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  • michelle m. davis

The Shift

A major shift is coming, and what we’ve always known will soon be replaced by something new.

This is what I keep hearing and reading … and when all my trusted “gurus” share the same counsel, I pay attention. Trying not to react, instead I’m choosing to pause, take in the information, and do my best to digest any deeper meanings. Nevertheless, I’m struggling. What “shift is coming,” and where will this “something new” appear? While this message doesn’t sound particularly pleasant, I don’t sense an ominous feeling. Rather, it’s causing me to become curious, wondering how this might impact us individually and as a whole.

We know the only constant in life is change, but it sounds as though this forecast suggests more than minor alterations. At first, my mind went to the dark—to various doomsday scenarios. But then I took a breath and remembered that change, even when unexpected or abrupt, is not necessarily bad. In fact, sometimes it exceeds all expectations, allowing possibilities we never deemed imaginable.

Nevertheless, it's human to resist change. Perhaps we associate it with leaving behind a beloved, relinquishing treasured ways, or departing from cherished items. Still, maybe what we’re most afraid of losing is a piece of our past, the comfortable, a part of who we were.

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”—Anatole France

This reminds me of one of my transitions from youth to adulthood. Thinking back to my college days—when I was a work hard/play hard Lehigh student who felt achievement and success trumped happiness and peace—I smile because I now understand this spirited former self only wanted to excel, have fun, and thrive on her “A game.” She made lots of mistakes, but she also learned valuable lessons.

I certainly have no desire to return to this younger version of me. Yet, at times, I yearn for the ambitious go-getter qualities she represented. Still, transitioning from that phase was a necessary change. I was ready to release this former self, grow up, and move on.

Yet, what is happening now is different. I sense promise which may come at the cost of the old. And as we transition to tomorrow—whatever that may be—we are asked to let go of a piece of who we’ve been so we can embrace who we are meant to become.

“Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.”—Pablo Picasso

Surrender and change are hard, and it’s especially difficult when we’re unsure of what’s ahead. However, I’d like to believe the ease with which we transition into tomorrow rests in our hands. If we release the need to cling to the familiar of what was, we will become open to what can be.

Of course, not knowing what’s ahead can make me anxious. Preferring the known, the unfamiliar often causes me to retreat to my comfort zone—doing things as I always have. Because when I’m nestled in my understandable environment, I know exactly what is expected.

Unfortunately, remaining in my warm cocoon of certainty is not an option if I want to grow and fully experience this exciting, yet unnerving, time on Earth. Instead, I must trust in a better tomorrow and surrender certain limiting ways of the past. I must question what I’ve always thought to be true, realizing that just because those in authority declare something to be so, I do not need to agree if it feels out of alignment to my beliefs. Coupled with that, I must accept others will have differing opinions, and I cannot judge them for following their convictions.

As unsettling as change can be, I have the option to approach it in one of two ways—I can be afraid, or I can show up with an open heart. My natural inclination is to tense up, hold my breath, and cautiously take baby steps forward, ready to retreat at a moment’s notice. But what if I choose another way? Could I breathe, pause, and wait? What might happen if I permitted myself to welcome this “something new”?

Today, as I consider what tomorrow may look like, may I be willing to say goodbye to the comfortable past that’s limiting humanity’s growth, release fear of uncertainty, and have faith that what will transpire will exceed our wildest dreams.

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”—Alan Watts

Am I willing to take a leap of faith and dive into the pool, even if no lifeguard is present?

Instead of fearing the unknown, could I employ curiosity to help bridge the gap between what feels comfortable and uncomfortable?

And can I accept that life is constantly evolving, leave my desired comfort zone, and join this dance?

We are here on this Earth to learn, feel, and experience. We are not expected to courageously forge ahead, believing we know the way. Sometimes all that’s required is to trust our intuition, form our own thoughts, and do what we believe is in the highest good.


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