Shift Happens: Change Ain’t Always Welcome.

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The past few days have been interesting in my home. There’s a shift in my perception of who I am as a person, mother, and how I want to Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 11.08.38 AMexpress that int he world. All too often I have talked myself out of freedom and opportunities in lieu of keeping my perceptions and agreements in tact, all to the detriment of my life. I wrote about the ways this has happened in another blog which can be read here. Reading The Four Agreements has opened my eyes to the ways in which I can bring balance, transformation, and new agreements that will unleash new ways of being for me. Now, why would I even mention equality or shifts at all? I’ll gladly answer that, and it will all come together.

I’ve noticed placed where I’ve resigned my power, assumed a lesser position, and agreed with it. Picking my son up today he mentioned that in English tutoring they wrote about equality from the perspective of historical happenings like civil rights, the Holocaust, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, etc. I posed the question of whether or not he could look at the things around him in relationships at home or with friends and if everyone was happy when shifts occur. What I recognized was that in schools we talk to children about equality as if everyone is happy when things shift to create what is seen as equal, but the truth is not everyone is even if it is good for all. See, the shift in my life means there will be a shift in that of my son, and I know he is not going to like it. Why? Good question. I’ll answer it.

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Any time there is a shift anywhere there is a change to the foundation or other things around and attached to that thing shifting. An earthquake provides the perfect example of shifting and the ripple effect. When an earthquake occurs there is a shift at the epicenter and in the area of the aftershock. And, surprisingly if taken alone the aftershock is seen as a normal earthquake in every physical detail. So, it follows that the same impacts happen in both the epicenter and at the site of the aftershock. My son will not like all of the shifts with me because some will impact his world in ways that displace and even through him off balance. That’s what happens during an earthquake and aftershock, things are off balance until the shifts stop. It will require him to transform his perceptions, mature, and create new agreements for himself and our relationship. Additionally, when a shift happens there are relationships that will shift and the way in which they survive the initial earthquake and/or the aftershock have everything to do with a few things. What are they? I’m glad you asked.

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Foundation. There are some relationships that are built on strong foundations. A foundation of trust, understanding, authenticity, communication, and love can usually withstand shift because the parties want the best for each other.

Structure. Structure is defined as “way in which parts are arranged or put together to form a whole; makeup.” Relationships have a good foundation of trust, understanding, authenticity, communication, and love usually also have an element of mutual respect. Mutual respect allows for some sway or give in the structure of the relationship.

Depth. If we look a relationships as a building, there is always a depth to the building. A building can’t be dropped on a surface without it having some depth. The depth of the foundation walls, security of the footings, and materials all matter. In a relationship the depth of commitment is essential. Being committed means to be dedicated and devoted to something. It has nothing to do with how it might look to you, that is attachment. Wanting the best for someone whether you understand their path, reasoning, how it looks, and even how it might impact you is an example of your level of commitment.

The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating — in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

– Anne Morriss

If when the ground shifts you leave or others leave you and are possibly engulfed by the crevice a review of the foundation, structure, and depth of commitment are necessary.

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Now back to equality and shifting. When things are transformed in your life the shift will never leave people on equal footing. Some people will end up on the same level, some will fall, some will completely disappear, and others will be left confused wondering “what happened?” Change ain’t always welcome. And it’s not always comfortable for the person making it. I know that the ground around Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 1.21.41 PMme is shifting, that doesn’t mean that I won’t step on it, it means I just have to be prepared to navigate the imbalance, intentional about where I step, aware of those around me, and strategic in how I proceed without apology. “Without apology” doesn’t mean walking over people or being rude, but rather being confident in the steps, actions, thoughts, and path I’m taking without feeling it necessary to explain, justify, or include others. There is a freedom in shifting, it loosens debris that can be discarded and exposes areas of strength as well as challenges to be addressed. Shifts, for me, have always begun in the Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 1.03.07 PMmind and translated into actions. When I shift the way I think about someone, something, or intentionally transform my perspective it begins with how I think about it. It is not until that happens can a true transformation and shift take place for me. I have to see it it differently in my mind, start to perceive and feel it, and, then, act. When that shift happens the ground will start to shake at the core and aftershocks are inevitable. Again, I’m aware that the shifts that have begun to unfold are not going to comfortable for me nor others, I’m willing to ride the wave and awaken the giant within anyway.


Hold on if you can.

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Railroad tacks following the Canterbury Earthquake, 2010

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