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SHIFT HAPPENS

The work I do is about change. I help facilitate internal change for people and then watch with delight as their external world changes. People who work with me want to change. And I personally embrace change as it leads to my growth and development. So I’ve often pondered the process of change.  Does it happen slowly – or in a heartbeat ?

My personal view is that it’s a combination of the two.

A couple of weeks ago two things happened to make me sit up and take notice. As I was parking my car for my first appointment of the day, I became aware of a woman whose (very new, very big) car was parked next to mine. She watched me reverse-park like a hawk (no front-first parking in Singapore), and my immediate thought was that she was so concerned I might scratch her car that she stood there protecting her precious property. Imagine my shock when she actually came over to me, did the ‘wind-the-window-down’ motion, and apologised profusely for parking so badly – and then offered to re-park her car as she had inconvenienced me. Excuse me ????

Later that same day … One of my boys was at soccer practice, and my other son had suggested we go for a walk in the Botanic Gardens. After our walk, we sat down to chat, and were deep in conversation when I heard footsteps approaching. Now, if you’ve lived in South Africa all your life, you know about listening with all your senses. And if you’re a mum, you protect with all your senses too. So, for the second time that day, I readied myself to do battle. And as I turned to see who was clearly watching us, an old man wearing a straw sunhat, smiled out from one of the kindest faces I’ve ever seen (clearly quite moved at the mother-son tableau he had witnessed), nodded his head at me – and walked on.

Message hit home. Yip. Time to revise that old frame of aggression.  Got it.

And I see this process happen in my work on a weekly basis. Clients who have been grappling for weeks with roadblocks, sabotage patterns or limiting beliefs do the hard work; they are aware, reflect, and look for patterns – and then boom – they get it.

Change may occur in a flash, but the process leading to it often takes some time, usually time that we’re not aware of. But it is in that instant when recognition comes, that we have the choice to move on and grow, or stay locked in a cycle of repetition. It is in that moment that we have the choice, and the chance to change our world.

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