Comfort – Chaos – Change
Many years ago, I trained and practiced as a life coach. I learned a lot. But one of the most important things that I learned was that nothing changes when you are comfortable. In our lives, we become accustomed to our surroundings, to our environment, to our patterns of behavior. And sometimes we will do anything to KEEP feeling this level of comfort, even if we intellectually know that it is damaging us, those we love – even our entire environment.
And in that life-coaching, I learnt about the circle of life. I want to share some of that with you, because in light of recent events, I can see that this has so much relevance to us all right now.
Our comfort zone is our Status Quo. This is the place where everything seems familiar, predictable, known. But life invariably throws us challenges and changes – these changes can be small things that happen in a daily basis. Or they can be far-reaching, life changing events that we feel totally unprepared for and overwhelmed by.
As we face these changes, and see them in our lives, we get tossed unceremoniously into chaos. Yes, you know the chaos don’t you?! That feeling of being out of control, where everything feels like it is happening to you without your approval, or ability to influence. It is decidedly uncomfortable, painful even. It is not a place that many of us choose to remain for very long – especially if we can see an easy way out. I mean, why would we want to stay there?
Well, here comes the trick. You see, when you jump out of chaos – flee from the feelings that the change brings to your life – you tend to run straight back to where you were before the change happened. In many instances we call this a victim cycle – where no matter what we say we want, it is what we DO that shows we are caught in a destructive cycle. But what to do about it.
What to do indeed? Actually, it’s pretty simple. Not easy – don’t mix up simple with easy…they are not the same thing. All you need to do is to simply STAY in the chaos. Do you know why? Because nothing truly changes unless we become unbearably uncomfortable. Stay there. Stay uncomfortable. Know that this is where the true magic happens if you can but keep focused.
And from this chaos, eventually you will gain insight. You will begin to understand a new, but fundamental, truth about yourself and your world. Don’t be fooled though – sometimes it can take months or even years in this chaos to find this insight. It takes courage, tenacity, audacity, perseverance and faith to remain in the chaos. But I promise you, it is worth the pain. Your insight will quite quickly bring about a new direction, a different pathway, a light through the chaos to a new way. And when you see it, you will wonder why you didn’t see it before!
Ultimately, we move into a new, changed, status quo – waiting for the next change and challenge that life has to offer.
Why am I thinking about all this now? Well, like many of you, I have been watching the changes happening in the beautiful USA. I have been listening to the rhetoric, trying to decide which (if any) new I will follow – let alone believe. And it is uncomfortable. It is bloody uncomfortable. And as I turned up to our local version of March on Washington this past Saturday, I had to ask myself a very uncomfortable question. What if the changes in Government in the USA are exactly what we as humanity, as women, as supporters of freedom and equality…what if these changes are exactly what we NEED?
Ok, so I know that this will be pretty contentious. But here is the gift…all these changes have thrown a great many people into chaos. We know we are in chaos because we are all so very uncomfortable. We are incensed, outraged, angry, upset – we are in the chaos, big time! But we need to be in the chaos, and for the next while, we perhaps need to stay there as a global family. Because if we can ride this out, perhaps – just maybe – what is happening will be the catalyst for great things to come forward.
I can see that there are going to be a lot more opportunities for us all to practice remaining in the chaos! My challenge to you is, as you sit in that place of chaos, ask yourself “what is it about this that makes me most uncomfortable”? Focus on that point, how do you feel, what do you see and hear? Who are YOU in this place? Are you compassion or anger…because once you get a handle on that, then you will get your insight. And don’t feel alone – this is happening to us all – and it is meant to happen. I am very excited to see what the new status quo will look like !!