life changes,  mindfulness,  observations,  transition

Winds of Change – On Pillows and Such

Photo by Awesome Sauce Creative on Unsplash

I noticed her as I walked by. She must have been in her late seventies. She was being helped by a young woman and they were discussing pillows. She was trying to choose new ones for her couch.

I soon found what I wanted and headed to another part of the store, then to the register to check out. The older woman was already there, completing her purchase of two pillows.

As she was getting ready to leave, she turned to me and the young woman at the register and said . . . “I needed some color – a change. I’ve lived with the same living room for as long as I’ve been married. My husband doesn’t like change but I’ve had enough. I want to see color. I know he’ll be upset but I just don’t care.” I smiled at her and said. .. “It’s time don’t you think?” She smiled back and nodded – You bet!

I was smiling all the way out the store and back into my car. This feisty old woman has been waiting for a long time to add color into her life and color she would have. Good for her!

This short encounter triggered a wave of reflection.

  • How often do we stall our own development and growth to accommodate somebody else’s fear of change?
  • How often do people lose themselves into a relationship that’s not healthy for them?
  • How do we co-exist with another and honor our personal need for change, when our partner refuses to budge?

I guess it’s different for everyone. For me, it’s all about choices. I’ve been through substantial life changes and I’ve been lucky to share my life with a supportive partner. I’m sure at times it’s been difficult for him, watching me struggle. Over the years, we’ve learned to give each other space to stretch and grow and that’s one of the reasons our relationship is strong after 26 years of living together.

At the wake of all the changes I’ve been through, I watched important relationships dissolve and fade into the history of my life. Not everyone or everything are here to stay. Holding on to that which is outdated can delay our journey.

I learned that the best way I can live my life is by being myself. I don’t know how to be anyone else. Of course, in the name making people happy, I tried and failed miserably.

I also know I couldn’t have waited 45 year to change my couch pillows and I have tremendous respect and admiration for the person who musters the courage to do so, after all these years, no matter what the cost.

Is there anything in your life that’s begging for a change, whether big or small? Are you ignoring it for the sake of someone else? How long are you willing to wait and why?

 

Yota works with women who are in the midst of life’s inevitable changes. Her approach is deeply influenced by her cultural roots, work and life experience, and her long-term practice of mindfulness meditation. In addition to her work with individual clients, Yota speaks and writes on mindful living, overcoming self-doubt, and the art of letting go.

4 Comments

  • Deborah Mack

    Great post, resonates with me at the moment, wish I could pluck up the courage to leave my job in finance and focus on other creative things i feel more passionate about. Only thing stopping me is the fear of losing my income. Going to start making some positive plans though and sort out how much money I actually need and alternative ways to earn it. Trying to convince myself my options are not just a wage or nothing. Thanks for giving me that little bit more inspiration I need to do more about this.

  • Yota Schneider

    Thank you for your comment Deborah! You’re absolutely right about your options. There’s a lot you can do to honor your creativity while at your current job. Make a commitment to do something about it, every day.
    Your job can actually support your creative endeavors. Quitting “cold turkey” isn’t always the best way. I should know! Although I don’t regret leaving corporate when I did, I wish I had done a better job planning for the transition.
    For now, your job allows you peace of mind and frees you to dream, plan and explore possibilities. Go for it!
    Good luck and thank you for sharing!

  • Marci Diehl

    Some changes have blown through my life like a windstorm, upending things that have always remained in place — I have the choice on some of them to put it back, or go with the change and disruption. Sometimes I look for the messages in those unpredicted changes — what needs to go, and if I don’t let go of it, will changed circumstances do the work for me? I’m not one to stay stuck. I love stability and calm, yet I’ve made choices that invite big change, again and again. Then there are the changes I want to make, but sometimes over-think or wait on, believing the “right time” will show itself to me. I like what you said in your comment, Yota — make a commitment to do something about it every day… small or large. It can be changing the pillows or throwing off the “shoulds” and leaping feet first into the very thing you’ve been wanting to do differently.

  • Yota Schneider

    Thank you for your insightful comment, Marci! It’s obvious you’ve been through many changes in your life and you’ve taken the time to get to know yourself through them. What a great gift!
    I can sincerely relate to what you said. . . “I’m not one to stay stuck. I love stability and calm, yet I’ve made choices that invite big change, again and again.”
    This paradox . . . it took me some time to stop questioning it. We don’t have to be either or. We can live in both worlds, at the same time.
    Change has a “polishing” quality. It “scrubs” our outlook and understanding from the inside out.
    Thanks for stopping by.

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