Shift Happens

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! I’m so glad you’re online with me. At one point, I wasn’t sure I’d ever make it here. I started on this project two full years ago but got massively sidetracked. Way back in 2020, early on during COVID-19’s first quarantine, I sat down to compose several initial posts. What I kept ending up with, however, were personal essays much longer than is typical in blogs, and I gradually realized they were chapters of a book that was begging to be written instead. So, I shifted direction and spent a year working on a manuscript and the same amount of time on publication. It was all-consuming.

Happily, Growing into the Gray is done now, and I find myself here, finally starting that blog. But from a very different perspective than when I first conceived of the idea. I’m coming at it now as an author, with one book to share, another in the works, and a life unimagined two short years ago. Maybe you’ve experienced similar shifts in your life—one minute you’re sure of your direction and the next you’re heading somewhere completely different. Of course, unless they’re slight in nature, these shifts usually don’t happen in a literal minute.

The one I just described, from blog to book, occurred  gradually, over several weeks as the pieces I was writing revealed their true nature to me. The one from writer to author, over many months as the process unfolded. And considerable shifts often take much, much longer. My own most recent one of a monumental nature—my late-life somatic healing from childhood trauma, the total personal transformation responsible for bringing me here—certainly did. It took a few years. Years that have helped me grow very comfortable with change.

I’m with the Buddhists on this one: if we resist change, we increase our suffering. I think that’s because in resisting the only true constant, we’re efforting against nature, life, our very selves. I efforted against for five plus decades, and my life contained way more pain and struggle than it needed to. That is until crisis brought me to a turning point, and I made a different choice. How about you? Like I was for so long, are you feeling stuck, maybe frustrated, afraid, or powerless in the face of a persistent problem—yours or the world’s? Is what you’ve been doing to try to change, or to heal, or to help not working? Are you frequently stressed? Unable to find peace? Losing hope? All signs, perhaps, that a shift is needed.

Take heart. Having undergone a radical rebirth in my seventh decade, I’m living proof that an old dog can learn new tricks. And while you’re taking heart, please also take my advice. Don’t wait for crisis. The key to vitality, living with purpose, experiencing wellbeing, making a difference in the world, and all kinds of other goodies, is literally close at hand, as plain as the nose on your face. I suspect that if you step away from the cultural bias towards intellect and reason that has us trying to think our way to a better life, and dare to get intimately acquainted with your own body, learn to listen deeply to it and decipher its wise messages, honor it as your greatest guide, center it in your life, understand how it works on the nervous system level, rejoice in its healing abilities, feel into it, your life will never be the same. In a host of delicious ways.

The saying “change is the only constant in life” is trite, I know, but if you think about it, really think about it, it’s absolutely true. On a strictly biological level, from the moment we’re born, our bodies undergo constant change—one shift after another—right up to that ultimate one we call death, and there’s nothing we can do to stop that arc. (No matter what the “anti-aging” industry—a truly bizarre and toxic offshoot of our culture—might claim.) Certainly, we can and ought to take responsibility for our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being as much as possible throughout our lives. But in the end, shift happens. So why not embrace it?

Come along with me and shift into embodiment.