Don’t you just love it when things make total, complete, perfect sense the first time??? Yes, it happened to me again a few weeks ago. I opened myself up to the world of possibilities and what could be even better than this thinking, and sure enough, something better showed up! It happened like this.

My friend Diane loaned me a book, so it’s all her fault – in such a wonderful, good way. Thank you, Diane!!!  And since I’m an “ollin” kind of girl (as in “all in”), I read the entire book in 2 days, called and talked to the author (by accident, but still, she answered the phone!), decided to get certified to teach this concept, and started online classes…again with help from Diane, who just happens to be certified to teach this already. I now have 8 copies of the book, 3 sets of participant materials for my first Beta students, and a level of enthusiasm that I am so happy to feel all the way to my toes. Oh, and I already modified a presentation I gave this week on Effective Communication to incorporate some of these ideas, with some effective results.

The book is The Change Cycle, by Ann Salerno and Lillie Brock. It’s about how to navigate change, and not just survive it, but thrive in the midst and afterglow of a change at the organizational level, too.  Suffice it to say that the book draws on the work of Mazlow’s Hierarchy, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s work on death and dying, Bill Bridges’ work on Transitions, and the authors’ own research and experiences initially in South Africa but also in the US for the past 20 years.  They offer that there 6 stages of change, with some predictable and unpredictable responses, and that there are clear, proven ways to help people assess what stage they are in and how to move beyond that to complete the cycle of change.

It’s what I would have said/preached/taught/told people if I was already through all 6 stages as a result of Kevin’s death if I wrote this book. The transition I had to go through since then – and am still going through in varying ways – has been pretty much the very experience described in this book. Like they were flies on the walls of my house for the past 2+ years.  It’s amazing, and comforting, and mysterious, and interesting, and useful.

I keep saying things like I have “turned a corner” in my grief, and I surely have turned many corners.  But one could expect that 4 corners and you’re done.  Not so.  What I have discovered is that the corners are sometimes left and sometimes right, and sometimes just zigzags. This is still progress, and in fact, it’s all part of the predictable process. Who knew?!? This is what I wanted to hear, to know, by about a week after Kevin died…how long this would take, what would happen, etc.

The trick is that not everyone goes through things at the same rate or in exactly the same way. It turns out I am in Stage 4 of the 6 stages, and that is affirming to me. I’m normal, I’m past the “danger zone,” I’m rocking my new life as well as anyone. More than this, though, I was guided through an exercise to help me figure out what my fears are (and yes, I have them like everyone else). It wasn’t what I expected, but it was a revelation. And it immediately made sense to me, and made sense of my last year, and made sense about my future. I know you’re curious what it could possibly be, but let’s just say it’s personal.

Anyway, the point is, I am Solowingnow with winged arms, not leaded feet. I am eager, not anxious. I am throwing the doors wide open, not just cautiously peeking out the windows at my life.  It’s like I drank the Kool-Aid, the good kind, the sweet kind. Best of all, this Change Cycle work allows me to put my own fingerprints all over it, to truly make a Duggan Difference with it.  My friend Karn reminded me today of what I used to tell her: when the student is ready, the teacher will come.  Well, this student is ready, and my teachers came in the form of a friend with a recommendation of a book to read and the book itself.  Interestingly, Diane has referred to this book for the past 2 years, and it’s only now that I was hearing her. Imagine that. I wasn’t ready then.

Couple this with the Access Consciousness studying I’ve been doing and you can see that my energy is flowing, good things are happening, more is on the way, and I’m open to receiving it all.

As for that other change, can you believe that I haven’t had a single night sweat in about a month?!?? And I haven’t even had to get up to pee.  What do you say to that???  Coincidence? I think not.  I think it’s finally the right time.  My time. My turn. My way. Gosh-Almighty, it’s good to be me right now!

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