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Change is an Inside Job

by Chelsea Leader Gold
 ∙ Jan 19 ∙ 5 Min Read

Inside: we’ve been here for nearly a year now. 

Last January, this reality was something most of us in good health could not have imagined, right? Spending this.much.time. indoors with ourselves and, maybe, a few others who are also close within our inner circle…. (whaaat?!)

But while we’ve been inside, the Earth has spun. The days and weeks and months have passed. And in some profound ways, the world has changed. Have you?

. . .

Tomorrow (1/20) brings a milestone that, regardless of political affiliation, brings change to us all. (In case you’ve been chillin’ in a hole with no wifi:) It’s Inauguration Day, marking our next chapter as a nation in transition, and this one, with a country divided, is a ready-or-not milestone that’s packed with lessons and reminders. 

The lesson that’s resonating most for me right now is that change is an inside job. The reminder:

Anytime we find ourselves on the inside, it’s our job to change what does not work for us.

We want our nation to change? We look to those on the inside of politics. 

We want our company culture to change? We look to those on the inside of the executive boardroom.

But what about when we want our lives — our careers, our relationships, our habits — to change? Where should we look?

>>> That’s right: let’s look inside ourselves <<<

I am extremely lucky…and privileged…and blessed…some combo, probably. I have a home, I have an able body, I have a job (that I love, love, love). I have very special relationships with my family and friends. I belong to a community that helps me define who I am, that lets me help define it, too. And…and…and….

I say this to highlight that, when I was spending so much time on the outside pre-COVID, I left little room for the silence that would help me hear what was happening inside myself. 

I was full.
So full.
Maybe too full.
Then I deflated when we all got sent inside.

For many months, while inside our home* was safe, inside of me was getting a little scary. 

I was with my partner in our home in Brooklyn, NY, and on the work front: with my small, mighty team, I was hatching a digital experiment that grew in to 

I started hearing the tune of needing change, though. In fact, it was growing louder every month…until October, when I realized that if I wanted to be who I thought I was already becoming – then it was time to do my inside job, to get to work to change (and not wait for it to happen to or for me).

Since then, I’ve been in therapy twice a week, I’ve taken calculated risks so I could spend extremely quality time with my closest relatives and friends. I’ve been consuming articles and podcasts…about personal development but also about totally unrelated just-because things I’m interested in. I’ve been going to all the spiritual sessions I can. I’ve been dancing at least once a week. I’ve been making cold calls to old friends to reconnect. I’ve broken up with a couple of friends. I’ve been working with my partner to make major upgrades on how we communicate. I’ve been doing boundary work with those I love most. I’ve been doing yoga. And most differently than before: I have been doing much more of nothing.

Most of the biggest changes I believe will affect me in the longer-term won’t make my life look much different on the outside, but I think that’s the point — that change is an inside job.

. . .

So, if you’ve changed since you got grounded, why and in what ways? If you haven’t and want to, what might you want to focus on first? Can you pick 1 thing and commit to 3 tiny ways to help accomplish that this week? Can help? (Check the sched!)

Think about it. There’s plenty you can get in transition. And tomorrow — Inauguration Day — is a great time to start anew.

From the campfire & beyond,

. . . . .

*Disclaimer to acknowledge that even these musings are steeped in privilege. We have a home. We’re safe. We get to talk about changing our own minds, our own lives. We have the time and resources to make it happen if we really want to. I am – we are – very, very grateful, and have to acknowledge that, in the midst of real suffering for so many (for so long). All of this can be true at the same time. In addition to self-work, we hope you’ll join us in supporting political and civic change by taking direct action for the causes you care about. Separate conversation, but needs to be said.

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