I’m coming to you live from our new place in Oceanside!
If you’ve been keeping up with my Instagram, you know it’s been a wild week! First we hosted a film crew, Stillmotion, at our house in Poway for three days while they shot a short documentary film on Jason and then it was all hands on deck packing up our things on Thursday night and moving everything over to the new place on Friday.
I’ve never been so grateful to be a minimalist! With the help of our friends Omar and Nicole, the whole process went fairly smoothly (except for my stand-off with one unruly IKEA screw.)
Before we get into today’s email, here’s a group of snaps Jason and I took as we moved in.
There are still a few last touches to add (at the top of the list are wall art and a few house plants!) but overall it's feeling complete.
My favorite things about the place are, obviously, that view, all the natural light, and my dedicated art studio space on the first floor!
With this being our second big move in basically a year's time, there were some familiar feelings/thoughts that bubbled up as I settled in to our new environment this weekend:
This feels new. This feels different. Everything is unfamiliar. Where do I fit here?
Just like a musician trying to improvise with a band and pick up a new song, I've found that it takes a moment to find the rhythm of a place. To make sense of it all and slide yourself seamlessly into the mix.
But I love that process. I LIVE for that process -- the process of taking in a new environment or new circumstances and adapting to fit with it.
Which got me thinking about the importance of adaptability in life and in business.
When Jason and I met, one of the first things we connected on was our openness to change. Jason moved around a TON as a kid (living in seven different cities before college) and having to make new friends every year at a new school will definitely teach you a thing or two about being adaptable.
While I didn’t have to cope with geographical change (living in just one city), our family dynamics were always changing and evolving. My parents divorced when I was very young and remarried other people (twice in my dad’s case) so there were always new living arrangements, new step siblings to get to know and new bunk bed configurations to figure out .
We both agree that while this kind of childhood had some downsides at the time, now as adults we can appreciate all the change we encountered for the role it played in strengthening our adaptability muscles.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized just how integral this quality has been to creating the lives and businesses we desire and to being content in each new phase that emerges.
We're always experimenting, always changing, always ADAPTING.
But that doesn't mean it's easy. Just like I mentioned above, our lives take on a certain comfortable rhythm, which can be helpful in aiding us toward our goals. Change sometimes feels like it interrupts that rhythm. Whether it's something as big as moving across the coast, or whether it's something as small as our go-to grocery store closing down, when change hits, our beat gets off track for a second.
What I want to share with you today are three ways I've learned to become adaptable in my life, and how you can minimize that "off-beat" time period so that change doesn't throw you off your own rhythm.
3 ways to be more adaptable in your own life:
1. FOCUS ON THE GAIN, NOT THE LOSS
Learn to see change as an opportunity, not just a challenge.
My friend Eric Proulx made an incredible documentary a few years ago called Lemonade about people in advertising who were laid off during the financial crisis in 2008. While it wasn’t easy for any of them, those that made it out of that big change happier were the ones that came to the conclusion that getting laid off was actually an opportunity to finally pursue what they were really passionate about. They focused on the freedom they gained, not the stability they lost.
This approach doesn't have to apply to something as life-altering as losing your job. For example, when we moved away from our house at Poway, I could have focused on all the things we'd be losing: two acres of open green spaces, the privacy of having so much land to ourselves, etc. But focusing on all our new place is "missing" would only stall me from fully embracing this new chapter. By putting all of the past behind me and focusing all the positives that this new environment will bring, I can minimize that stall factor.
2. USE THE ENERGY OF NEW-NESS TO BUILD MOMENTUM
You know that feeling we all get when January 1st rolls around every year? There’s an energy in the air that feels like pure possibility. Not only does the year feel new, but suddenly it feels as though we could be new too. The novelty that comes with the turning of a new year makes us feel like the past has been wiped clean. We're starting fresh. That’s the kind of energy I want you to think about when you encounter a big change.
Use the novelty of a new place or new routine or new job to give your own motivation a boost. Lean into the new-ness and let it catapult you head-first into whatever goal or future you want for yourself.
3. FIND YOUR CONSTANT
Bare with me for a second, but are there any Lost fans in the house? Remember when the show got all weird (okay, it was always weird) and doubled down on the whole time travel thing? Well an important part of the plot was this idea of a "constant" -- something that a character traveling through time cared deeply about that their mind could latch onto so it wouldn't unravel from the chaos of floating across space and time.
I think that very same logic applies to coping with big change. To prevent yourself from feeling completely lost in all the new, unfamiliar variables that change can bring, it's helpful to find a few constants that can make you feel comfortable and ease you through a big transition.
For me, that constant is my simple morning routine: wake up with natural light, drink my cup of coffee, take 20 or so minutes to read a book, eat breakfast with Jason, write down my focus for that day, and then launch into work. Starting my day off with this simple series of steps that bring me joy makes me feel at ease no matter where I am.
Whatever that constant is for you -- a routine, a way you like to make your bed, a person you call, you favorite mug -- bring that with you to your new place or circumstances and take comfort in that when everything starts to feel too new.
Remember, change does have to interrupt your progress; if you learn to adapt, it can FUEL your progress.
So, this week I want you to answer this question: how good are you at adapting to change?
If you find that the answer is "not very," then I challenge you to read through the three tactics above and intentionally use them as your secret weapons whenever the next big change in your life appears.
Change happens in life whether we choose it or not, so learning to make the most of it can be a huge advantage.
I'm looking forward to the next week to use these three tools myself in settling into a new rhythm here. Hopefully I'll be sharing a more in-depth photo tour on the blog soon!