C.H.A.N.G.E.: The 6 Step Road Map of Change by Evelyn Foreman
Disclosure: Reading this post may inspire you to think deeply about your inner world. This topic fosters insight and inner wisdom, and we encourage you to read with an open mind and heart, for yourself and others undergoing the process of change. Namaste. 🙏🏼💕
What Awesome and Change Have to Do With Each Other
Awesome is a word often overused, and casually used, in modern day. We use the word awesome to mean that something is really cool, or inspiring, or amazing.
I looked up awesome in the urban dictionary and it literally says, “something Americans use to describe everything.”
The dictionary defines awesome as the overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration or fear. Awe is a combination of the conflicting emotions of wonder, veneration, inspiration and fear.
The word ‘awesome’ and the word ‘change’ seem to have these definitions in common.
Change is perpetual - it is always happening. Whether we like to admit it or not, we are always in the midst of change - down to the molecular levels. We are always in transition.
To change is to undergo a transformation, to be different somehow, and change, although (many times) challenging, is invariably part of life.
Change is life, and it does come with conflicting emotions of wonder, veneration, inspiration, and fear.
And when I feel afraid, I often look to the great Mama (Mother Nature) for comfort, understanding and nurturing, amongst other things. My birth mother passed when I was 16 years old but Mother Nature, and her grace of navigating change is embodied through all things around me.
Mother Nature: The Embodiment of Change
Nature is an obvious example of change. Unless you are lucky enough to live around the equator, the four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter are palpiable throughout each year for many of us.
The life cycle of plants is an excellent example. A seed becomes a seedling, growing into a plant, eventually bearing flowers/fruits and seed. I can almost visualize the cycle in my mind, can you?
Change and life cycles applies to all of nature on earth: water, human, insects or otherwise. Even what seems to be immobile or stagnant, like towering mountains and even continents change over time. Erosion and plate techtonics takes care of that!
Limited View = Limited Perspective
Our perspective broadens as we learn. Our view becomes larger and more expansive the more open minded we become. This does not mean we need to agree with everything we see but to simply have an understanding, without judgement, for how others live and how others have developed their point of view.
Think back (for some of us, think WAY back) to your high school / junior high school year book.
Remember the favorite generic line written by your cronies at the time of yearbook signings? “You Rock. Don’t change!”
The intention (at least, I hope) is to say that “You’re an awesome friend. I hope you stay awesome.”
Wishing someone to NOT change over time may really be an unintentional curse for them to never evolve, even though that’s not what we meant in our yearbook wishes.
As we grow up, and become mature (in age and emotional/social/intellectual intelligence), let’s hope we have learned a few things - let’s hope we’ve changed! I hope that we have ALL CHANGED - and evolved.
If we stayed the same as always, we would be doomed to stagnation...and die (if not literally, then figuratively, a little each day, on the inside).
As we develop and grow, nature intends for us to change. Every stage in life requires us to use the skills we’ve acquired (and mastered) from the previous stage to deal with what is in front of us so we can evolve on our path.
When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Will Come
Think of a baby and mobility. When we are born, we cannot even hold our heads up! Steps are necessary to progress in our personal evolution: without even consciously realizing it. We embrace our need to acquire and develop neck strength in order to hold our head up.
We then learn to sit. If you have a child you’ll remember that sitting requires time. Like holding up the neck, babies need time to integrate balance, strength, and awareness in order to master and embody this skill.
Then comes crawling, standing, walking and eventually, running. You get the picture. Little babies are wonderful examples of how to embrace the curriculum of life, and how to be masterful at it. We have all learned to master the art of walking to a point of embodying, have we not?
Babies are inherently wise. They allow tools and resources to assist in their development: holding on to chairs and walls to stand, and whatever is necessary to walk about, be it their parents’ arms, end tables, or a walker.
Help is Available and Everywhere Present
My point is, babies do not hesitate to ask for help. We can learn a lot about our inherent human nature in the spirit of strength, perseverance and personal evolution from our babies. Every change that comes forth is learned, adopted, processed, integrated, and embodied.
Once a process is mastered and embodied, it becomes second nature. (This goes with good habits, and those not so good habits - so our job as evolved thinking beings is to choose wisely!)
Babies simply find what’s around them, and do what is needed to change - to evolve and to eventually become an independent human being.
