Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Learning to Change Before Life Forces You To

Change is uncomfortable. But staying stuck is also uncomfortable.

I decided, a long time ago, to change before life forced me to. I discovered that when something bad happened in my life, my willingness to change was inversely proportional to how long the bad thing stayed in my life. The faster I learn my lesson, the faster the disaster rights itself.

Changing before the universe forces me to is quite addictive. There’s this thing called happiness that keeps flying in my window whenever I do it.

All the religious precepts say: wake up yourself, it’s the best thing you can do for the world.

As I change, I discover I am also waking myself up, more and more. And more and more I have love and magic and music and words and videos to offer to the world - it’s practically pouring out of me. Because I decided to change before life forced me to.

It is completely freaking me out some days. I am vibrating with so much change I practically knock myself out just standing there. It’s exciting though – thrilling – to wake up like this.

When something bad happens, I ask myself, “What am I supposed to learn from this? What is my lesson in this?”  And then I try to learn my lesson as fast as possible – let go of my unwillingness and my resistance, and change.

Recently we heard that a major client of DreamRider’s might have large budget cuts requiring the reduction or elimination of their funding. Part of me went straight to fear; they’ve been our major client for twelve years! What if we lose them?

(I completely ignored the fact that they used to be 100% of our revenues and now our revenues have grown so much they’re only 25%).

No, I didn’t say, “Wow, I was so smart to diversify our income like that!” No, instead, I panicked and worried and went straight to “My daughter will go unfed”, etc. etc.

My friend Erin said to me, “I think you’re supposed to have faith here.” I knew she was right.  Faith – trusting the universe – is hard for me. As it is for most.

So I focused on having faith that this was all for the good, somehow. Instead of panicking, I concentrated on changing myself – refusing to go to panic, fear and worry -  and instead I paid attention to looking for what good might come of this.

And the next day a new client called confirming they were going to do business with us.

I ran ahead in the direction that life was trying to move me. Life tested me, asking, “Do you have enough faith not to panic?” I threw my habitual patterns out the window and said, “Yes.”

I offered little resistance to learning my lesson, and so the situation righted itself right away.

This happens to me all the time. It is very cool. You might like to try it yourself.  When there is a situation in your life that you do not like, ask yourself, “What am I supposed to learn from this?” And try to learn it voluntarily.

But if you don’t come up with anything, here’s a trick:  What would you hate it to be? What would be the hardest thing? What is the thing you don’t want to hear?

Because, you see, if it was something you wanted to learn, a way you wanted to change or grow, you would just do it, and then life wouldn’t have to throw you a curve ball.

It’s almost always something I wish it wasn’t.

But I am always grateful to have changed.


  1. I love reading your blog Vanessa! I'm picking up what you're laying down, grrl. It affirms my experience and inspires me further believe in the evolution of consciousness that is transforming my life, when I let it...so exciting! Keep it coming!

  2. Well said, Vanessa! You've inspired me to add some thoughts...

    For me, the signal that change is needed appears at first like a ripple in the ocean on the horizon. If I take note of the ripple and adjust, there's no need for further amplification of the signal. If I don't take note or adjust, the ripple becomes a wave, and if I still don't adjust then it crashes on me.

    A profound peace sets in as we learn to scan the horizon at all times, including when our situation seems tranquil. Indeed, that is how our situation remains tranquil.

    I find as well that lessons play out less and less through "me" and more through "others" around me. This makes sense if a weak signal is sufficient to receive the message. And so we can learn from what happens to others. We don't have to wait until it happens to us. In my book this is because "others" are not separate, though they may seem, like the horizon, to be distant.

    As they say in Venice Beach, where I lived for four years... One love!

  3. Thanks Jeff & Mandy!

    Jeff, I enjoy your visualization of the process. I have had the image of "still waters as at sunset over a lake" accompanying me for the last while. Perhaps my horizon is calm! I also endeavour to learn from others that way. Thanks for your thoughts.