Is sustained change possible? There moments when change will feel mildly uncomfortable and others where it will be downright painful especially when it bumps up against your life AND your most deeply ingrained patterns. This is called your “immunity to change.” A part of you wants to go back to the familiar. 

John O’Donohue calls it “the seduction of safety” in his poem. All of these fluctuating thoughts and emotions are normal when courage and bravery call you out of your comfort zone. In the process of change, be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. 

I often read this poem to clients when they’re standing at the fork in the road:

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

John O’Donohue
To Bless the Space Between Us

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