Episode 176: Change for Opportunity
Other Word Swap Episodes:
Hello. Welcome back to Live Free Creative. This is Episode: 176 Word Swap Magic– Change for Opportunity. I’ve recorded a couple of these word swap episodes in the past, and I’ve gotten great feedback from you listeners that the simple act of changing one word for another has made huge impact on your lives, on your thoughts on the way that you process things.
Hopefully today’s word swap will have a similar impact as the others have.
My first word swap magic episode was about the words, “but” and “and.” Swapping the word but for and. And my second word swap magic was swapping the word “could” for “should” or “want to.”
I will link both of those in the show notes. If you’re curious and haven’t listened to them, or you want to relisten. You can head to livefreecreative.co/podcast and look up today’s episode 176. It will have links to both of those previous word swap magic episodes right there. So you can listen to all of the word swap goodness all at once.
Today’s episode is swapping the word “change” for “opportunity”, and I will dig into that a little bit more in the episode, after a quick life lately.
Segment: Life Lately
We have entered March, which feels like the cusp of springtime here in Richmond. Things are starting to bloom. My neighbor has some sort of a tree with blossoms. I don’t know if it’s a cherry tree or an apple tree. It’s something cute and little with tiny pink blossoms that makes me happy every morning as I walk the kids to school.
We have started settling into our new home, which means things are mostly unpacked. I have started painting in the front room and painting the trim.
Hopefully this weekend, I’m going to put together my closet system a couple of weeks ago I started in on that project and realized I had bought the wrong pieces from Ikea. Now I’ve got the correct pieces or what I hope are the correct pieces.
It’s going to be kind of a big project. The idea is that I’m going to take out all of the shelving and bars that are currently in my closet. Which is huge, by the way, it’s like thirteen feet by eight feet. It’s almost like a little tiny bedroom inside the bedroom. This closet is going to do double purpose as an office and a closet.
The way that I’m going to accomplish that is by building in floor-to-ceiling closed closet. Shelves and drawers and hanging bars all with doors, on one end. And then that leaves space for the rest of the room to feel like an office with shelves and my computer. And I’m going to add a window to the room.
It, it hits, you know, an outside wall of the house. I’ve had some bids for putting in a window so that there’s some natural light that comes in there. I think that with a built-in closet system from Ikea across that whole eight foot. It’s going to maybe it’s like seven or six feet. I don’t know. It’s, it’s pretty big.
Let me think. It’s 40 inches plus 20 and 20. So about 80 inches. That’s like six feet. I think that that will be enough closet space for me. But thinking about resale in the future, we hope to be in this house for a long time. We don’t really have a timeline on this current house like we did on our blue house.
I don’t anticipate moving anytime soon. However, I also don’t know that we’ll be in this house forever. I like to think about making changes for us that also have a little bit of sense for the future. I think that having enough, really organized, built in closet, and also leaving the room functional for an office or something else in the future is really helpful. That’s where we are on home projects.
The other exciting thing happening right now is that this weekend, our two-tiered island is going to be cut down to one flat level island. The new countertops and faucets will be–well, it’s only one faucet. That new countertop and faucet will be installed. I ordered new hardware for our kitchen cabinets. So really kind of small tweaks to make the whole kitchen feel more functional, feel a little bit more like our style and move the needle forward on just the kind of overall progress of nestling into our new home space.
Graduate School Application
My other fun life lately accomplishment is that my application for graduate school is completed and has been turned in! I worked on my essay for months on and off and. I had some help from friends and editors on both my essay and my resume. Thank you to all of you who helped me with that! Everything’s turned in.
Here’s kind of a funny story about my transcripts:
I attended Brigham Young University for two years before I went and lived in Argentina as a missionary. When I came back, I decided to go to the university of Utah and that’s where I attended nursing school. That’s where I graduated. When I was digging up transcripts, I didn’t think that my first schooling mattered, because I had transferred all of my classes to the Universtity of Utah and graduated there.
I only submitted my University of Utah transcript. Well, when they got my application, someone preliminarily looked at it and said, Hey, we need your transcripts from Brigham Young University. I didn’t realize I was going to need. I got on the phone, figured out how to get my student ID so that I could log in and, you know, request at transcripts.
