Change of the Heart

photograph by Steve Fraeemba

I have been occupied with the idea of change this week because I have been making changes to the Write To Be You site. I hope you like them. I’ve been obsessing over very little things like font and spacing and shades of green. I have been awarding these small changes monumental amounts of importance – cursive versus sans serif.  Lighter or darker. Up or down. And while in the midst of this fixation with getting everything on the site ‘just right’ I received a phone call telling me that one of my dearest, beloved friends had been admitted to hospital with chest pains. Within twenty four hours he underwent a procedure to unblock a stubbornly blocked artery in the chambers of his heart. The cardiac surgeon announced he was days away from a massive heart attack.

Suddenly fonts didn’t seem so important anymore.

Life is full of minutia that stress us out to no end. Schedules, traffic, electronics, laundry, dishes, spills, stains, tangles, grievances – large and tiny. Fonts. And there on the other side of the spectrum, hovering quietly in stark polarity – our mortality.

It seems absurd that all of the ‘business’ that pads our every day lives can be rendered completely useless in a moment of heart felt pain.

Absurd but true.

My friend has been advised that he needs to change. A lot. He needs to change his diet, his habits, his routine. He needs to slow down. Pay more attention. Be kinder to himself . But this I believe should be a universal mantra. I tell it to my workshop participants weekly.

As lovely as it sounds though, change like this can be ridiculously  hard. If only it were as easy as adjusting a font. My friend is worried that he will be so buoyed by his ‘lucky escape’ that he might fall back into denial, assuming himself to have access to as many second chances as a crafty cat. Odds are he won’t, unless he opts for transformation. And even that is uncertain… longevity is a gift not a given.

So what are our choices when it comes to contemplating change? To remain blocked emotionally and or physically, despite knowing that ultimately this will result in some form of pathology catching up with us? Or to explore routes to unblocking?  Enlist help from those who love us. Loiter in moments of joy. Express and create with both careful reflection and urgent abandon.

I know which one I am choosing. And I hope that my friend, who had a beautifully large heart to begin with, will opt for a similar route, now that some of the unblocking has been taken care of for him.

On  a lighter note – what do you think of this font?

Write for ten minutes using the word CHANGE as a springboard. Share in the comments! Or simply respond to this post – does it resonate with you? Tell me why…

2 Responses to “Change of the Heart”

  1. Jessica
    May 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Hi there,

    I enjoyed that you were excited about the small tweaks and adjustments to your website and felt the weight of them. For your friend’s sake, those little changes can help lead him to the big, overall transformations, and if he can’t reward himself and be proud of even making the smallest adjustments towards a healthier lifestyle, he could fall into that chasm of “I didn’t do enough so I won’t do anything at all.” Also, if it’s a smaller task and you miss it for a day, it doesn’t feel like such a huge letdown and you can pick back up where you left off without feeling like you fell off the wagon.

    For me, the call to action, as opposed to a call to not act, helps out much more. “Brew coffee at home,” over “Don’t go to Starbucks,” and “Choose healthy food that will nourish your body” over “Don’t eat junk.” I think the mindset is different when it doesn’t start with discouragement or shaming.

    I am also always mindful of the fact that the version of me that is saying “Wake up early and go running,” is usually the one that is in PJs, curling up with a book and about to tuck in for the night. That version has no desire to go for a run but is hoping the groggy, hungry version of myself in 7 hours will feel more inclined. Finding out what time of day you are the most motivated and able to make those changes, as opposed to hoping a later version of yourself will be up to the task, is key. And of course the opposite is true. Knowing when you may have less will power and be more inclined to slip into bad habits is equally important so you can steel yourself against temptations.

    And Rory, the font is adorable! Clean, easy to read. It might be my screen but the font could be a bit bigger. I’m a huge fan of polka dots and they are in clothing everywhere this season. May have to pick some up!

    Have a great day!

    • Rory Green
      May 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

      Hi Jessica! Thank you for your very thoughtful and insightful response! I will encourage my friend to read it as well. I like your distinction of a positive call to action. Sometimes it can be just changing our language that helps push us towards a healthier decision. Hope to see you here again! And I agree with you about the font – needs to be a bit bigger!

Leave a Reply