Finding Peace at the Edge of Change


“There is something about the power of our consciousness, of our soul, that gives us the authority to influence the quality of our lives. We are indeed co-creators of the events of our life.”  – Caroline Myss


Recently, I’ve noticed myself spending too much time outside of the present moment. Instead of focusing on what’s right in front of me, I’ve been worrying about what’s next, or lingering in the realm of woulda, coulda, shoulda. At first I wasn’t sure where these feelings were coming from. Then, somebody asked when I plan to retire, and it all became clear.

The fact is, I hadn’t really been thinking about retirement. Of course, in an abstract way, I know a change is on the horizon. I’m 66, after all. But I still love what I do and have no plans to hang up my tools in the near future.

But that question, however innocent in intent, got me worrying. Should I be thinking more seriously about this? What would I do next? How would I spend my time? It triggered a never-ending series of questions about my fundamental goals and purpose, as if my very being, my reason for existence, were dependent on what I do between 9am and 5pm!

I always encourage my clients to shift their focus from what they do to who they are while they’re doing it. This mindset allows us to stay true to ourselves no matter what the world throws at us. Turns out I need some practice in this area.

During this same period, I also became aware of a related anxiety. Many reasonably comfortable sexagenarians, myself among them, worry about whether they’ve accumulated enough wealth to live on for the rest of their lives. The key word here is accumulated–we worry we don’t have enough bread stashed away. For myself and many of my friends, this concern is illogical; any CPA would tell us that barring an utter loss of financial discipline, we’ll make it through retirement just fine. But logical or not, the fear is very real, and robs us of the joy of many precious moments. This worry about what’s next, the burden of regrets over perceived mistakes, and the anxiety of comparing the size of one’s nest egg all conspire to deprive us of the gifts we have and the opportunities that are right in front of us.

What if we decided that all that stuff just wasn’t important? What if we became more conscious of what is right in front of us (and within us) during those moments of doubt?

I’m not here to tell you that big changes are easy. Most of us are creatures of habit; once we’ve found a routine that works for us, we want to keep at it for as long as we can. But it’s important not to mistake the process for the purpose. We can face change with courage if we know that who we are will not change. The self will survive.

The prospect of change forces us to revisit our values, goals, and intentions. If we make a habit of checking in with ourselves regularly, if we return every so often to our vital purpose and tweak it when necessary, we will gradually accumulate a different kind of asset: self-assuredness. By having confidence in who we are, we liberate ourselves from the stifling doubts and worries which change brings out.

I know I will forget this, so I say it again here: life is lived in this moment. Not in the past, not in the future. I know I will need to mindfully and consistently remind myself of this simple truth. The best way to impact future outcomes is to be fully present and aware in the only moment that exists: this one.

If you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming change, or are seeking to reconnect with your fundamental self, send me an email at I’d be happy to help.

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