Conscious Cat Sunday: embrace change

cat using facebook

Let go of fear, embrace change, and move toward joy. – Buckley

How do you feel about change? I have a love/hate relationship with it. I often think that one of the many reasons why I love cats is that they are creatures of habit who don’t like having their routines disrupted. I like my life, and I like my routines. At the same time, most, if not all, change in my life has always been for the better.

The reality is that, as the saying goes, the only constant in life is change. Ironically, most of us don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about change, but we sure react to it.

This was brought home to me once again when Facebook made some changes to its news feed earlier this week. Users reacted to the changes with a level of emotion that, to me, seemed completely disproportionate to what had happened. I love Facebook. I love all the connections I’ve been able to make because of it, ranging from business relationships to online friendships to real life frienships. I don’t like it when I have to spend extra time to learn how to navigate around after they make a change, but I’m not going to get upset about it. It’s just Facebook being Facebook.

Watching the reactions to the Facebook changes made me think about how we react to change in a bigger context. And it made me wonder whether we could manage change better if we chose to embrace it consciously rather than dealing with it from a place of fear and worry. What if we approached change differently?

Become conscious of how you view change

Do you view change as something to fear, or as an opportunity?  By becoming aware of how you react to change, how you deal with it, and what aspects of change trigger strong emotions, you will be better able to deal with change. Be aware that even positive change can trigger strong emotions, and feelings of stress.

Don’t automatically assume change is bad

Rather than automatically labeling change as “bad,” look for the opportunity in the situation. Sometimes, this can be impossible while you’re in the middle of a crisis, but it’s worthwhile to try and step back from what is happening and look at the big picture.

Many of the changes in my life that seemed very bad while I was going through them ultimately led to something really good. My divorce and the death of my mother within a four month period were incredibly hard to deal with, but at the same time, both events forced me to re-examine my life. This led to me quitting my soul-less corporate job and embarking on a career I loved.

Trust the process of change

This is where faith comes in. Regardless of your belief system or religious orientation, trust that changes in your life happen for a reason. You may not be able to see the reasons while you’re in the middle of change, but you’ll probably find a pattern as you look back over changes you’ve gone through in the past.

Get support from others

You don’t have to go it alone. Reach out to others who have gone through the type of change you’re dealing with. Allow family and friends to support you.

Asking for help can be difficult for some people. Bestselling author Nora Roberts once said “The answer is always ‘no’ if you don’t ask.” Getting support makes dealing with change easier – and don’t forget to pay it forward when someone else is having a hard time with change.

Embracing change was one of Buckley’s most profound lessons. She taught me to view change as something to embrace rather than something to be feared. Thanks to her, I began to develop trust in the universe, and I started to believe that no matter what, all was going to be okay.

How do you deal with change? Do you embrace it, or fear it?

Photo of Amber, checking out Facebook. She doesn’t think Facebook changes are worth getting upset over.

15 Comments on Conscious Cat Sunday: embrace change

  1. Anna
    September 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm (8 years ago)

    Thank you for this beautiful and inspired & inspiring post, Ingrid!
    I’m one of the persons who are very afraid of change (even positive change) and of taking “risks”, so I’m constantly working on that :)… and I found a book very helpful and am often going back to it — it’s Fearless Living by Rhonda Britten, a great book.
    Cats are indeed great Life Masters and teachers!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 25, 2011 at 7:50 pm (8 years ago)

      You’re welcome, Anna. Thanks for menioning the book, I’ll check it out. And I’m definitely going to keep listening to my cats!

      Reply
  2. Layla Morgan Wilde
    September 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm (8 years ago)

    On my Facebook profile page on Philosophy I say, “The only constant is change.” The question is how we react to it. Resistance is futile and creates more pain, so I’ll flow as best as I can.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm (8 years ago)

      Going with the flow is almost always the least painful option.

      Reply
  3. Katnip Lounge
    September 25, 2011 at 11:04 am (8 years ago)

    I like my ru! Having said that I know how good change is. I’ve had a wee tad of upheaval in my life this summer, (LOL) and of course I’ve been kicking and whining (like a Cat), but in the end, it’s all good.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm (8 years ago)

      I’m glad it’s all worked out for you!

      Reply
  4. maru
    September 25, 2011 at 10:53 am (8 years ago)

    Routine is safe, chage is risky… that’s one of the reasons people resist them.
    But you are right what is constant actually is change.
    Let’s embrace and enjoy the constant movement in life.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm (8 years ago)

      I like that, Maru, “enjoy the constant movement in life.”

      Reply
  5. caren gittleman
    September 25, 2011 at 9:38 am (8 years ago)

    sorry about my numerous typos above…should have checked it but I am not awake yet 🙂

    Reply
  6. caren gittleman
    September 25, 2011 at 9:37 am (8 years ago)

    I used to be beyond resistant to change until I the year 2001. My father had recently passed, I was s living in Cleveland and working at the newspaper where I had worked for 21 and a half years.
    21 and a half years? YES “creature of habit”. In June of that year I resigned from my job to be with my now husband who lived in Michigan. I gave up EVERYTHING. He and I were not even a couple yet and I had no assurance that we would even be together. I just knew we would be. I had no friends in Michigan, I knew NO ONE. All I had was a new job that I had found on Monster and they were paying to move me to Michigan. It was all a HUGE risk and I had never done anything like that, EVER.

    That made me quite flexible about change but in a different context than Facebook. I think people’s resistance to change on Facebook is the technological aspect. Those that are less technologically savvy (like me) have a more difficult time. Also, the change that Facebook has done to the timeline is NOTHING. They are having a COMPLETE OVERHAUL within the next few weeks, EVERYTHING will be different. Contrary to what Leslie above said, you won’t be able to “revert back to the old Facebook”

    Having worked in a “corporate” world for half of my life change of this magnitude happened quite often. Everyone handles it differently. I often gripe myself but then I deal w/it and move on.

    All I can say is “roll with it” just like the song, “roll with it baby”

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm (8 years ago)

      I can really appreciate the leap of faith it took for you to make the move to Michigan, Caren – and aren’t you glad you took the leap? There’s nothing wrong with griping, as long as we don’t stop there.

      Reply
  7. Leslie Kaufman
    September 25, 2011 at 8:32 am (8 years ago)

    Wonderful, wonderful post, Ingrid. Years ago my dad suggested that I was very resistant to change. Of course, I was resistant to his statement (!) but thought about it and realized he was correct. I carry that with me to this day, and try my best to welcome change with open arms.

    I had the same reaction as you to everyone’s strong emotions regarding FB’s changes. If I may say, it is only Facebook. While it is an important part of my life and business as well, it is just part of my life. Nobody has gotten hurt or has died as a result of these changes. By now, I am sure most of us have adjusted to these changes, or have worked around them by learning how to revert back to the “old” Facebook.

    So, although I am probably still resistant to changes in my life, I think I deal with them much better than I would have if my father hadn’t said anything. Thanks, Dad!!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm (8 years ago)

      What a wonderful gift from you dad, Leslie. Awareness of how we deal with change is one of the keys to coping better.

      Reply
  8. Max the Quilt Cat
    September 25, 2011 at 7:32 am (8 years ago)

    Great post about change. And I like Buckley’s saying at the beginning.

    Have a great day.

    pawhugs, Max

    Reply

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