Friday, January 22, 2010

Got Any Spare Change?

Before I delve into today's post, how about a little "play along at home" game?   Yay!  **Spirit Fingers**

Here we go...

Stand up.  Oh come on.  Don't be so lazy.  Stand up.

Now, go ahead and change three things about yourself. 

I don't mean "change" as in become a Republican, lose 10 lbs and promise to be on time from now on.  Just three changes which you can make in your appearance right at this moment.

I'll wait.  (Drumming fingers on keyboard.)  Done already?  No - seriously.  Go ahead.  Really.  I'll still be here.

Afterwards, you'll have to let me know what you changed in the Comments box.  For now, just make a mental note (or write it down if you have short-term memory problems like I do.)  

You can put your pants back on now.


So... you may recall that my last hair appointment sent me into a bit of a tailspin.  It's been several weeks now and my coif has grown out a bit.  Whew! At least now I can experiment with various styles.  Still short, but more options.  This makes me happy.

I know it seems like a silly, superficial thing.  But I've had an epiphany.  It's not about the hair at all. 

It's about change

Now, one may assume that I was upset because of the sudden shift in hairstyle from human to Muppet or because I was forced outside my comfort zone or whatever.  Nope.  It was the opposite.  It was the fear that I would be unable to change or do lots of different things.  That I'd be stuck with this one little garden shear pixie style.  Every day.  4EVA. *ugh! shudder!*

This little awareness made me start thinking about how everyone has varying perceptions about change. 

There are usually two camps: 
        1. Those who desire change and/or find it pretty easy
        2. Those who prefer the status quo and find change difficult

Which camp do you fall into?

Think back to the "play at home game" you just did. 

Does your level of difficulty in this exercise correlate in anyway to how you accept change in real life?

How hard was it for you to even think of three things to change?

Usually when I do this activity in workshop groups, almost everyone changes themselves by removing items.  (Luckily I only request three changes; otherwise I'd have some naked attendees!)  

Some people also change things without actually giving anything up.  For example, they will move a bracelet from one wrist to the other.

In both cases, the moral of the story is that for most people, CHANGE = LOSS

If your first impulse was to take something off in order to display change, then it's possible that you also have a deep belief that when you change, you lose something.  Even if it's a "good" change, you may mourn the loss of something during that shift. Still, you're willing to make the leap.

If your first impulse was to keep everything on, but just make subtle enough switches so that it qualified as a "change," that could also be fear of loss.

Alternatively, maybe you're just a "wait and see" person.  Don't want to do anything too dramatic just in case the tide turns the other way.  Maybe you're the politician of change.

I have the most fun during this exercise when I see people add something to themselves.  Put a book on their head.  Put a pencil or a napkin in their shirt pocket.  Pick up someone else's watch and put it on themselves.  (Hmm... I wonder if that guy ever gave the watch back?  Was he even a real attendee?? Doh!)

It doesn't happen often. But if you actually added something to your appearance at the start of this post, then it's a good sign that you are more open to change.  You may even seek change as opportunities to ADD to your life.  

Or, you actually have A.D.D.

In my case, either one of those is a possibility.  Whether it's a personal asset or character flaw, I embrace change most of the time.  In certain areas, I crave it. I must have it. (Get your mind out of the gutter.)

If you believe in astrology, I'm a Gemini and supposedly this is one of the standard characteristics of the sign.  But also, when I am trying to stay in my "zen place" and focus on the positive... it just makes sense to look at change in terms of "What am I gaining?" instead of "What am I losing?"

My Quantum Wellness Cleanse experience really helped me experience this belief in a measurable way.

Anyhoo... hopefully this was a fun little exercise and provided some insight into how you may perceive change. 

If not, you can have just as much fun telling me I'm full of baloney.   (I once said that about my 4-year old son Spiderman and he replied, "I'm NOT full of baloney!  I'm full of cheese!!")

 It's all good.

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sahm CFO said...

That was some seriously interesting stuff. (I'll stand up for real next time)

Hunter said...

Still nursing my first cup of weekend coffee, so I'm not sure how my game play was impacted...

Wiped dreams from the corners of my eyes, ran my fingers through my tangled bed-head hair, and I smiled.

Next time I'll shove pencils in my mouth for makeshift tusks. ;)

DebA said...

This was great. I am a change addict but in a truth I decided to take off sweater, put hair up in silly bun, and stood on one foot. So does that make me totally nuts? I believe I am A.D.D. or what is the adult onset one? No who am I kidding I have been dealing with ADD for whole life. None the less, I like the exercise. Will use it with folks and as for the hair...I made a commitment after 50 not to cut my hair more than shoulder length but there are days when I see a really cute sassy kind of cut I am tempted. Think not. Thanks for sharing.

Kim said...

I never realized that I usually associate change with loss. Very interesting.
I didn't do three things, but I did 2 (honestly). I changed my hair from it's usual ponytail, to a all down "do". I put on my slippers that were right by my feet.

