How’s Your Wobbly Factor?

Change is constant. How we experience change…that’s up to us.

-Meredith Grey-

DSCN3861While a few crave change, most of us avoid it like the plague. Change knocks us off centre, makes us wobbly and uncomfortable. But when life gets tough, change offers us the hope that things will get better. Three years ago I said goodbye to my daughter, Rachel. Without faith in the power of change I’d have remained emotionally paralyzed.

Life is full of endings, full of goodbyes; change. Even as we finish the last piece of a chocolate bar we’re reminded that nothing lasts forever. Poet David Whyte suggests 50% of life is saying goodbye; until we absorb that reality we’re easy prey for depression and anxiety. Besides, one day we’ll have to give it all away. Everything. Maybe if we practice we’ll be better prepared for that Big Goodbye.

We just have to open our fingers, loosen our grip.

Daehyun Kim

Daehyun Kim

As Tim Kreider reminds us in this week’s New York Times: You are older at this moment than you’ve ever been before, and it’s the youngest you’re ever going to get. The mortality rate is holding at a scandalous 100 percent.” 

We all have a date of birth, and a date of death at yet unknown. Until that day maybe it’s worth shaking things up, practice feeling wobbly: sit somewhere different, give a gift anonymously, do something others might describe as ‘not like you.’ Call it prep work. Detachment from attachment.

Changing my living situation every few weeks keeps me wobbly. Trusting that everything happens at the right time inspires a calm resolve and intuitive faith in life as it is…traits absent from an earlier life that left me ill prepared for massive change.

How we remember our lives trumps how we experience them,” claims neurosurgeon and cancer-survivor Allan Hamilton.  Today I shall reframe my thoughts about Rachel’s departure from this world. Rather than think of it as the date of her death, I shall celebrate memories of the 8533 days she lived.

“Cos’ I gotta feelin’…”

-The Black Eyed Peas-


Grey’s Anatomy, Season 7, Episode 1

You Are Going to Die by Tim Kreider

7 Ways to Make Happiness Last by Allan Hamilton

David Whyte workshops

What’s in a Name?

3:10 pm Friday afternoon, Mooloolaba, Qld, 1998

Teachers scurry down to the staff room, down a few XXXX beer, then dash off to surf, swim, or continue imbibing at the local surf club.

As with all things ‘travel’ you figure out how people have fun in their part of the world. This pre-weekend Aussie ritual offered a refreshing change from the West Vancouver school I’d left on a teaching exchange.

One such Friday afternoon I decided to launch myself into the world of e-mail. I needed a name. A just-right representation of me.

“Blivingrock!” Mike yelled from across the staff room table, beer in hand.

Immediately I loved it. Others do too I’m told.


Be Living Rock suggests strength over rough terrain and movement in even the hardest of times, to which I can attest. Strong yet vulnerable, hard yet porous.

Rocks are constantly moving and reshaping themselves, always by external influence. Strangely, my life has come to represent that of a Living Rock.


Rocks themselves are not alive. But a coral reef rock-like substance is continually produced from the skeletons of dead rock corals and the shells of mussels and other creatures which are bound together by sponges and calcareous algae.  A piece of living rock from a coral reef is a never-ending source of unique surprises.

(I love the last part!)

A recent Google search found Living Rock to be:

  1. a succulent South African plant
  2. a family church in Leicestershire, GB
  3. a song by Uncle Steve
  4. the name given to numerous churches in the USA
  5. a health resort
  6. a street name in Vegas
  7. a radio show In Rochester , NY
  8. a cavern
  9. a striker, protector and patriarch in a RuneScape
  10. a brand of South African red wine (love the label)
  11. a DVD title
  12. a ministry, fellowship and a foundation
  13. a description of Jeff Beck – world’s greatest living rock guitarist (OK, that’s a stretch)
  14. a studio museum in Brownsville Oregon
  15. an alternate name for Uluru, (Ayers Rock)
  16. an organic food store in Cairns

So it got me to thinking about how we are all Living Rock.

Consider the times you’ve stood by someone in need, helped them through a tough time, especially if you felt that without your support their struggle may have been immeasurably greater.  Remember that feeling?

Twice now I have sat beside a dying loved one. Agonizing yet beautiful. I was their Living Rock. 

Many others ‘bound together’ to keep me strong. They were my Living Rock.

Who has been a Living Rock in your life?

How did you express your gratitude? Is it worth reminding them one more time?