And they sent me an e-transcript, which then I uploaded as a PDF. It was funny to look at my initial college transcripts from when I was a freshman in college, fresh out of high school, just getting started. I didn’t remember that there were a few classes that I did terribly in including getting a D in nutrition, which cracked me up because I went on to become a nurse specializing in nutrition as a diabetes educator.
Hopefully some of those early mistakes can be made up for! Fingers crossed. They’re not going to hold it against me, that I had a really bad semester early on in my college career because I ended up graduating with great grades and great GPA and on the honor roll and everything else, just really interesting to remember these, you know, kind of the ebbs and flows of those early college years and how it took a little bit of time to find my footing in that new situation.
4 Before 40 Goals
Finally, I think I should do a quick update on my 4 before 40 goals. This will hold me accountable. I mentioned to them on the podcast a couple of weeks ago. It’s now been one month since my 39th birthday almost a month. And I have been working on my pull-ups.
I want to do four pull-ups and I can do one solid pull-up and I’m probably about to one and a half, if that’s a thing.
I have not taken my guitar out of the case at all. So, I have made no progress on that at all.
I have started looking at campsites to reserve camping spots for the next spring summer season. I’ve made some headway, although I haven’t actually scheduled any yet. I’ve been on the State Park websites and have been digging in and looking at my calendar. So, I’m making some progress on that.
And finally, I have settled in, on a local organization that I would love to volunteer with. I just need to go on and reach out to them.
Once I solidify a little bit more of that, I can share more in future updates. That’s where I’m going on my 4 before 40 simple goals. I’ve made the tiny bit of progress on a couple of them. And luckily, I’ve still got. 11 months to finish up the rest. Okay. That’s it for life lately.
Word Swap Magic
Today’s word swap magic is something that I have talked about a little bit in some of my courses and something that I’ve thought about personally for a long time as our family has experienced different changes over the years. It’s become increasingly helpful in the last couple months when there were a lot of unexpected opportunities presented all at once.
A lot of unexpected changes that piled on top of me, kind of simultaneously, as tends to happen. I noticed that the language that I use when talking about what’s happening in my life or the story that I’m telling myself about my own experiences and circumstances really impacts how I feel.
It impacts my curiosity and openness as well as my frustration and overwhelm.
How Do You Tell Your Story?
We love stories. We love hearing stories. We learn through stories, and we sometimes forget the power that our own stories, the ones that we tell ourselves in our heads, the ones we tell to our friends and family in intimate or personal conversations, those stories have real implications in our real life, in how we feel emotionally, how connected we feel to ourselves and to others.
This one, this quick switch. Has been helpful in framing the things that are coming or the things that are happening in a more optimistic and open light.
The definition of change is probably familiar to you: to make different in some way; to make radically different; to replace one with another; to shift from one with another; to exchange; to undergo a modification; to become different.
In my experience, most of us feel a little bit apprehensive about change. We don’t love change, generally. We like the idea of things that are going well. Just continuing to go well. Especially unexpected change can kind of throw us off a little bit.
I think sometimes we use the word change in a naturally negative connotation. And the, the language that kind of reminds me of this is that I often hear people talk about something as a “good change”, like qualify the change with a positive, like good. It was a good change when it’s a, not a good change, they don’t qualify.
We often don’t say it’s a bad change or it’s a change for the worse. If it’s a good change, we have to modify the word change to, to represent that it was a good change where generally, if we just use the word change, it comes with a little bit of negative connotation, a little bit of baggage, a little bit of weight that this was something that was maybe hard or unexpected or has been a big adjustment.
And while all those things can be true and it’s totally okay for changes to cause transition and have some weight and some adjustment period. There’s also something really enlivening and encouraging about considering the opportunity that is allowed, inherent with change inherent with transformation.
And with that adjustment, that exchange of one thing for another, there are possibilities that lay in, wait every time we make a change. It’s often easy to default to all the adjustments that hardships tweaking things here and there, the amount of energy that it’s going to take to transition into whatever this new phase is. We can become really overwhelmed and bogged down with all of those. The output of energy that it takes when we make a change.
Our bodies and brains love doing things that we know how to do. They love doing the same thing. If it was up to our brain, we probably wouldn’t ever change anything because the comfort of rhythm of just knowing where to go, what to do, how it happens, we can get really stuck in the comfort of that.
