Change Is Hard Work

Change sure does suck sometimes.

Fundamentally the concept of change is an easy concept to grasp, and fundamentally we all know change happens. Like. All. The. Time. So why is it such a difficult thing to understand? To accept? Why all the resistance to it?

Change is going to happen no matter what.

Relationships change. People move away. Kids grow up. People become harder. People become softer. People fall in love. People fall out of love. Priorities change.  Some learn to seek the truth while others only want to run from it. Some learn to see the beauty in flaws, and some, well, don’t. Some people mellow and some do the opposite of mellowing. And sometimes the Universe shines a light and you get a whole new changed perspective.

Sunset over Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

Sunset over Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

Change equals evolution. Without change none of us would be here. Change is growth and movement. Change is life. Humans have evolved to where we avoid situations of fear,  where we do not want to face the unknown and make decisions. We want a risk-free life where we feel safe and protected. And for some reason we feel safe and protected as long as things stay the same.

Upper and lower Yosemite Falls

Upper and lower Yosemite Falls

I’ve transversed through many of life’s changes; and at the moment I seem to be in the midst of yet another change  (on a couple of different fronts)  good changes but nonetheless some scary ones. As the pendulum swings and the scales of life attempt to balance out, and even though the decision is mine, it does not make the process of transition any easier. Still an uncertain future looms ahead and makes for a skipped heart beat and leaves me short of breath at the oddest of times.

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley

Why am I sharing this with you? Because I want you to know you are not alone. If you happen to be in the midst of some life change know that it is only the natural order of the Universe, the ebb and flow of All. My proudest change, up to date, is my learning to accept change.

What would happen if you did accept and relaxed into things?  Really,  what would happen?

When we resist, when we believe things ought to be a certain way, when we don’t accept the reality of the way things are, that is when suffering and stress come about. Think of the caterpillar. The caterpillar does not sit around in his cocoon resisting the natural flow of the universe, lamenting his fate, blaming others, grieving, denying, bargaining, or being angry.  The caterpillar goes with the flow and naturally morphs into the butterfly.

Half Dome

Half Dome and a storm brewing

Ah. Such lovely sounding words; going with the flow, acceptance, relaxing….

But when one is in the midst of making a life altering transition and uncertainty is the only thing looming in the near and far horizon, the last thing one is capable of doing is flowing, accepting, and relaxing into it?  So how?

I’m here to tell you…. I’m not really sure how.

But you are not alone. We’ll navigate through it together.

All pictures taken Nov. 2015 in Yosemite National Park

36 Comments »

  1. Wow, your words really strike a chord with me right now. I am facing a choice right now that has me running around in circles..”What should I do? What should I do? This??? or That???” What a comfort to be reminded I am not alone in this end of the diving board moment. Thank you for sharing this post, and the photos~ absolutely wonderful.

    • Thank you, Melissa. I think a lot of time we get stuck in our own thoughts and our own stress and “feel” isolated which in turn only adds to our stress. You are definitely not alone. So take that plunge of the diving board, you’ve got others who have got your back!

  2. A person I barely know said this in passing, and I find myself returning to that phrase over and over again: “Every change, good or bad, has an element of mourning.” I am on the cross roads on several fronts in my life right now, most good, some unclear — and that phrase comforts me somehow: it is okay to feel anxious, even when the change is good; give yourself permission and space to mourn what is passing, or at least mark its passing. Beautiful images to go with a thoughtful post — thank you.

    • How perfectly you worded that perfectly, and what terrific advice “give yourself permission and space to mourn what is passing” Oftentimes I think it’s this, this very situation when we DON’T give ourselves that space and time to mourn ‘the passing’ , is when stress and anxiety manifests itself in so many other ways. And thank you ❤

    • Yosemite in April is going to be even more breathtaking! The snow will have melted and the waterfalls will be full and bursting! I will come and cheer you on for Big Sur if I can work it into my schedule! I’ll be your official photographer!

      I am good, so good, even maybe even too good, with some changes. But there are other kinds of change, ugh gawd, where I just am simply … Scared. Terrified. Frightened. I’ve ‘worked’ on this ever since I became ‘aware’ of the fact my stress & anxiety were actually fear driven. Anyways, like I said, it’s a daily struggle and having friends like you make it not so much of a struggle. Thank you, Wendy.

  3. Great post and pictures. And, of course your words are wisely said. But some changes are more difficult than others and some people have great difficulties in accepting. A good idea, like you say, to mark the changing or to grieve – and then be able to move on. I have a collegue who has such great difficulties with these things that he becomes physically sick and has to stay at home for a while. Sometimes when the tough winds of change at school blows harder than oft, my first thoughts go to him.

