Grow Your Life: Learning to embrace change

Two weeks ago, I wrote about how my thoughts were drifting towards spring.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about how my thoughts were drifting towards spring, and now I can hear the rain as it lands on the sunroom windows. It seems to me that over the past few winters’ nature’s thermometer appears to be a bit off the norm. How willing are we to adapt and change as the seasons arrive too early or seemingly too late? I believe we can feel the natural rhythm of nature working in the background of our lives and when the weather doesn’t match the date, we start to feel some resistance to this change. Change in any area of our lives doesn’t come easily to most people. It requires flexibility, energy, adaptability and a willingness to experience something new. Why is it we resist change so much? You’ve probably heard about a virtual place called your “comfort zone.” Often described as a place within ourselves where familiar is the name of the game, it’s a place where we feel safe and the realm of possibility is limited by our perceived boundaries. Self-talk such as “I can’t…,” “I have never…,” “It’s beyond me…,” “I don’t see why I have to…,” “I’m too old…” are some examples that confirm we may be living well within our comfort zones. I know as you read this, there is someone thinking “so what’s wrong with resisting all this change and being content in my comfort zone?” I suppose the question would be then: do you want to be an oak tree or do you want to be an enormously grand oak tree? Gail Sheeny offers this quote, “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” How could we release the resistance to change, break out of our comfort zones and grow? Here is a simple formula given to us by Richard Beckhard, the founder of the field of organizational development in the 1950s: DxVxFS > RC. D is the experienced state of dissatisfaction with your current state or situation. V is the vision of the desired future state. FS is the positive first steps toward your vision. You also need to answer the question, “Am I willing and am I able?” You will only take inspired action if the answer to both questions is yes. For change to be sustainable, the product of these three elements must be greater than your Resistance to Change. When the weather outside seems to change for the better or for the worse, some people will always find a way to complain and resist it, while others will embrace the opportunity to make the most of it. I believe the world needs more people growing through their comfort zones to become enormously grand oak trees.

Elizabeth Shopland is a horticulturist for Homefront Essentials Gardening, a Certified Solution Focused Coach, author and speaker, and the owner of Banyan Tree Solutions. She can be reached at 250-342-8978 or