Congratulations to us all - we can learn a lot about our amazing nature just by remembering we’ve adopted and adapted to change from the very beginning.
We have all mastered and embodied walking. Let’s use that as a model for how to navigate, adopt and adapt to more complexed changes in our life today.
Whatever changes you may be undergoing now, know that you already have the pattern of change and the secrets of how to master it within you.
Why DO We NEED change?
As a mother, it was a lot easier for me to identify and recognize what stage my child was in the second time around.
With my second child, I could (almost immediately) see that she was going through a change, a transition or a learning process at the onset of (or even before the) change.
We outgrow what we know because Life demands it.
When our view broadens, our perspectives expand.
What we once held onto with dear life, loosens. We no longer hold on to what we used to know as though our life depended on it because we know that there is a greater reality.
We have the opportunity to stretch and grow each time we face a challenging situation in our life that pushes us beyond what we know.
The Awesome 6 Step Road Map of Change
Below is the 6 Step Road Map of Change. Having this will enable you to know where you are and let you know where you are headed.
C - COMPREHEND - Understand what is happening.
H - HUNGER FOR IT - Want the change that is happening, know that it is FOR you.
A - ACCEPT - Be open for the good that wants to bless you and move through you. Open your heart & let it in!
N - NURTURE - Nurture and embrace your process of personal growth. Allow yourself to practice new concepts, try things on, and see how they feel.
G - GROW with it. Give yourself the experience of knowing what you need to grow. Let yourself be the seedling to burst forth into the sunshine!
E - EMBODY - Bring it down to the cellular level. As you become masterful through the change, and transition to a new way of being, allow yourself to sync into embodying (to come into your body as a muscle memory) your new way of being. Know it is good!
THE 6 STEP ROAD MAP OF CHANGE:
Comprehend :: Hunger :: Accept :: Nurture :: Grow :: Embody
STEP #1: COMPREHEND. Understand that change is a part of life.
Intellectually “get” what is happening. Be brave and allow a bigger picture to unfold.
So many times, we are so caught up in the moment and in such pain (either in body, or mind or spirit) that we forget about the idea of process. What we are going through is a transition, a phase, a process - and we WILL persevere. It always works out.
The most amazing thing is to know that it ALWAYS works out.
Think about it: everything that has ever happened to you has worked out.
Everything that has ever happened to you in the past has happened FOR YOU because every little (or great thing!) brings you to who you are in the moment, right now. Each decision, or non-decision, choice point and step you’ve made has brought you to your life, as you know it, in this moment.
STEP # 2: HUNGER (for the change). Want the change that is already in motion.
Another word I associate with “H” in change is “hankering,” as in, I have an hankering for change. Okay, so you might really be feeling resistant to a change right now, but deep down you know change is in the air - it’s coming and undeniable (like a baby about to crown!). Just saying that you have a hankering for positive change in your life changes the energy doesn’t it?
Declaring that you want a positive change - that you hunger for it - doesn’t betray your current situation at all. Rather, you are claiming your power to direct the destination of change - to good (instead of whatever doom you may have in your head about the change itself). Plus, you’ll be harnessing your power of seeing the big picture, rather than the myopic (microscopic) attachment of where you are now (hey guys, remember your soul is in a mission!).
STEP #3: ACCEPT. Allow what is to be.
How many times have we heard the cliche... “the first step is acceptance?” With the idea of acceptance, I don’t mean to force change down your own throat. This is not the time for a bull in the china cabinet situation.
Working with the idea of acceptance requires patience, grace, heart, and tenderness. Accepting an idea that is new, that we may not (yet) be quite ready to accept is working with grief: the loss of expectations and the release of our vision and commitments. Sometimes, this means working deeply on core issues like forgiveness for others and ourselves.
In many cases, when we are done processing, we may be grieving a part of ourselves that we are finally willing to say good-bye to in the acceptance of a new idea, or in accepting the new us.
The mantra “gentle, gentle, ease and grace” is what I affirm when I feel hard on myself and need some loving compassion. I take a lot of quiet time to slow down and be in The Silence, praying and listening to what it is I need to know in the process of accepting change.
STEP #4: NURTURE. Mindfully support your own process of personal growth.
Give new concepts a look-see and give it a test run! Some things might sound good, but doesn’t quite feel right in your life. Other times, a practice or a ritual may sound totally radical and crazy, but when you practice it, in the comfort of your home, you might find that it soothes your weary soul and satisfies your need. And don’t give up on yourself too quickly. Just like trying new foods, it takes time to develop a taste for it.
