The ways in which I used to see my world are losing their relevance. Things I relied on to stay centered are not working. What’s going on? What can I do about this?


We are living in a changing world. These changes are neither subtle nor easy to adapt to. However, they are here. Do we think our lives can go on as they were? There is a need for us to acknowledge the change that is occurring and decide what it means for our lives. There is also a need for action — to make our own changes, so we can thrive in this world.

The changes in our world are broad and, sometimes, all-encompassing. Some changes are impacting us directly and others are happening in our outer worlds. Some changes are new and others are variations on what used to be. All together, the normal we once knew is gone. A new normal will eventually emerge.

Amidst all this change, is uncertainty, making our journey more difficult. As aspects of our old worlds fade, new aspects are just beginning to come into focus or cannot yet be seen. This change is not complete and may not be for a while. Part of acknowledging our changing world is our acceptance of this uncertainty. We are in a transition.


We must observe and acknowledge the change we are experiencing from a place of being fully in the present moment. This is the only way to truly see what is occurring. How do we start this observation? By looking around — at the challenges, frustrations, happiness and fulfillment we are currently experiencing. Are changes in the world directly influencing these emotions?

As we look around, we gain insights. We begin to see connections between changes in the world and the condition of our lives. What is gone that will not return? What has been altered? What is new? How are those around us experiencing and adapting to change? Are we or they in denial, feeling anger or frustration, growing, taking advantage of change?

As we look around, we can see our lives taking on a new shape, whether or not we are actively doing the shaping. Change is not passive. It happens with or without our concurrence. We can actively watch change occurring around us and what it brings. We can acknowledge the force of change and how it is altering our world.


As we integrate acceptance of the changes surrounding us and their impact on our lives, we can begin creating a new story. The old story we told ourselves no longer applies. What is our new story? Who are we in this world? What does our world look like? What is our role in the world now? How can we be happy and fulfilled in it?

How do we create a new story? In reality, a story is a context. It is what we tell ourselves. It is the lens through which we see our lives. The nature of our story impacts our lives. We need to be conscious of this as we create our new story. Let it be a positive and truthful one. Let our stories inspire us and give us strength to weather the changes we are experiencing.

Stories inform us. The stories we tell ourselves directly affect the conditions of our lives, whether we are conscious of them or not. Do we have a story that paints us a victim of the changes that are occurring? Or a story that the changes that are occurring enhance our lives? There are as many stories as there are people in this world!


As we create our stories, we are living anew. A brand-new story informs us as we live in our world. It is fresh and exciting. It steadies us now in ways our old story never could have in this world. We can go forward and know we are present to the world as it is. We can look around again and, most likely, will see aspects of the world that we could not see before.

With our new story, we can create the life we want to live. We can set new directions, seek new experiences and adjust the ways we respond to the world, both inside and out. We can reevaluate where we are now and how we harmonize with the world as it is. We can plan and seek support and ideas that allow us to live anew.

Change is all encompassing. As the world changes, so do our lives. Change is a call to adventure. It is up to us whether and how we respond. Regardless of what we do, change is a wind that surrounds us. And that wind is shaping us in new ways. Take that wind in your sails and make the most of it.

I see it now — new world, new story. It is a lot less intimidating to know that, as the world changes, I am in charge of my life and my responses to change.

photo: David Mark,




Writer and career/new directions coach living in the High Mojave Desert of southern California. Author of Chrysalis: Personal Transformation From The Inside Out

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Ann Vanino

Ann Vanino

Writer and career/new directions coach living in the High Mojave Desert of southern California. Author of Chrysalis: Personal Transformation From The Inside Out

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