Change is ALWAYS accompanied by OPPORTUNITY
Even if the situation itself isn’t great or is a little bit uncomfortable, sometimes change is hard. Yes. Always, it will be accompanied by possibilities or opportunities that didn’t exist in the previous state. By virtue of transitioned by virtue of change, opportunity arises because something new has new possibility has new opportunity.
Even a shift back to something, a change back to something that we had before. We’ll come with new opportunities with new possibilities.
It’s interesting to think about just the simple opening up of our minds and our hearts that happens with the word “opportunity.” Just like the word change tends to carry some negative weight, the word opportunity tends to carry some positive lightness, some openness, some excitement, something to look forward to.
We think of opportunity as inherently positive, and inherently good. So, making this swap, even if it’s not a direct swap, cause some sentences you wouldn’t necessarily say we had a job change. You could say I had a job opportunity.
We had a house change. We had a house opportunity. Doesn’t sound exactly the same. You know, you wouldn’t necessarily say that, but we moved or had this change and it brought with it, these opportunities that change also equaled opportunity, what this does, as we’re telling the story of the transition. It opens our eyes, our minds, our hearts, to look for the good to look for along with all of the other emotions we may be feeling.
It trains us and points us in the direction of seeking out what we’re learning. What good will come on the other side of this adjustment, this transformation. Where there’s room for, for growth, for newness. Even in things that feel harder or are unexpected, there will be an, a possibility of opportunity of learning of growth of development. And there’s something amazing about training ourselves to see those things, by the way we speak, by the way we tell our ourselves these stories of our circumstances.
Examples of Change with Opportunity
I’ve shared before. That our family has had lots of different chapters. We’ve moved a lot. We’ve lived in lots of different places. I don’t remember the current count, but we’re somewhere around 13 or 14 different places that we’ve lived through the 15 years of marriage. So that’s a lot of opportunities, lots of chances to do things differently or to tweak things a little bit here or there.
Many of those moves, many of those physical changes of location didn’t have a huge emotional toll or impact on Dave and I, before we had kids because we had a little bit more bandwidth. The one that felt like I had to kind of tune in not only to how I was feeling, but how he was presenting what was happening to my family was when we moved from Texas to Virginia.
I had all three kids. The youngest was three. When we moved to Virginia, Plum was three Eliot was five and Milo was seven. They knew…well, at least the boys, the older boys knew what was happening. And although this was something that we chose, we chose a new job for Dave. We chose to move across the country again. Further away from family, further away from, you know, away from all of our friends at community and this house that we had designed and built for ourselves that we thought we would live in for a really long time.
When my boys would ask me, what life would be like in Virginia? What was it going to be like after this big change? I remember that I had decided at that point to always answer them with the phrase “better than it is now.”
“Things are just getting better. I’m so excited to find out! I don’t know exactly what it’s going to be like, but I do know it’s going to be better than it is right now.
“Better than here. We’re going to love it even more than we love our life right now.”
You may hear that and think about times in your own life when you had a change that didn’t feel better. That may be felt worse for a while. And even in that circumstance, can you look back and see what growth happened, what lessons were learned often it’s through some of those hard times or hardships that we develop, that we really find our grit and we find out what we’re made of, and we build character, and we learn the lessons and develop the meaning that is fulfilled.
Those experiences help us recognize what matters most, even change that we don’t choose presents opportunity and looking at it from that perspective enables us to find it. Sometimes it takes a little while. I must admit that it’s taken some time for me to see our most recent move, our most recent change in the light of all the opportunity that it presents.
I’ve crossed the threshold now where I feel, you know, that twist cone that I talked about a few weeks ago feels mostly like sweet, creamy, vanilla. Right now. There’s not as much, grief or loss because I’ve processed through those emotions. And I see all the opportunity, all the potential, and I’m so excited and it’s okay to, to process all of those things.
It also feels good to give myself the encouragement, to look for opportunity to replace the negative weight of change with the positive lightness of hope, opportunity and possibility. It helps me to shake off and process through some of those inherent harder emotions that, that come with transitions because we’re human.
And to leave myself open to all the goodness that is right around the corner that I can find today, if I’m looking for it.
What opportunity exists now in your life?
I want you to think about your life and things that are happening right now. Or if you don’t have anything changing currently, I think there’s always something a little bit in transition in life.
Think about what those things are and how it feels different. If you think about that change that you’re going through or that you’ve just passed through, or that you see up ahead, think about swapping that with opportunity.