The Rule of Three (3) Tries
I always use the rule of 3 when it comes to trying new foods or new practices. If I don’t enjoy it the first time, I “erase/cancel’ (or ‘cross/cancel’) so I don’t taint my experience the 2nd time. To erase/cancel means that I consciously and intentionally throw out the 1st experience so I won't be biased in my next experience. When I don’t consciously erase/cancel, I might be tainted on the 2nd/3rd try (in which case, why bother, right?).
Give yourself time to try new things on, and see if it fits. Like a TV show, (or your thoughts, for that matter), if you find that it doesn’t speak to you, change the channel. Take away with you what works for you, and leave the rest.
STEP #5: GROW. Give yourself time to emerge and integrate change.
Isn’t ‘change’ the perfect word for spring? Like gardening, once you plant the seed, nurture and water it, you must add ‘time,’ and give it a chance to gestate and grow.
Let yourself be the seedling to burst forth into the sunshine!
We already know that growth takes time. Human babies take 9 months to grow in the womb until term. Plants and animals of varies species have their own time, but when the time is right, seedlings will come forth and we see the budding of blooms in the spring.
Since you are living the experience of growth, be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself time to process and deal with it by being present to it - to YOURSELF! Don’t fill up every minute of every day with activities and events.
Give yourself some downtime to be still and feel the change that is working through you. Take a bubble bath, get your toes painted, or take a contemplative stroll in nature (garden, beachside, forest, labyrinth). Be good to yourself during this period of stretching and transitioning - it takes a lot of energy to bring forth The You that you are meant to become!
STEP #6: EMBODY. Let yourself be the change you wish to see.
To embody means to give something concrete form.
To embody something is to bring a concept, an idea or a practice down to the cellular level of your body. To embody love, for example, is to live it, and not just talk about it, or have to remember to think about it, or figure out how to do it. To embody Love Is to BE Love in expression and to BE Love in action.
To embody something is to live it.
For instance, an athlete (especially a professional athlete) practices a lot. Once she embodies the practice of that sport, it becomes second nature. No need to think about fundamentals - a seasoned athlete can execute on demand.
- So when life demands you to be patient - do you embody patience? When life demands (or your babies demand) love, do you embody love so that love overrides anything else?
Needless-to-say, embodying anything is lifelong work. Embodying change is a moment to moment process asking us to be present and patient with ourselves, each step of the way.
As you become masterful through the change, and transition to a new way of being, allow yourself to sync into embodying. That is, to allow yourself to develop a sort of muscle memory in how you respond to changes in life in your new way of being. And know it is good!
How Much Change Is Enough?
This is really a great question!!
“How much, how often and how severe does the change need to be?”
And only the person who can answer these questions is the person being asked of these questions.
Each one of us live a life curriculum that is custom tailored for our own soul’s need. We all have different tolerances, difference life experiences, and different triggers.
You, and Only You
If someone tries to tell you how to live YOUR life, there is something awry, because they are NOT you.
They are not privy to the inner process of your thoughts, challenges, beliefs or otherwise. Others may be compassionate to what you are going through, they may share their opinion and experiences, they may even coach you. However, it is you, and only you who is ultimately the decision maker. You are the driver of your one, precious, sacred life.
You, and only you have the right and perfect answer within you to live the life your soul has come to experience.
This is what you need to know about change: it happens! It is happening. Change is occurring now in THIS moment, and in every moment of life. Change is inevitable. Change simply is.
We can either fight it tooth and nail, deny it and suffer, OR embrace it with open arms, make the best of it, give grace leeway...and be AWESOME. The choice is truly yours. ❤️
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Please Raise Awareness and Share The Love ❤️
So my dear, AWESOME Friends:
Which of the 6 Steps in the Road Map for Change (currently) most resonates with you?
When you reach way down, what is your soul wanting to experience in this one precious, momentary life?
In the transition of being born and of leaving your body, what do you want to experience as a spiritual being living a human experience? Is it joy, Love, faith, abundance (and to which ends of the earth would you be willing to go to achieve this?)
How might you integrate AWESOME and C.H.A.N.G.E. in your life?
Do you have any practices to help you navigate transition so that you can 'lean into' change?