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Life Choices, Life Changes

· Change,Transformation,Community,Emotional Agility,Wholehearted

“We’re young, until we’re not. We’re healthy, until we’re not. We’re with those we love, until we’re not. Life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility.” – Susan David

The first big storm of the autumn struck at the weekend. Storm Callum has filled the roads and gardens all around with leaves of a myriad shades, leaving trees slightly undressed with bald patches where the light has been allowed to come through. I am reminded again that everything changes, both things we deem ‘good’ and those we consider ‘bad’. We can feel that life is either certain or uncertain, but in fact we do not ever truly know the future. I read recently that pain of loss is caused by the fact that we tend to think that things are permanent, and are distraught when life demonstrates to us its impermanence. No matter how much change comes my way, I still find it a challenging place to be; that uncertainty for the future. To allow oneself to be in the place of now.

Over the last few months there have been a multitude of changes happening in my life, and I have spoken here about the ground shifting beneath me and the scenery altering. I have found it a tough place to be with so many factors that I had relied upon being suddenly different. I am aware that my blog posts are becoming more sporadic as the inevitable work of dealing with change has thrown up much to deal with and plan for. I have also found it increasingly hard to summon the creativity to be able to share something I feel original and meaningful. I set out with the intention of blogging weekly, now I recognise for the foreseeable future I will be blogging less frequently, and I am coming to peace with that. I hope you can to. This is not goodbye, just hello to a different way of doing things. ‘You’ll have to adapt or go out of style’ as my favourite band from my teenage years The Cure sang.

So I’m getting curious about change. I may not like it, but I do wish to find ways of becoming more comfortable with it. Change is inevitable but it can also be a positive experience. When I look back at my whole life (all the way back to The Cure years!) with times I’ve experienced greatest difficulty – usually caused by changes in things that I had taken for granted – I can see why they needed to change and in time they ushered in positive and fantastic things into my life. From the boyfriend I found in bed with somebody else, truly devastating at the time, but it made me more independent and created space for meeting the man who would be my husband. To discovering that my fertility wasn’t what I had thought it would be and struggling for years to conceive, thinking I never would. Eventually it happened when I least expected it; I now have the gift of two children.

Life with children is a game that is constantly changing: the rules, the issues to deal with as well as their complexity. Raising children I find is one of the biggest challenges of all. The changes I am experiencing now are due to my family, and in large part to the fact that my son is collecting an ever growing list of additional needs for us to adapt to and find ways to support him. Over the last 18 months, regular readers will know that I have spent time really evaluating what my key values are and how to act upon them. If we do not truly know what are values are in the fast pace of modern life, as Susan David says in her book Emotional Agility, we can make decisions that are not our own with society constantly bombarding us with messages about what we should find important and makes us worthy. Therefore we must decide for ourselves what is important and what makes us worthy, though not always easy to take action on. My family is right up there for me – definitely top 5! – in fact right now it is clear that it is number 1.

Even in times of great turmoil and change, many things do of course stay the same. I remain steadfastly committed to this journey of being wholehearted; creating community and connectedness; as well as allowing myself the vital time to look after myself. These are my pillars going forward, and you can hold me to them. Until next time my friend, I wish you well. Clare x

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