How do slippers relate to navigating change? Let me explain. I have various collections of things, including slippers. Like most collectors, I have my favorite among favorites. In this case, my purple velvet beaded slippers are the pair I use and enjoy most because they are cozy, sparkly, beautiful, and purple.
Most wearable objects don't last forever and my slippers are no exception. They have brought me simple comfort and delight on the coldest of nights. They are now worn to the point of no longer being comfortable because of the tattered interiors. The time had come to change my slippers.
As a professional organizer, one of the things I do is help people edit and let go of those “things” that have overstayed their welcome. What I found so interesting was how resistant I was to releasing and replacing this particular pair of slippers. Isn't that how it often is with change? When we have to let go of something we actually love be it a person, place, thing or concept, it becomes even more challenging.
I did a few things to prepare for the inevitable. Yes, I know we’re talking about slippers, but the concepts are applicable to use for more significant changes. Maybe one of these ideas will help you the next time you are struggling with change.
1. Indulge in Procrastinating- I allowed my resistant thoughts about not doing anything to be present for as long as I needed. Procrastination is often looked upon as something negative. But for me, it gave me the time to process that change was going to happen.
2. Research Possibilities- I hunted for slippers that might be even better than what I had. To my disappointment, they didn't exist. In the process of searching it allowed me to appreciate just how great these slippers had been, and also opened the door for something else. Just engaging in the research process, mentally prepared me and opened my mind to other possibilities.
3. Test Something Different- As I mentioned, I have a collection of slippers. I looked them over and picked out another pair to start wearing instead of the worn ones. Happily, I discovered that it actually wasn't so bad. In fact, they were much more comfortable with their smooth interiors. It reinforced the positive aspect that change brings with it some nice surprises and a dash of hope.
4. Use Photos or Words- It helped me to take photos and write about the slippers. Sometimes the memories of our lives can be captured as visuals or words to commemorate objects with meanings or special moments with loved ones. Having these other references allows us to process, honor, and then let go of the physical. This paves the path for embracing change.
So where am I now? My velvet slippers will be exiting shortly. I'm still indulging a bit in procrastination-land. I have, however, ordered two new pairs of slippers from Pearl River in turquoise and purple and am awaiting their arrival.
Is it time to change your slippers or something else? Join in the conversation about letting go, change, and the gifts to come.