“If you want something you’ve never had, then you need to do something you’ve never done.” -Thomas Jefferson
Change is hard. Period. There is a reason so many of us truly and deeply fear change as it so often takes us out of our comfort zones, leads us into the unknown, and often onto seemingly unsteady ground. Moreover, the majority of us are creatures of habit — and habits, like people, are just hard to change. We get stuck in our comfort zones, stuck in the familiar, and stuck over our safety nets. However, no matter how much we resist change in our lives, everything will always change and nothing is permanent — no matter how badly you may want it to be. Therefore it comes down to how we handle change that happens to us, and what changes we decide to make in our own lives.
As many of you know this last year or so has been one long string of massive changes in my life. Last February I lost my mother, which not only changed the entire compass of life as I knew it, but caused a ripple effect of other changes within my family and personal life to the point where sometimes I don’t recognize either anymore. I have the greatest family on earth, don’t get me wrong, but my mother was our true glue and everything just feels a bit less… well, just less. For any of you out there who have lost a mother, particularly our female readers, you know — it changes everything. And so often it’s just the little things: those little moments you would only call your mom for, the little things only she would pay attention to in your life, and the way in which she always made me feel like everything would be okay, even when it seemed like it wouldn’t be.
A few months later, I went through one of the toughest breakups of my life — sudden and unexpected, and sent my entire world into even more unrecognizable territory. All while living in the the ever-changing and unsteady world of starting a company. There were (and still are) times when it felt like all of this change was happening to me (which it was), that it was fully out of my control (also true), and that the rug would just keep getting pulled out from under my feet (remains to be seen). Until this last fall, I will admit, I was struggling to keep my head above water and just didn’t know which way was up anymore. I felt completely out of control and was just doing my best to tread through the constant waves of change crashing onto me.
Then something just hit me. I’m not sure what sparked it, and I don’t think it was just one moment, but it occurred to me that change, loss, and challenge would just be constants in my life. Those things that were making me feel like I was drowning, it was up to me to take control of how I was handling them, and start making some changes of my own — which allowed me to feel more in control. First step, I took a break. I was running so fast and hard with The Sweat Life and trying to just bull through all the loss, that I never really took a moment to step away and just breathe. So I went to Nicaragua to go surfing for 5 days with my friends, and immediately felt a change in the current. That led to a decision for change number one: I needed to introduce breaks and travel back into my life, as they are DEEP sources of happiness for me.
Then I began to take my meditation practice much more seriously. If I don’t have the time or money to take real breaks on a regular basis, meditation offers me a mini break — and offers it to me daily. I've found a space where I can breathe and think and feel fully in control. A place that I can come to each day, and know that it is my time.
This last week, I made a change that was a bit more challenging (especially in New York), and I moved apartments and neighborhoods. To tell you the truth, I was never truly happy in my old place. I chose location over space, and as it served as both my apartment and Sweat Life headquarters — the walls were just starting to close in on me. Not to mention, all of those “bad things” that happened in my life over the last year and a half, happened while I was living there. It just made sense to me that if I wanted my life to start moving forward in a positive direction, I had to physically remove myself from the negativity.
Life is a work in progress. I know I will have more rugs pulled out from underneath me, I know my world will shift a thousand times over again, but for now, I focus on the changes — big and small — I can make to get what I want and need out of life, and I am constantly working on the way I handle the changes I can’t control.
This week of content is all about Changing It Up: If you're feeling stagnant in your workouts, Sweat Life Editorial Director Jamie Menaker gives 4 ways to turn to the outdoor options that NYC has to offer, and fitness blogger Liz Barnet explains how to change your mindset about what you consider exercise (we do live in one of the greatest walking cities in the world!); if you are having trouble finding peace of mind, meditation guru Tom Cronin encourages you to join The Stillness Project; if you are feeling like your body is not running at its full capacity, wellness coach Natalie Jill tells us how to unprocess our diets; and if you simply want to switch up your summer wardrobe, why not try one of these killer one-piece swimsuits this year.
Most importantly, this week I challenge all of you to make one change in your life — big or small, doesn't matter — and share it with us either in the comments on the site, by sending us an email, or posting a photo on social with the hashtag #SWEATCHANGE.
Until next week,
Founder, CEO, and Host
The Sweat Life