When Shift Happens, Who's Cleaning the Walls

When Shift hits the fan… Are you moving on or staying stuck?

We’ve been in an intense, collective change process that had its beginnings decades ago but gained momentum with the collapse of the economy in 2008. For the past eight years into this current upheaval in the Oil Crisis, how are you doing?

Have you learned to surf this tsunami of change, or have you been thrown against the rocks and still trying to catch your breath?

Are you learning to reinvent yourself and move on, or are you in upset and anger over its impact in your life?

Change is not a tidy process. Anyone who’s ever been through a divorce or lost a job knows that endings are often very messy and that starting over can be even more difficult.

As Pema Shroden, author of “When Things Fall Apart”, would say, “When you are in the ‘shit-storm of change’, lean in.”

It’s about appreciating the opportunity to really learn about yourself. “It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear… It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to.”

Imagine you’ve just jumped out of an airplane with no parachute. All you have is a piece of fabric, a needle and some thread. Your task is to make a parachute on the way down and have it completed and opened before you hit the ground.

If all this sounds a bit daunting, that’s because it is! Navigating change is like trying to walk through quicksand without being sucked under. Each step needs to be taken mindfully, yet with a sense of urgency.

The trick is in knowing just where to place your foot and exactly how fast to move, for the sands are always shifting and every step carries with it the possibility of either triumph or more change. Really the point is to just START MOVING. It’s about changing up your energy.

Change doesn’t come with an instruction manual. When the rubber meets the road, all bets are off. You can work hard, plan and prepare, and then Life happens. You either end up where you thought you were going or you end up somewhere else. Sometimes, the “somewhere else” turns out to be an even better outcome. Life has an interesting way of always giving us what we want, even when we don’t consciously know we want it.

Random acts of shitty happen all the time. Move on.

Even if your current situation is completely outside your ability to control, you are in charge of how you respond to it. Don’t waste precious time being a victim. You might get lots of sympathy and comfort from your friends, but all you have at the end of the day is a nice story, and nothing changes.

That is not to say victim-shift doesn’t happen. But that’s not what makes one a victim. Victims are those who get caught in the story and give up their power to it. Victims continue to keep telling the same story because at some level it serves their needs. Just keep repeating: “Change the story.”

Nothing will free you from the past and help you move forward faster than taking responsibility for your life now. And here’s the good news: It also means you get to acknowledge all the accomplishments you’re proud of along the way. The buck really does stop with you in both good and in hard times.

If you screw up, lean into it!

If you find yourself in a steep learning curve, consider yourself enrolled in a master class on how to dance on a tightrope in high heels going backwards.

Missteps or “mistakes” are highly probable. Learning from mistakes made early in the learning curve will better equip you to navigate the steepest terrain later on.

Even when our mistakes embarrass, humiliate and hurt; lean into them. Bring some light to them. Chat them over with a trusted friend or loved one. Once we put our “mess-ups” out there, you realize that they really are not that big. Add light and attention to them, as the light will dissolve the darkness (shame) you are feeling.

Add light to shame and free yourself.

So don’t be afraid to fail. If you don’t have at least one failure under your belt, it means you’ve played too small, stayed too comfortable and never dared to color outside the lines. You might as well dive in and get your feet wet! Or as author M. Scott Peck said, “The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”

All I can say personally, is this is the ABSOLUTE Truth. I have messed up significantly over the past several months and my mess-ups have forced me to face me. It’s not easy but its so worth it.

Please consider sharing what learning opportunities are opening for you. How has the shift hit the fan in your life? What’s most challenging for you now? What kind of support would most serve you at this time? Let me know by contacting me here.

Linda Edgecombe
Canadian Speaker Hall of Fame

One thought on “When Shift hits the fan… Are you moving on or staying stuck?

  1. Thanks Linda! I am always so amazed and appreciative of your insight and tips. It was a pleasure to see you again in April at Sparkling Hill. Hope you are taking care of YOU!

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