This post originally appeared on April 11, 2016.
How do you handle change?
Do you give yourself space to be gentle with yourself when it's hard? And, by the way, when isn't it hard?
Change is hard. That's just the plain emotional truth - change is hard. Yes, it can be exciting, and it's still hard. Yes, we can choose it - and just because we choose it, it isn't automatically easy.
Our bodies aren't wired for change. To change means we have to devote attention and energy to re-making patterns in our brains, re-wiring our circuitry to new pathways, turning off the auto-pilot and taking manual control for a while, until the change has become the norm.
That takes our attention away from other things for a bit, for example hunting for food or watching out for predators - that's why our ancestors naturally avoided change. It was too risky in a hostile world, where taking your attention in a new direction could have dire consequences.
It isn't your imagination when you feel resistance to change, and it doesn't mean that you're doing it wrong. In fact, if you are changing enough to trigger resistance, I daresay you're doing it right.
When you're itching to make a change (or you have change thrust upon you), start with acknowledging that going against the grain is hard. Give yourself permission to see the resistance, and say hello to it. Validate that you are undertaking something that will challenge you. Then turn right around and validate that you can do it. Know that by setting your intention toward change, it is already happening.
And notice what happens.