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Winds of Change

Friday, 14 September 2012

And the wind blew straight through me, shaking me to the core. Of all the elements, wind seems to be the one that really shakes me. Such intense power, yet invisible to the eye; a perfect contradiction of strength and vulnerability all rolled into one.

I have a theory that in order to be strong, you must be willing to also be vulnerable. That in vulnerability, there is an understated strength that most people overlook, most people mistake for weakness.

But vulnerability is the ultimate strength, because it screams self-assuredness. When we are willing to showcase our vulnerability we are saying:

“Here I am. This is the real me. I’m not perfect and I‘m OK with that.”

There’s an authenticity about vulnerability that commands respect.

And so I’ve learned to make vulnerability my friend and it has set me free. Free me from the stress of trying to be perfect all the time.

Because ‘being perfect’ is a tiring goal. Mainly because it’s not achievable – it’s the constant chase of something that doesn’t exist. And if it did exist – I’m not sure I’d like it anyway.

In my opinion, there’s something ugly about perfection. Something not quite right, something artificial and contrived. We find beauty in the imperfections that make us unique.

It’s time to celebrate imperfection.

And so, sitting here with the wind blowing through my bones, as families struggle to control their kites flying high over Bondi, I ponder the constant change that is living.

It’s the kite flyers that fight the constant changing direction of the wind that are fighting a losing battle. The ones wishing for the wind to be constant, to be still, to stick to one speed; they have not yet learned one of life’s lessons.

And it’s the wise kite flyers that try to be one with the wind instead of fighting it; they unknowingly have learned the lesson. They know this:

“We can’t change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust our sails.”

Life is change. It’s everywhere around us; the rising sun, the descending moon, the changing winds, the cycle of life and death.

We cannot fight it.

But we can jump in and learn to be one with life.

To go with the flow.

To be one with the wind and the sun and the elements.

Not to ‘give in’ to life’s struggles, but to move with the changes in our life.

And when we do this we will have true acceptance.

Don’t’ fight it, go with it.

7 Steps to Cope with Change

Here are 7 practical steps you can take to help you cope with change today. These steps don’t have to be taken in any order or in their entirety. You can pick just one to work on this week. Often it’s the small steps that have the most impact on our lives and before we know it we’ve changed without even realising it. 

1. Acceptance. Notice the next time you feel frustrated about something. Is it because you are trying to ‘control’ something in your life? If it is, experiment by accepting the changes instead of trying to fight them. 

2. Face your fears. When we face our fears head-on something magical happens. They disappear. Instead of letting the fear control you – try pushing through it to the other side. You may be surprised at the outcome. 

3. Learn to love uncertainty. It’s common to be afraid of new changes in your life because they represent the unknown. Try putting a positive spin on new changes by looking at them as new adventures. Imagine how boring Life would be if we knew exactly what was going to happen every day.

4. Stop expecting things to remain the same. Life is change. It’s impossible for you to lead a life with no change whatsoever, so it’s better to be realistic about this. Instead of expecting things to stay the same, do the opposite: expect things to change every day. This way you are well prepared.

5. Have a solution mindset. Don’t take changes lying down! Instead, constantly look for ways to duck and weave around changes and work with them instead of against them. Be open to solutions instead of blocking your mind with resistance.

6. Get support. Find others who have gone through similar changes. Ask them how they got through the tough times. Often people close to us will be battling similar issues – we just don’t think to ask. Know that you are not in isolation and everyone else is going through changes too. This helps to stop tunnel vision where you focus in on the problematic changes in your life.

7. Even ‘changes’ change. Whatever is changing now, will change again in the future. So know that whatever you’re experiencing now is not permanent. This can help you to put things into perspective.


Photography: Joe Wigdahl

Pictures taken at Festival of the Winds, Bondi Beach. Presented by the Bondi Pavilion in association with The Australian Kiteflyers Society

Words: Zoë B, Bondi based author of Simple Life Strategies




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