How to make a BIG life change: Step One

Posted by on May 26, 2013 in Blog, Personal Coaching, Spiritual Shifts | 0 comments

How to make a BIG life change: Step One

Hello all, and welcome back!

Hard to believe, but my last post was nearly a year ago!  In it, I wrote on how to find a way to connect deeply with ourselves and get in contact with the sun within, even when the external weather is a rainy, dreary drag (which it often is in the Pacific Northwest, bless its lush, green heart).   And before I go on, I just want to say that I completely believe in everything I wrote in that post, and there is great truth in the statement “wherever you go, there you are”. . .

. . . And I moved to Arizona.

I don’t mean to boast, but it is 9am right now, and it is 80 degrees outside, with a cloudless blue sky, and a whisper of breeze. Whenever I look at the five day forecast on my phone, I see five bright yellow balls.   It is like that every time I look at my phone.  Aaah, sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found you!

Okay, enough with the gloating.  As fun as it is, it’s not why I’m here.  The reason I have shared the above with you is really so that I can be an example of someone who has changed my life in a huge way, and has not only lived to tell the tale, but is thriving.

Making a big life change is a multi-layered experience, and that statement is actually meant to create a sense of relief, rather than one of overwhelm.  When I work with my psychotherapy and coaching clients, I am often reminded that so many of us feel that we need to summit our personal Mt. Everest without stopping at all the necessary base camps, failing to congratulate ourselves at each stop for all our hard work thus far.  And with an outlook like that, it’s no wonder why we don’t even make a start. Or, we do get going, only to fall prey to the psycho-spiritual equivalent of altitude sickness on the way up and have to turn back with our tail between our legs.  But if we go slowly and step lightly and realize that, in most cases, we have all the time in the world (because we’ve already been lounging about in our smelly old cocoon for a while), we can begin to do the work that it takes to eventually break out of the chrysalis, dry our wings and fly off into the next adventure.  And how you do it is easier than you think.

So, with that, I proudly introduce you to the six step process that has been birthed from my own experience of changing my life in some dramatic ways.

1.  Allow yourself to dream.

2. Commit to making the leap.

3. Leap.

4. Stand behind your decision.

5. Weather the storm.

6. Re-identify yourself.

Today’s post, and the next several to follow, will include an introduction to everything you need to know (and do)  in order to make a big life change.  We’ll start with the first step today.


This is a first, gentle step that will not create a sense of pressure on you to move, but, if you allow yourself to do it, will have a great impact on your process.   Allowing yourself to dream simply means that you start getting curious about your life.   What you like.  What you don’t.  Getting to know your little desires.  Discovering your deepest longings.  Getting excited when you think about having those longings met.  Allowing yourself to feel all the sadness, grief, loss, disappointment, anger and rage that might come up as you admit to yourself that your life, at least in the area that you want to change, is not how you want it.   And this is important, so read these next sentences in bold as many times as you need to.

This step is not about busting a move. It’s not about doing or getting or changing anything at this point.  It is only about imagining what your best life would look like– as if you were living it right now.

You may wonder how this process is different from fantasizing.  Well, it is and it isn’t.  But I’ll tell you what it does and why it works.

Research has shown that when we think about something, the activity that occurs within the brain (as well as the chemicals released throughout the brain and body) is the same as if the thing we’re thinking about IS an actual reality.

For instance,  researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio were wowed by the fact that the mere thought of increasing bicep strength and size was enough to actually do the deed– without physically exercising the biceps at all:

Now, as exciting as that is to think that our brains can beef up our biceps, our thoughts work in the other direction as well. Meaning that our brains can make us blue too.  When our thoughts are negative, self-deprecating or painful, that kind of thinking creates a cascade of chemicals within the brain and body, which will eventually have a deleterious effect on the mind, body and spirit of the thinker:

At this point, there is too much research out there to deny that how we think greatly contributes to how we feel, and how we act in our lives.  So even if you’re not nearly ready to make the change that you’ve been thinking about, just by allowing yourself to do the thinking about it sets the wheels in motion.   By allowing yourself your dreaming, you set an intention, and thus, you create the possibility for something new to happen.   You WILL begin changing your life by offering yourself your dreaming in all the ways that you can conceive.  Over the next few posts, I’ll give you some more ideas as well on how to help your dreaming along.

Ready. Set. Dream!

Be well,


Emerging monarch

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