If that helps you tell the story in a way that you start to look for different pieces. You start to see things in a different light. Maybe the actual weight of it feels different because of that simple word swap. Maybe you remain open and ready to receive the goodness that awaits.
Something that has been a little interesting happening in our life lately is, I mean, I’ve already done my life lately for this episode, but another thing that I’m going to touch on an, in an episode that I’ve just started planning is that our kids are no longer little.
Our parenting is going through a transition right now. We are entering.The Teenage Years. My oldest will be 13 in just a couple months, which he’s very proud of that fact and keeps reminding me that he has, you know, a countdown of eight weeks and seven weeks. And we’re getting there. He’s almost there.
And along with that have come opportunities for Dave and I to think about how we’re parenting with intention, this new phase, and age of kids. I’m really excited to record an upcoming episode a little bit more in-depth about some of the conclusions that we’ve come through as we’re looking for opportunities to grow as parents to address the new needs of this new stage of our lives.
I mean, this is something we’ve never done before. We’ve never parented a teenager. And all the things that you hear about, about it being different are true. We are in the middle of a big change. Wait, no, a big opportunity for growth. A big opportunity for transition for becoming even better, even more intentional, even more connected parents than we have had to be in the past because the needs are different than they’ve been before.
I can say that even when things have not felt light and easy at home, as we’re adjusting to some of these opportunities, We have felt the lightness that has come with being on a team and recognizing that we have some similar goals for our family culture, for the underlying emotion emotions, with which we want to parent and addressing this new chapter of our life, our family life as an opportunity.
The possibility that exists within teenage world is different and can be so fun. While I won’t say that every day with an almost-teenager is all butterflies and marshmallows and roses and rainbows. Just thinking about it through the lens of opportunity, possibility and enrichment– things getting better and better all the time– has given us that encouragement, you know, even personal encouragement, even just me telling myself this is an opportunity for me to grow as a mother into the person that I want to be and to show up the way that I want to show up in the world and in this relationship.
That has felt a lot different than thinking, oh my gosh, we’re entering a hard change. This is going to be a big new thing that we’re dealing with, from a negative perspective. Opening to it, opening up to everything that it’s going to entail feels a lot lighter, feels a lot more hopeful and squarely puts that impetus of control back in my court.
That’s a lot of explanation for a very simple concept. I want you to sit with this one. I want you to think of your own life and some of the changes that are happening right now. Replace that with the opportunities that are existing are presenting themselves to you right now.
And maybe you want to do a little journaling or write down. Maybe you want to have a conversation with a friend or a partner about this. See how that simple word swap can be magic in the way that it opens you up to see the story of your current circumstance, your current life from an entirely different perspective, from a more hopeful and joyful place.
I can’t wait to hear about how this simple word swap creates huge opportunities in your life.
A Couple Fun Opportunities Coming Up
Thank you so much for tuning in this week before you go. I want to tell you about a couple of fun opportunities coming up for you. First is Creative Camp. This is my deep work weekend that this year is only happening in the spring.
April 20-24th in Southern Utah. This is a chance to bring a work project, a personal project, to get some space, to focus and to dig into something that you’ve been wanting to work on, whether that’s something for your own business, whether it’s catching up on family yearbooks, or simply having some time to connect with other women in the creative field and to read a journal, it’s up to you.
All of the details for that are available livefreecreative.co/camp. I hope that some of you will join me.
The second is a little bit broader. Summer Camp is happening this year in July in New Castle, Virginia. Last year, summer camp was off-the-charts amazing. It’s a place to reconnect to yourself, to connect, to nature, to connect to another community of women and the registration page for Summer Camp 2022 is now open.
If you want to join me in the great outdoors in the mountains of Virginia to canoe, to listen to incredible music around the fire, to have great food, to learn some crafts, to hike and spend time outside, check out, livefreecreative.co/summer-camp, or head to the show notes of this episode. All of the details will be there.
It’s going to be an incredible time and I hope that you’ll join me. Finally, I have a couple spots open right now for one-on-one coaching. This is my creative mentorship. It starts at three months and can go as long as you need. I would love to invite you. If you feel a tug to work with me, one-on-one to check out patreon.com/livecreecreative
Those are some fun ways that you can connect. Let me know if you have any questions. I hope you have a good one. I’ll talk to you next week.