did change become possible.

2. Be responsible for your progress.

Counselors and therapists can’t “fix” us or give us “the answer.”  They can help us gain insight, process, heal, and grow, but we have to do the work. And it is work — often hard work — to make lasting change.

3. Be willing to change.

This may seem obvious, but some clients come to counseling to figure out how to get someone else to change, such as a spouse, a boyfriend, or a child. And sometimes we do need to ask people in our lives to change their behaviors, or to seek change in our life circumstances. But, ultimately, any significant change we wish to make in life begins with change in ourselves, since that is all we can control.

4. Do it for yourself.

Many people come to counseling because someone else has insisted. Sometimes it’s a spouse. Sometimes it’s a judge. But it’s usually a waste of time until we find our own reason to be there. One of my first clients, Alan, only showed up for couple counseling because his fiancée dragged him. He made sure to participate, but only enough to keep her off of his back. Not surprisingly, we made little progress. I don’t blame him for being uncomfortable or not wanting to be there, but if he was going to come — if he was going to spend his money and time — he could have used the opportunity to make his relationship more satisfying and meaningful.

5. Anticipate the change you desire.

Make it real with your imagination. Doing so will make it seem more possible, more tangible, and thus easier to achieve. Sometimes we fail because instead of dwelling on what we want to achieve, we imagine reasons why we can’t do it. Now, I am not suggesting that we should not anticipate the challenges we will face along the way and create plans to overcome them. But, all too often, we talk ourselves out of success.

I hope these ideas are helpful to you in your counseling journey.

Remember that you are the most important factor in creating the change you desire.

*All names have been changed to protect confidentiality.


About the Author: Gideon Killion is an intern counselor in the People House Affordable Counseling Program. He also has a private counseling practice at

This Is Bigger Than Me Today – Lydia Taft

So things are changing again.  That’s all they ever do. Once I get comfortable, or at least somewhat comfortable with the direction I am traveling, I find that life gets all stirred up again.  And I am left to face the upheaval as it is and to once again find my place within the chaos.

I had once thought that I was meant to reorganize the chaos, but now I believe I am only meant to find where my next foot hold is, so I might ride the wave of change and see which shore I land on.  As I wrote that out, I became aware of my conditions.  I hear myself say, “But I don’t want it to look like this or that.”  “But I don’t want to lose my job,” was one very loud and clear statement.  “But I don’t want to move,” was another. 

But I don’t want to…  But I don’t want to… I hear myself whining in my own head about the many things that I don’t want.

I realize I have a very narrow picture of what I think all things ought to look like.  And while I am committing myself to riding that wave, there’s this part of me that wants to direct the wave to a particular shore and a particular outcome.  I find humor in this because I really thought I was in a place of surrender.  Turns out I am fooling myself once again!

When I’m fully honest with myself, I realize I have life plans laid out for at least the next 10 years.  And those plans have very particular sets of events that are expected to flow one after the other. 

It’s almost terrifying to think of what life might look like if it doesn’t go according Untitled-1to this 10 year plan of mine. 

I soothe myself by thinking that I am at least aware of my discomfort.  I am more aware than in the past of the conditions I’ve created.  I’m catching things earlier and earlier.  I’m getting better at this stuff.  I’m willing to keep trying. 

As I find some comfort in those thoughts, I realize there’s a higher part of my consciousness that understands there are bigger plans in store for me. 

I’ve had a lifetime of asking for things and the only way to achieve all that I’ve dreamed is to allow change to happen. 

My 10 year plan doesn’t account for the many things I’ve imagined.  It doesn’t account for personal growth and expansion.  It doesn’t include the bigger picture of myself as a dynamic being whose understanding is enhanced by every life experience I face. 

I realize that there’s going to be a point in time as early as the next moment, and as far away as 10 years from now, that includes a greater understanding of my place in this world.  And as I carry myself forward in this growth, I know that I can achieve and accomplish more than I can imagine from this particular point in time, with this very particular “now” understanding of who I am. 

Tomorrow’s understanding is greater and can accomplish more than I can imagine today. 

And I refuse to be afraid of that next thing that will take me to that next place, to live that next bigger and greater dream of mine. 

So I will find peace in surrendering to this change, because I know that it will propel me to achieving dreams I’ve yet to imagine.  I am reminded once again, that this experience is something bigger than I have the ability to imagine today. 

Growing Pains: New Things Are Possible Now – Lydia Taft

Transformation is on my mind.  Transformation, change, movement, growth… whatever one decides to call it, it is stalking me.  I see the clock and it reads 5:55.  The license plate, the tarot cards, the signs all around me read 5.  My attention is 5 oriented.  Change, change, change.  I am haunted by the idea.

I realize I’ve never fully embraced the idea of change.  It’s different, it’s new, and it’s unknown.  I sit here and feel this idea out.  Regardless of whether I welcome change or not, there’s no denying that I am ready to give birth to something new.  That statement resonates as true.  As I write that, I recall the experience of pregnancy and ultimately giving birth to my two daughters.  The very first thought that comes to mind was that it was painful, but if I am truly honest with myself, I realize it was also so much more. 

It began with expectation, and dreaming, and imagining what might be.  It was exciting.  I was expanding in every way.  My body, my emotions, my thoughts, my identity: they all grew and carried me along.  Ultimately, when it was time to give birth, any fears I might have held about the unknown future no longer mattered because there was no going back.  I gave birth.  Each time, with each daughter, when the nurse placed my child in my arms, I was this new being.  They were born and I was born.  I was transformed.  No matter how painful, there is not a single moment of my birthing experience that I would wish away. 

My beautiful daughters have continued to enhance my life.  They have challenged me to expand over and over again.  If I was stuck on one way of thought… well, they would offer unlimited other ways to view a situation.  With them, I’ve had infinite opportunities to release, to embrace, and to expand my perception of self and the world we share.  

Yes, sometimes this growth has been painful. There have been many ideas I’ve not wanted to release.  There have been many moments I’ve fought my own expansion and I suffered in my struggle.  I’ve built walls and have had them torn down.  I’ve held firmly to my own opinions and fought to keep them.  I refused growth and I suffered for it.  And then one day I gave birth again.  I transformed whether I wanted to or not.  And all the fear and resistance I held onto no longer mattered.  I am reminded that when change stalks you, you may as well just surrender.  You just can’t stop a birth. 

So here I am again.  Change is stalking me.  It is coming.  Change is here.  I am reminded not to fight it.  My growth is inevitable.  I am being transformed and expanded, and born again.  I face a new me. I have given birth to myself today.  I left an old idea behind.  I stretched beyond what I was, and entered into now.  I have changed. New things are possible now. 

People House: a Center for Personal and Spiritual Growth