    • I too know folks like your colleague, Leya. I hope the burden of change will lessen over time for him. It has for me, I remember years ago I too would become “ill” but my symptoms manifested themselves into anger and denial and self-sabotaging acts, it’s only over time that I became ‘aware’ that this was happening and it was only be becoming aware of it that I was able to ‘change’. So it’s one big circle, isn’t it? As always, thank you for your valuable input. Much appreciated.

      • You are of course right. In most cases time will work for you – and registering how you work. This man, though, is 60 years old and hasn’t managed to cope with changes yet…so I guess, he will have to live with this.

  4. On the flip side, there are those who run from situations and think that moving location will solve everything. I used to be one of those and eventually learned that a change in zip code didn’t necessarily solve things. The problems just tend to come right with you! 😉 I suppose the essence comes down to whether you’re running away from or moving toward something positive.

    • Indeed, there are “those”. I mentioned in an earlier comment that there are some changes I am really good at, maybe too good. Dear friend, I know what you speak of and interestingly enough (serendipitously, perhaps) it is in fact that very change I am in the midst of now – Not moving, not running away. Crazily it’s actually something I’ve only become aware of in the last couple of years even though it’s been staring me in the face for like ever. Me thinks it’s a blog post in the making 🙂

      And you suppose correctly. The pertinent question is to ask, “am I running away or moving towards something positive?” ❤

  5. So too with me Tahira, these words strike a chord. Sometimes you can just feel that change is in the air – unsure what or how there is simply a feeling of things about to alter, a feeling that your axis is about to tilt. I’ve been in one place and space for 10 years now and for the first time I’m beginning to question my comfortable place and wonder about the coming year. You once told me that I was your inspiration, you’ve just reversed that sentiment – your thoughts on change have inspired me to accept any changes that present themselves and make the most of future opportunities – even if it means scary changes 🙂 Have a wonderful Christmas season lovely lady.

    • Thank you, Pam. You still are an inspiration to me! This is why I love the blogging community – Sometimes it takes just one little old blog post to set get the wheels turning. Yes, I do indeed know that feeling of things about to alter and your axis about to tilt. It is a scary feeling. Terrifying. But knowing that I am not alone in this is not just a comfort, it’s a realization of knowing I can get through it. Others have been here through the millennia, are here, and will be here. I’ve become acutely aware that when I isolate myself and keep these feelings of fear locked up (because I feel vulnerable opening up – but that’s an entire other blog post!) the feelings of fear intensify exponentially. But when I share my story and finds others who feel the exact same way, my burdens seem less, and controllable, and not so frightening any more. And that’s why I continue to blog. Thank you, dear friend, and I wish you a lovely Christmas season, as well! ❤

  6. Very interested to know what changes are coming down the pike for you and where your travels are taking you next. Little do you know I live vicariously through you! On a completely different note, did you have tire chains on when you were in Yosemite? I see snow on the dome and just curious if you had to have the tire chains on!

    • Unfortunately there wasn’t enough snow on the ground to warrant tire chains! I must admit I am looking forward to that day! My change is actually not so much a change I suppose. But a change nevertheless for I am doing something I usually don’t…. I am staying put. there is no ‘where’ or ‘travel’, my adventure is here. I found a place I can call home in Northern California, and it’s scary as sh*&!!!!! I’m afraid your vicariousness is gonna be a bit boring…. 🙂 xxx

  7. Great photos my friend. Change is hard, especially when we get older but as you once said, growth comes from being uncomfortable. I always think about that. I am curious to hear about your changes. Miss you!!

    • It’s all about leaning into that comfortableness, isn’t it? My change is the change of staying in one place 🙂 How about that one. It’s become super easy for me to pack-up and go, whats difficult for me is making the commitment to stay. Northern California has saved me in so many ways that I am now ready to make it and call it ‘home’. And that is what is terrifying, dear friend. Miss you too, Kato! Come visit me!

    • Isn’t that the truth, Tiny. It’s always so enlightening to look back and see the path we’ve blazed and come to the realization that it all had to be for us to get to here. Thank you, my sweet friend and a *big hug* back to you ❤

  8. Change is not easy to accept but…no matter how much we want things to stay the same, they don’t. Change can be good, change can bring new opportunities.
    Great post! and the images are wonderful 🙂

    • Thank you, Cristina. This is one of my favorite places ever. And yes, isn’t that the beauty of change? While frightening and scary it is also an opportunity to walk through some new open doors that offer so much good. 🙂

  9. Change is never easy; it can be both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I’m so curious to know what your upcoming change is. I’m struggling with some major decisions right now, and I seem to be stuck, not knowing what direction to take. The running away or running to something is always a big question in my decision-making. It’s true that you can’t really run away, as you always take yourself with you. Good thoughts to ponder. 🙂

  10. Tahira, I am absolutely in love with your words and your whole concept of change. Learning to accept it, relaxing into it, keeping my eyes, my heart, and my arms wide open; those are the things I have been pushing myself to do. It’s been so long since I last visited your site and I’m so glad to be back here!

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