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

This One Day

What if you died tomorrow? A shocking question possibly, but very important nonetheless. For the young and healthy it may even seem irrelevant, very likely abhorrent. 
But really, what if you died tomorrow?  What would die with you? What words? What blessings? What gratitudes you never got round to sharing with the ones you treasure most?
Five years ago today the man I loved, died. For six months, he embraced a profound vulnerability that allowed us courageous conversation to the end. It isn’t always this way. Some people are gone in an instant. A different loss. One potentially loaded with regrets of things not said.

In the routines of daily life, our energies are easily allotted to the plethora of copious tasks. We make numerous commitments to our work and our world, experts at showing up on time, preparing the dinner, social networking. But where do we make time to share with our family, friends and colleagues what we deeply love and appreciate about each of them? Maybe we do? Could we do more? What would it look like?
“We are most fully ourselves when we give ourselves away,” suggests Karen Armstrong.* Undoubtedly. Maybe the question needs to be how and how often.
How often, caught in the “To Do list” of life do we stop and reflect on the ways someone has enriched our life? How often do we consider what we might never have known without their companionship or expertise?
How often do we take the time, or muster the courage, to tell them? (Assuming they already know, is an illusion.)
The joy of such words for both giver and receiver would be nothing short of astounding. Besides, who doesn’t want to hear words of gratitude or admiration? Nobody I know!
Today is a new day. The one day we have for sure. Start giving yourself away. 
* The Spiral Staircase