Sarah said...

This is really an interesting post. I never thought of that but maybe I would think of removing something, as well, when trying to change three things about myself. Maybe I need to work on changing my perspective!

plainolebob said...

big hugs

Charlene said...

Well, I'm glad a couple of people attempted the exercise!

It's really fun with groups. What I usually do is have people pair up. One person is the "changer" and one is the "observer." The observer turns around while the changer changes one thing. Then they turn back and the observer guesses what has changed. We do this three times.

At the end, everyone thinks it's about the powers of observation when in fact it is the change = loss message. The response is always fun!!

Sarah said...

all my life i have had changes, and i work/live in a high tech area, so i'm used to changes and find it actually fun. now i'm in the process of getting ready for my mom to move in with me. not sure how i'll like it - something i have to do and want to do. great post!

PJ said...

Very insightful. I wish we looked at change as a process. One that we have to learn how to do well. It becomes a very personalized thing. Answering: how have I most effectively changed - and - how can I bring all these elements of effective personal change I need to support me in my next opportunity? Like reading and math it should be taught as a life skill I'd say. By the way, I like baloney AND cheese on whole wheat.

webb said...

What an insight. Like you I am a Gemini. when change comes from others, I resist like hell, but when it's my idea.... embrace it! Guess that's an interesting split. I think I just said, "mine, mine, mine"! Better do two things: learn that letting others direct change is NOT a loss for me, and make sure I'm not forcing my change on the rest of the world. good post! been missing you.

AmericanTribal said...

Oh I think I might be super afraid of change :P. I put my hair up, took my necklace off and took the camera out of my pocket. Yikes! This was a VERY interesting post! :)
Thank you for stopping by my blog!

Charlene said...

PJ - Totally agree. My next post actually deals with that exact thought...about the process. It's based in part in my Dad always telling me that life is about LEARNING, not the "stuff" you learn.

Webb - Thanks fellow twin. And a control freak like me too. I KNEW I liked you!!

AT - I'm SO happy you got something from this; thank you so much! :-)

Kandia said...

LOL...full of cheese....that's cute. I embrace change, I mean like really embrace change. Don't even ask me how many jobs I've had in the last five years or how often I change my hairstyle. I guess I don't mind positive and forward moving change but when the change is sudden, and without warning is what I tend to have a problem with.

Vivianne's Vista said...

What a great post! I had no idea what to change considering I'm still in bed in my nighty. What does that mean? That I am TOTALLY ambivalent to change, or just darn lazy right now? Hmmmmm... I think when it comes to change, I both embrace it and sometimes feel the loss. But I also know change is a necessary part of life. The seasons change, the earth changes, we grow older evryday. It's just a part of life. Better to accept than resist. Thanks Charlene for making us think!

Emily said...

What an interesting take on change! It didn't really occur to me to remove anything *or* to add anything though, so I don't know what that means. Possibly just, I was comfy when I started reading and I took the opportunity to make myself a little *more* comfy: I straightened my shirt, put on some chapstick, and tied back my hair.

Such a fun, thought-provoking post!

foxy said...

I have to say, I really didn't know what to change... except to try to flatted out the ugly wrinkle between my eyebrows. But I know that I'm up for change when it comes round.

Interesting, indeed! Thanks Charlene!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I am not a big change person. I can do it if I think about it alot. Stopping by from SITS!

The Guy's Perspective said...

In my mind, change does equal loss. But that type of loss I don't define negatively. I view it more from a birth/death viewpoint. With every death there is a new birth.

I'm a "nester." I like to feel secure in my surroundings and my friendships. But that security enables me to be on the lookout for change in my own personal growth or career. I like to mix things up. It's part of being creative and trying to stay ahead of the game.

Guys though, often are looking for change. Translation: physical variety. But that's not usually good because it means they don't appreciate what they have.

So yes, some change is an absolute necessity for growth, but other change only replaces some sort of deep seeded insecurity that should be explored first.

Carrie said...

great post! got me thinking

Melissa B. said...

I've been stuck in a rut for a while. Might be time for a change! SITS sent me by, and I'm glad they did...

After the Storm


yep i played along. I added reading glasses, put a pen behind my ear. put my pants back on lmao! this is a wonderful post. I like changes.

Charlene said...

It's so interesting to see everyone's responses and as expected, a wide range!

Christine - Wow, you sound like me! (LOL @ pants!)

To all my SITStahs - Thanks for stopping by and sharing the love! (I'll be returning all the good energy and keeping it flowing!)

Guy - Yes, definitely can be some major guy/gal differences; some of this is biological of course. You are clearly evolved ;-) esp. re: being able to see that loss and birth go together. Thanks so much for your thoughful response!

tc said...

How did I miss this or am I getting old timers disease?
I let my hair down from bun, unbuttoned my jeans, and took a sock off.
I'm afraid of losing but I am willing to let my hair down?

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