How to Embrace Change

sunrise“Tomorrow the sun will rise… and who knows what the tide will bring.”

Great words from Chuck Noland. Ahhh… a new day. Or, more significantly, a NEW YEAR! And WHO KNOWS what the new year will bring!
(Bonus points to anyone who can name the movie in which that lovely quote was uttered!)

For moms (and dads!), change is just part of the territory. Just when you are adjusting to a schedule or routine, it changes. Just when you think you’ve come up with the perfect response to some unwanted behavior and it actually works… the next time, it doesn’t. Sometimes, the child you put to bed the night before doesn’t even seem like the same one that wakes up the following morning! I feel the exact same way about MYSELF! Friends who have been close to me these past few months love to tell me that I’m a completely different person. Fortunately, they reassure me that it’s for the better!

I’ve finally come to accept that change is… the only constant. Learning how to embrace it is one of the secrets to not living your life as a complete basket case!

What a perfect time of year to write about embracing change! I’m just not sure that I’m the best person to do it. I joke about how I am generally “pushy;” too eager to mix things up and try new things. I have a habit of leaping into the void and sometimes, I inadvertently drag people along that are not quite ready for the experience!!! So… I’ve invited some esteemed colleagues, whose approaches to change are likely to be… gentler! Interestingly enough, I got such great responses from them that I’ve decided to break it up into a 3-part series. So over the coming weeks, you’ll find some additional perspectives on the subject of CHANGE!

Change feels risky and scary. It is like leaping into the void – leaving behind what is familiar, what feels safe simply because it is familiar. And because change is scary we tend to shy away from it. Change can be forced upon us or we may be so unhappy or uncomfortable or at risk in our current situation that we need to take the leap. A favorite quote of mine is one by Anais Nin: “There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

As painful and hard as change can be, it often leads to opening and growth. According to W.E.B. Du Bois the most important thing to remember is ” . . . to be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become.” Rather than being afraid we may lose ourselves, let’s remember that we have so much potential to be our better selves! Let’s do it gently, always remembering to give ourselves loving kindness and compassion. Let’s do it at a pace we can handle and with the intention of becoming our highest selves. Let’s get support from friends and family (those who can support us) and professionals as needed (that’s what psychotherapists and life coaches are for). Welcome change, remembering that we grow and get stronger and more interesting as we change. Remember that we are not losing our self; we are becoming more of our True Self.

Delia O. Unson, PhD is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice in Madison, Wisconsin. She enjoys accompanying clients on their journeys to their True Selves.

Coincidentally, I started reading Veronika (because the trailer was cool) and Paulo continues to inspire me. In the opening chapters, our protagonist has decided to end her life, not because of any particular grief or trauma but because she has decided that at 24 years old that her life will be an endless repetition of the same thing, with no prospect of change. Of course she is wrong! Everyone has the ability to change. Even when we think we know what changes our choices will bring… we really don’t.

This has been my own experience with motherhood. I thought I knew… but in reality, it’s impossible to know without experiencing how a new life, one that you carry within you, will shift your perspective. I wouldn’t be the first to try to capture it in words. Parenthood requires a lot of “leaping!” But the exhilaration that comes with it is all part of the magic!

What big and small changes do you intend to make this coming year?

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon. Click the links for Practical Mommy’s recommendations for travel car seats, affordable and fun diaper bags (skip hop bag), and the best-selling crib brand, Da Vinci Crib.


  1. For one, I can stop self-layering, and hesitating. I’m constantly committing the “knowing the outcome” sin; if I do it to myself, you can bet I’m doing it to my kids. Thank you for this post, PM!

    I love D.U.’s Anais Nin reference, to the necessary blossoming, but I love even more the W.E.B. Du Bois quote. It reminds me of a line in one of my favorite poems of all time, “Trees,” ( by Howard Nemerov:

    “To stand for the constant presence of process
    And always to seem the same;”

    “The” leap is really a series of leaps, is it not? It is less the landing point than the act of leaping itself that ensures our constant spryness. To keep leaping, to BE the leap we wish to see, as it were. As I was born February 29th, I feel qualified enough. As always, the process, not the product.

    For the hometown fans, by the way, Howard Nemerov taught at Wash U in St. Louis. 🙂

  2. You are full of insight, as usual and thank you for re-orienting my compass to “the journey,” like the enjoyment of a good book. It’s my nature to rush to the end, like you said, to want to know the outcome. But if we are to embrace the metaphor… when I’m done with a good book, I suffer from withdrawal and want the sequel or to be back in the middle when I DIDN’T know the end.

    For the kids, watch Nemo:
    “How do you know when they’re ready?”
    “You never really know, you know?”

  3. p.s. “To be steady as a rock and always trembling.” Is that the “strength” that we are looking for, in ourselves and our mirrors? Your poem describes the drama of my life, I think. And the challenge of simply experiencing it (vs. examining it).

  4. Accepting change is something that we can talk about way easier than actually do. I’ve told myself before that I’m preparing for change, but often I’m preparing for the practical and not accepting the emotional side of that change.

    This is a good reminder to realize that change does happen, is happening, and will happen, and the sooner we embrace it the better off we are.


  5. “Your poem describes the drama of my life, I think.” More than yours or mine, I think, which makes me tremble to read it. Personally I would tremble if I’d written one or two lines of it.

    For the wind to make the rock tremble and still be a rock, is that the goal?

    I know someone doing a lot of changing and praying lately – trembling before the Spirit, as it were. You may know the Hebrew word for spirit is “ruach,” which (of course) is also the word for “wind.”

  6. I hope to make a BIG change this year… Maybe try to make a baby! I’m scared though, and that’s all I’ve been thinking about lately. It’s scary to go from being just a woman to being a mother, but I’m excited!

  7. this post is true as ever. I guess universal messages of truth never go out of style. thank you for your wisdom my ever practical as you are wise friend Ria. (It’s fun to read back… huh? smiles. hugs.)