More than just saying you want to change – there’s putting change into action and one foundation way to make a change is to turn either/or into both/and. Here are some tips to get started:

Getting Caught Up

It happens a lot. We get caught up in an either/or way of thinking. Here’s what it looks like:

Either we win or we lose.
Either we are looking good/feeling good/being good or we’re ugly, sick, mean.
Either we are kind or we’re cruel.
Either we are growing or we are stagnant.
Either we are ready or we’re afraid.

For me, I tend to get stuck in either/or thinking when I’m tired or ungrounded. I forget the truth that life, being human, relationships, who we are – all of these are actually a both/and proposition!

Turn Either/Or Into Both/And

We can be both on the road to success AND have a fear that we aren’t worth it.
We can be feeling insecure AND be exuding grace and beauty.
We can be mean AND have a desire to serve our world, be kind, and show compassion.
We can be stuck AND make a decision to enter a journey of transformation.
We can be fearful AND jump into life!

Everything is connected

How do we get there? We pay attention. We look for the beauty in the midst of pain. For hope in the midst of fear. For joy in the midst of sadness. This isn’t being trite or simple. It is actually a complex way of understanding that each of us has the ability to have a diverse way of being. That in all moments, we experience a variety of feelings, of thoughts and of ways of expression. It is why tears and laughter live so close together in our hearts. Why fear comes just as we are jumping into what’s next. Why we often have to make a decision to be kind when we are just about to be rude. Everything is connected. We are all of it.

Messy swirling beings

None of us are perfect. And, I believe, that each of us is a messy swirling being of contradictions just learning how to be in relationship with all the other messy swirling beings we find around us.

When we forget. When we think that someone is wrong and we are right. When we believe that we have the answer and everyone else is below us. When we see ourselves as better than others and we believe that we are winners and they are losers – well, then we face a world of struggle and pain. Then we remove ourselves from the complexity of relationship and start to live as if we were the only one that matters. This is what keeps us from being community. This is what causes separation. And separation destroys.

Courage, Connection, Love

It is in the coming together – the recognition that love is greater than all of that which separates us – that we find courage and connection. And this, my friends, is what we are seeking. Courage. Connection. Love.

Go ahead, you can do it – turn either/or into both/and. The next time you think that you can either listen or talk, love or hate, fear or appreciate, check in and see if you actually are all of those things and more. After all, this messy, lovely, swirling, challenging life is what we’ve got for living. What a gift AND a challenge!

For more information about working with Shandra and learning how to your either/or into both/and contact her and get started today.

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