Innovation leads to Change: People, It’s Time to Wash those Grubby Old Comfort Blankets!
As much as it’s destabilizing, change is the only constant in the universe—the only thing we can count on as a certainty, which ironically, becomes synonymous to insecurity!
We may not like to admit it, but each of us exists within our own personal bubble, and unless it’s buying the latest cell phone tech, most of us react and resist like stubborn little children becoming: uncooperative, hostile, aggressive, evasive or withdrawn for fear that what is pushing to be changed will be: unpleasant, too difficult, out of our league, embarrassing or, worse still—painful!
During the last couple of years, fueled by the desire to respond to change rather than react on impulse, I experimented with substituting change with innovation. Commonly viewed as the application of better solutions that meet better requirements, innovation can be considered a process of personal growth through choice, as specified by founder of Apple Corporation, Steve Jobs, when he said: Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower, a marketing slogan that has influenced and modified its original mid-16th century significance of renewal and altered state, to: Make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products (Oxford Dictionary).
In this fast and furious era, my ability to be creative and fully present to the human experience is being pushed to its limits, as I’m sure yours is too, underlining the fact that consciousness is ever-present while conscious awareness is not; however, if you’re like me, engaged in a journey of auto-interrogation, you already know the answer to this human dilemma—we have to wake-up from the illusions of the mind; but if we already know the answer, why do we still resist personal change?
My experience has shown me that both innovation and change require being grounded in the physical body and present in the reality in which change or innovation is occurring. Grounding notably increases awareness, amplifying and reinforcing feelings and body sensations associated with emotional pleasure and physical well-being, as well as drawing equal attention to emotional pain and, physical discomfort; and that’s when things start to get complicated!
Pain and pleasure are two sides to the same coin. Through unaccepting emotional distress, joy and pleasure are notably reduced to the same percentage in which we repress or narcotize our discomfort. Consequently, beauty and joy in their simplicity become insignificant, perceivable only when we indulge in: stimulated, short term, high volume, hysterical and adrenaline reactive activities which heighten pleasure, in respect to the less excitable: ordinary, ever-present, enjoyable and durable feelings of pleasure in response to life’s events expressed naturally and, spontaneously.
I may like to think I’m in control, but when life imposes an uncomfortable variation, my inner child, is suddenly catapulted out of her comfort zone and I’m offered the opportunity to either: knowledge uncomfortable feelings that surface from the past or, fall back into oblivion while hanging on to that grubby Linus blanket that I’ve been dragging around for years, incapable of surrendering it willingly to the washing machine for fear of not recognizing its changed appearance and clean perfume!
We all possess an inner child that suffers. All parents make mistakes, forcing children to follow rules and social regulations that do not always have their best interests at heart. Errors are not a failing; they merely prove the imperfection of human nature. For me, self-exploration is not an opportunity to judge or blame, it’s a means to consciously develop emotional intelligence through Self-Parenting—a re-educative commitment that requires giving my undivided attention and love to the fragmented parts of me that are hurting. That’s my responsibility as an emotionally mature grownup, because projecting childish needs upon others complicates relationships, especially when we expect them to compensate for that which was dysfunctional or absent in childhood.
Embracing the inner child is based upon the model of acceptance, a concept which is not an option when the process turns into a tug of war between the victim (inner child) that attracts negative events, with the intent to express repressed emotions, and me, the adult, who then projects them on others, consciously unaccepting, denying and judging every distorted emotion that surfaces!
However noble the gesture, acceptance cannot be forced through internal conflict. Convincing ourselves and others that what really hurts doesn’t matter at all is a strategy to force acceptance, either for the sake of respectability or for fear of disturbing others. Nonetheless, whatever is unacceptable will eventually push to be expressed in the long run, usually during undesirable, life changing circumstances.
There is another solution, other than beating ourselves up and sugar coating every bitter pill. Instead of trying to accept the unacceptable, what I now do is accept that I don’t accept at all! And like an accommodating parent, I simply allow and give space to whatever I am feeling without interfering or, reprimanding. Any other declaration is self-betrayal because trading or dishonoring my true feelings through guilt or for the sake of appearances (putting on a brave face) is denial.
Some may argue that being permissive is a highly questionable form of education, but as far as Self-Parenting is concerned, it is an excellent solution, because as all children instinctively know—attention from conflict is powerful and energizing and is preferable to no attention at all!
I find, the moment I create space and allow it to be, the internal struggle ends; relaxing into indulgence, my inner child’s interest in fighting diminishes because she already has my love and undivided attention.
When change knocks at the door, don’t let it push you out of our comfort zone, step out on your own accord and walk the path of innovation, a process that naturally develops into change. Choose self-mastery: especially by introducing new methods and ideas. Relinquish control, along with that grubby old comfort blanket. Become a leader that chooses, not a follower without choice. Be a generous parent to your inner child, don’t worry about acceptance, just allow and give space. Lead him or her by the hand and be present to whatever is, how it is, without judgment. At the end of the day, when that blanket does come back from the laundry, its altered state will be renewed and unrecognizable; nevertheless, it’s possible that the perfume of change will not only be exiting and invigorating, it will also be beautiful.
Caroline Mary Moore