Comfort in times of uncertainty and change.
Change is an integral part of life. To a large extent, you are the deciding factor in what change means within your life. Some changes in life you will want, others you won’t. Change isn’t always easy. We may be at a point in our lives when we are fed up with a particular situation, a particular pattern or habit that we have. However, as much as we want some change at times and we might want certain things in life to be different, most of us if we get really honest may not want what change also entails which is a certain amount of risk and uncertainty. Any type of change within life, wanted or unwanted, entails some level of risk and uncertainty. When you learn to befriend risk and uncertainty more, you harness and live your courage. Within risk and uncertainty also lies opportunity for newness and when we gradually get a little bit more comfortable with risk and uncertainty, we can perhaps see that change isn’t such a bad thing after-all and offers advantages along with some level of initial discomfort. Even if it is just the newness of coming through an experience in life with a different perspective or of being much stronger and more confirmed and confident in your own truth and value.
Change can offer great opportunities to grow and to really come into your own strength and power. Sometimes a painful realisation can cause you to change something within your life. This is hard, but pain is also a great teacher. From pain you can be reminded of what works for you and what really does not work for you, get clearer on what your values are and are not and you develop more wisdom and alignment as you journey through life. Your own self truth and value are absolutely invaluable and one of the most precious things you can truly own. Change isn’t always easy but if it means a better outcome for you, a life where you value yourself more and say a clear ‘thanks but no thanks’ to untruths, time wasting or things you don’t want to live or subject yourself to, then it is always worth it.
There are also changes in life that are very unwanted. For example all of the changes within this recent COVID world have been largely unsollicited by most of us. I don’t know many who find mask wearing and being able to socialise with less freedom a lot of fun but to some extent, we can choose how we deal with this unwanted change. We are aware that at the moment, it is necessary. Social distancing really means physical distancing and does not have to mean social isolation. There are many ways to connect these days, there are many things that can nourish us. There are always choices in life and ways to find serenity even in the midst of difficult change, whatever those changes may be.
In relation to changes that you do want in life, small amounts of change that happen gradually can be a really good thing. It is always better to honour your truth and your knowing. As the saying goes, the truth might annoy you at first, but it always sets you free. A good question then is more how much do you value your freedom, self worth and wellbeing over the situation that you are in?
I am a shiatsu & mindful movement practitioner and a health and wellbeing coach. I have numerous different tools that I use that help myself and others lead a fulfilling life. One of the ways that you can approach change as a shiatsu practitioner is linked to Chinese Medicine, the five elements and ensuring that your are honouring and meeting your needs. Looking at the five elements and how they are present/absent in your life can be very helpful within moments of change. A shiatsu treatment (akin to acupuncture but mindful touch replaces needles to get energy flowing in an optimal way), a coaching session or a mindful movement session are all good ways to support yourself during moments of change and transition.
-The element of wood seen to be linked from a Chinese perspective to the Liver and Gallbladder, helps us to nourish our roots and to find really solid ground. Looking at and honouring your truth, needs and value can be helpful with this. Being kind to yourself and others while also being assertive is helpful. Really honouring and respecting yourself in life and the choices that you make in life and standing firm in what you believe is also good for the wood element. What for you is solid ground in life and how do you find it? How do you or would you like to feel fully within your strength within life?
-The element of fire, linked from a Chinese Medicine Perspective to the heart and small intestine, helps to nurture our hearts and be open to connection, warmth and love. It is helpful here to remember that the heart needs to connect with others and it also needs space, stillness and a connection with whatever represents the divine for you. It can be really helpful to connect deeply with yourself and then others…then our connection comes more from a centred and nurtured place. Develop a great love of yourself first and foremost. Not in the narcissistic sense of the word but in the sense of respectful self love that really nourishes you and then naturally expands out to others to nourish them. I say this because sometimes you might be looking for something in others that you really need to give to yourself first and foremost. Your connection with everything begins with your connection with yourself and self love. Your connection with yourself is a life long love affair…..make it a good one! How is the fire element manifesting itself in your life and would you like that to change in any way?
-The earth element, linked to the stomach and spleen helps you to really nurture and care for yourself and to rest into receiving the goodness of what is around you. The earth element is one of the most important elements when resting into transition. When we nurture the earth element and really rest into nature etc. our intention expands and is clearer and brighter. How are you connecting with the earth element in your life? Nature and things that comfort us and remind us of the beauty of nature and the world we live in and of comfort and ease are very helpful. The great writer John O’ Donoghue commented that in difficult times always keep something beautiful in your mind, and find a place in nature if possible and just let beauty unfold, I couldn’t agree more.
-Metal, from a Chinese medicine perspective which is linked to the lungs and large intestine, is an element which can help us nourish our spirit and the capacity for an appreciation of life. The Metal element is nourished through valuing our strength, courage and dignity. The metal element is about clarity and respecting the preciousness of your body and mind. If you think of a sword for example a good symbol of what the metal element represents, it is not wishy washy. A sword needs to be sharp and clear to cut through something. By really valuing the metal element through getting clear and making better choices about exercise, diet and lifestyle choices, we begin to value, appreciate and respect our health and wellbeing more fully. How do feel about the metal element within your life?
-Water, from a Chinese Medicine perspective is linked to the kidney and bladder, is an element that can help us nourish our deepest wisdom and our capacity to connect to our essence and potential. Meditation and mindful movement practices are excellent for nurturing the water element. Embracing life, going with the flow and choosing non-fear or to feel the fear and do it anyway along with persevering are also wonderful for nourishing the water element within us. Is there anything you would like to change about the water element within your life?
From a coaching perspective, change happens when one is ready and support can help with this. As Prochaska would say there is a period of pre-contemplation and contemplation that is necessary. As other therapists have pointed out, change is also something that happens as a spiralling process. Life presents you with opportunities to heal certain things. In truth more self acceptance and self love is the deepest change you need to see within your life. Looking at the five elements can be very helpful as a wellbeing and self care tool. There are many different ways you can support yourself during a moment of transition and change. Get in touch if you need support around changes you wish to make. That might consist in getting a nourishing shiatsu session to support flow and the movement of five elements within the body, a shiatsu nutritional advice consultation, a health and wellbeing coaching session or booking a mindful movement session.