Changing your mind

Changing your mind | A quote: "Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it."It can be so hard to admit that we’ve pursued a path that isn’t quite right for us, can’t it?  Especially if this path has been rather publicly taken.  Sometimes it can seem as though the world values decision and action above all else.  “Pushing on through” is the recommended course, while reflection and ultimately changing your mind may be judged as weak, a “cop out”.

Have you ever had to make this kind of tricky decision? 

I have, quite recently.     

You may know that for most of this year I have been very involved in the creation, planning and promotion of a workshop called “Reflect-Release-Renew”, which eventually took place at the end of April.  Six stressed and weary souls valued their chance to take some time out, try new techniques and focus on refreshing their energy and optimism.  They thought it was “Great – you created a safe environment, respected individual’s space and offered a day of mindful contemplation, great for recharging the batteries!” and also that “It was a wonderful, relaxing day with two lovely caring ladies” among “…a lovely group of people.”  We were so glad that they took so much from it – they were a fantastic bunch, who proved themselves willing to engage with everything we offered.

But, after a lot of reflection, I have changed my mind and decided that I will not be running any further workshops.

I believe that you have to do what makes your heart sing and I have come to understand that my strongly introvert tendency means that working with a group tends to make my brain addle, not my heart sing.  I have finally accepted that lesson!  I am delighted to say, however, that my colleague Sue Baker of It’s Never Too Late will be taking the workshop idea forward and I know it will be wonderful – her gentle warmth is beautifully supportive and reassuring, and her enthusiasm for EFT and energy work is inspirational.

Changing your mind | Woman talking earnestlyFrom now on, I shall be honouring my natural preference, which is to work one to one.  It is the greatest privilege to sit in a room with another person and hold space for them as they share thoughts and feelings.  To help them defuse painful memories so they can leave behind old patterns of thought and behaviour and begin to create a new way of being in the world.  I can think of nothing that makes my heart sing more joyously than this!

One area in which this gentle process works so beautifully is the Bird Phobia work – the delicate unravelling of the specific personal links between the sight or sound of a bird and a hair-trigger response of utter panic.  No two people take the same journey into a phobia, so it makes complete sense to me that the road out of one needs to be tailored to that individual alone.

Changing your mind | A tropical beach, white sand, blue sea, green treesImagine the freedom felt by Ellie, who has just booked her stay in a Caribbean resort renowned for its birdlife.  She’s even considering having a photo taken with a parrot on the beach – quite a change from the girl who used to take an erratic, zig zag path round town to avoid pigeons!  Or just look, here, at the joy on Alison’s face, as she and Mozart get acquainted at Birdworld, some months after our initial session.  (NB Trigger warning – photos of birds)

If that kind of freedom appeals to you or someone you know, I will have availability for a Bird Phobia client in mid-June.  You can get in touch here to find out more – where would you go, if your fears weren’t getting in your way?

And I’d be so interested to know if you’ve ever found yourself following a path that didn’t feel right for you.  What did you do?  Did you end up changing your mind – and how did people react to your decision?  Your experiences might spark something for another reader, so please do join the conversation by leaving a comment, below.

Photo credit: “Don’t cling to a mistake…” via Psychotherapy Networker on Facebook
Photo credit: Ana Karenina via / CC BY
Photo credit: Traveller-Reini via / CC BY-SA

8 Responses to Changing your mind

  1. Great post Lizzie. Lovely to hear the workshop went well and I respect your choices. I’ve been working with lots more one-to-ones recently and it really feels good too! Best of luck! x

    • Thanks, Yvette. It does feel good, doesn’t it? I’m sure your meditation and mindfulness students will benefit from that individual approach. Good luck to you, too. x

  2. How often do we make a decision to do something, lets say for example take our car to a particular garage? I know I have a huge anxiety about taking my car to a garage – I know nothing about cars so I might be charged a ridiculous price. If I then heard from friends about a garage they had used where the job gets done at a reasonable price, I now have more information. I might then change my mind about which garage to use.

    It seems important to value the new information we get from our feelings as well as facts so I applaud you Lizzie for taking on board the new information you learned from the experience of doing the workshops. I’m preserving my resources (money) by choosing a new garage, you are preserving your resources (energy) by choosing to stop doing workshops.

    • A wonderful analogy, Aileen. Yes – I am preserving my resources so that I can use my energy more wisely in a setting where I can do the best work of which I am capable – or, at least, that is my intention!

  3. Well, I am the living embodiment of someone who has REALLY changed their mind aren’t I Lizzie?
    Having been a steady, responsible, home-owning Civil Servant for over 40 years, I am now intentionally homeless, jobless (ish!) and, most importantly, FREE!!
    I won’t pretend that taking some time out to travel solo was an easy ‘change of mind’, nor was it particularly sudden, although it may have looked that way from the outside. It came about from an instinct that told me to get on with my life in a more joyous and fulfilling way in order to find my own peace and happiness. I know it is still early days but I have not had a single moment of doubt that I am doing the right thing – for me ?.
    There comes a time when you must trust in the gut feeling that tells you exactly what you should do – only you can do it for yourself, no-one else can live your life for you – it is up to you to get on and do it in whatever way is right for you.
    Thanks as always for your continued support.

    • It certainly can’t have been an ‘easy change of mind’ to make such a radical change to your way of life, Anne, but it’s wonderful that you haven’t had a single moment of doubt concerning the rightness of your decision for yourself. Our big decisions don’t only impact us, of course, and that can take a bit of working through but I know your family have been supportive, which is fantastic. I’m looking forward to tracking your travels over the next few months and to hearing all about them when we next meet! x

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