Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, overcoming adversity

No One Likes Change

Let’s face it, we’re creatures of habit. We get into our rhythm of life and we play our own music to that rhythm. There’s a comfort level in the rhythms we create and they provide an emotional and spiritual safety net for what may seem like a life filled with challenge.

I can be quite stubborn and in the past didn’t like change at all. I could dig my heals in better than anyone else I knew to avoid change. I’m not proud of this story but I’ll share it with you.

I was working in a restaurant (within a hotel) in graduate school. I had been there a few years and the manager of the restaurant was someone who was brought in from another hotel. I revered this woman. She was competent. In fact, she was the yardstick that, in my eyes, would measure leaders. I learned a lot from her and we would stay late at night discussing marketing and training. Unfortunately, but not a surprise, she got a promotion and left our establishment

It took a few weeks until a new manager was hired. The new manager arrived and that sent me into a tailspin. It went so far that I didn’t speak to her the first three months she managed the restaurant. Then something happened, I can’t remember the details, and we began a friendship.

So why didn’t I speak to her? I can say with clarity that change led to sadness. The person I admired and befriended had left, leaving me behind. It’s not that I wanted to follow in her footsteps, I was following a different career path, but I found someone who understood me. I had found someone to talk to whose level of passion for what he or she did matched the level of passion for what I was pursuing.

Why am I telling you this story? I’m sharing this to emphasize that change leaves us needing to reorient ourselves to a new north star. It requires that we open ourselves to new possibilities. Change requires us to face fears that we can’t even articulate.

On the other hand, change gives us the opportunity to grow. It provides us with a catalyst for exploring what’s possible. Change can be the shove we need to move forward. It can challenge us to be our best selves. It will ask you to reach deep within yourself to voice what previously has not been spoken. Change is scary, trust me, I know, but if you give it a chance it can also be your closest ally on your journey to overcome adversity, in particular health and healing!

Diagnosed with an illness or facing adversity, visit

Interested in how Art Heals?  Visit

Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Aspects of Change

Change is tough, there’s no denying it; but is it impossible?  Do we only make changes in our lives when we’re challenged or put to a test?  What is it about change that’s so difficult?  Culturally many of us have been taught not to upset the apple cart, so to speak.  We’re taught to go with the flow, don’t make waves, and being good means following directions.  Those who invoke change are often labeled as rebels or mavericks, but is that true or are they (we) answering to a higher calling?

Facing a health challenge, whether chronic or life-threatening, forces change.  It requires that we alter some aspect of our physical, emotional, or spiritual lives both in thoughts and actions.  We’re mandated to make certain aspects of our lives obsolete for the greater good, our health.  Even with these mandates, some of us find it very difficult to make changes.  The easiest example is in weight management. 

If you watch the NBC show The Biggest Loser you may ask yourself how is it that a 30-year-old, 500+ pound man on medication, joint problems, and other health challenges hadn’t take the necessary steps to lose the weight?  The answer is clear; his Achilles heel wasn’t touched.  For many of us with a chronic or life-threatening illness, the diagnosis is the arrow in our Achilles heel, but it takes bigger measures for some.

After years of fighting high cholesterol, a side-effect of one of my medication, I finally joined a gym.  I didn’t want to do it and I’ve fought it every step of the way.  Why the shift?  I heard a quote this morning on The West Wing  that I believe sums it up beautifully, “Change come in excruciating increments for those who want it!”  I’ve wanted the change, but it meant accumulating enough of those increments to put it in action.

What will get you to move incrementally toward health and healing?  How can you accumulate enough incremental steps to notice a shift in your attitudes, behaviors, or beliefs?  When facing a health challenge we all want change, but what price are we willing to pay for it?  It’s no different from anything else in life, we have to work for it…so let’s get to work!