Creating Space for Change

Season’s Greetings!

I come to you from a cozy corner of my house, wrapped in the warm glow and security of knowing classes resume in the new year (and not until then 🙂 ).  For the time being, I am recharging and making plans for 2017.

In my first post (ages ago it seems!), I discussed my history with New Year’s Resolutions and how challenges create space for failure, success, and growth.  Two years later, I find my gaze steadily focused on change both in its ambiguity and constance.  The recognition that change is all around us (coupled with our ability to accept change or enact change) is innately empowering.

In 2012, as I returned to Baldwin Wallace for my final year as an undergraduate student music therapist, I wrote out a mantra and hung it prominently in my dorm room:

“Live intentionally, not accidentally”

At the time, it was a succinct reminder to make positive changes for my senior year.  I have lived with those four words for four years and they continue to shape my life.

But change is the elephant in the room.  We find ourselves amidst many changes this year, don’t we?  In my life, I found myself back in a classroom this September after 2 years of exclusively being a credentialed professional.  I moved back to a city I had left 2 years prior, and started living with someone who I hadn’t seen regularly since high school.  I was humbled; it was an intentional choice.

Graduate school has been elucidating.  As with many things, I usually have a clear idea of what I think the action/reaction will be from my choices.  Inevitably, the reality is often richer, and… more than I could have imagined.  As I alluded to in this post from 3 months ago, I have been anticipating this life change for 4 years.  What I could not predict was the outcome of it: the visceral understanding that I am a member of a compassionate, supportive, diverse CAT community.  I am grateful for the vitality and passion of my fellow professionals, peers, and supervisors every day.

When I first started seriously considering graduate school in February of 2016, I didn’t believe that I could make so many changes in 7 months.  Let alone in 4 months–but here I am.  Change is often much easier than we acknowledge.

Here are 4 things that you can do to
create space for change in your own life:

  1. Believe in an Abundant World (You are in charge of your future)
    • Who knew there would be a market and interest in a musical about the guy on the $10 bill.  Lin Manuel Miranda, apparently.  But in all seriousness there is space out there, whether one makes it or finds it.  In believing in abundance, you believe in possibility.  The opportunity for something different.
  2. Goal Creation (What do YOU want)
    • Really.  It doesn’t have to be THE sole desire, nor does it have to be one thing.  But make time to look at interests–what is it you spend time doing or puzzling.  Is there something that keeps you up late?  Is there something that you don’t like about your life (equally valid)?  Identify that thing.  Write it somewhere in big letters (or little letters–equally as mighty).  Make that possibility real.
  3. Pursue your Desires (Ask questions; Create change)
    • This is where thought shifts to action.  Start talking about the possibility with friends or mentors.  Do research, figure out if there is someone out there who knows more and talk to them.  Knowledge creates a reality that can be inhabited.
  4. Plan (Organize the order of events to lead to your goal)
    • Take the knowledge you gleaned and make a plan.  This plan could be whatever you need it to be–next steps, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years–it can be detailed, or vague.  Whatever makes the most sense.  Intentional action guides our enlightened future.

I want to emphasize that change isn’t ever really finished.  Once something is achieved, we shift our gaze somewhere else–it’s the natural progression of things.

I’m still working on my plan for 2017.  I have a thesis to formulate as well as a search for where I will complete my culminating master level internship…  Changes continue for me, as I’m sure they do for you.  I’m taking a leaf out of Catherine’s book and am going to post my plan prominently so that I continue to grow into the professional that I am still becoming.


And lastly, a list of music that have stuck with me over the past 3 months:

  1. Lianne La Havas – Green & Gold
  2. Dodie Clark – Life Lesson (FYI – has F-word)
  3. Seryn – On My Knees
  4. Ira Wolf – Alive
  5. White Bear Polar Tundra – Brother Lion
  6. Avett Bros – Ain’t No Man
  7. The Staves – Black & White
  8. becky bergh – Frozen
  9. Kelley McRae – Full Cup (Cabin Sessions Demo) *
  10. John Lennon – War is Over

*Far better than the album version, although hard to find.


2 thoughts on “Creating Space for Change

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