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Eliza Raven

Change is coming

Published about 1 year ago • 4 min read

Change is coming.

We hear this not infrequently in all sorts of areas of our lives - the newspapers, and other media are full of change coming - usually couched in fairly apocalyptic terms!

We notice change as it occurs in our personal lives. Relationships come and go. Friendships too. The seasons change without our input - inexorably and gradually, although it often feels sudden in its impact.

I'm currently listening to the BBC World Service production of The Dark is Rising, which the BBC released at Christmastime, but I've not had a chance to get to yet. It's full of the fearful, imminent approach of change, and yet it's underlying message is all about surviving and even thriving through that change as it comes. It's absolutely wonderful, and you should definitely listen to it if you haven't already had the chance.

In my own life I'm feeling the impact of changes; some I've engaged with deliberately, and some have been imposed upon me. Since the beginning of the year we have endured the upheaval of, and are now enjoying the results of, major renovations to our home. It's now signficantly warmer and comfier inside. We have all those things you'd take usually for granted, like indoor stairs to upstairs(!), hot water and heating on tap (literally) and insulated walls, floors and ceilings. There's still a longish way to go, but we have future-proofed as far as we are able with solar panels, an air-source heat pump, a new and very efficient water tank and lots of internal wall insulation. This summer we will look to add in battery storage for our excess solar, and potentially a water pump to both bring river water in as grey water for our toilets and washing machine/dishwasher, and to convert the flow to electricity for the batteries to store.

I'm also looking at a pivot in my working life (again). It feels somewhat that pivoting IS what I do for work! I've been welcoming new coaching clients on board through the government funded Help to Grow programme, begun a Masters in Learning and Mentoring through the Institute of Learning and Mentoring, and begun to offer corporate coaching programmes as well as my online Effective Communication course and my work supporting Litigants in Person as they face legal process and prepare for court appearances.

It's a busy time, and I'm looking to make it more so - deliberately extending my corporate offers and looking to work inside larger organisations to effect greater change for good wherever I can!

Outside, change continues without me. The garden produces new leaves, and responds to my inexpert ministrations kindly. A duck is nesting again in our clumps of anchor grass at the far end of the garden, so I'm trying to leave her alone now I've started the veg beds and planted the beginning of the orchard, and spread out woodchip from our pollarded willow to cover the damaged riverbank. I can't do much but wait for the river to subside further in order to shore up the parts of the bank which have been eroded by this year's floods, and use what hardcore I can lay my hands on, to build up the level of the bank to above what the floodwaters can access.

Change is coming everywhere. Climate change, environmental change, social change, technological change, internal and external personal changes. I can't stop any of it even if I want to, so I'm trying to learn how to submit to the flow of change without disappearing under and into it. Surrender is key, I'm told. It's not my natural inclination, as I'm someone who likes to control and manage their environment - or at least enjoy warning of elements I cannot control or manage! But that, it seems, is not how life intends things to progress, and so I must submit to the flow or change or suffer fighting it.

Embracing change has included increasing my visibility in the world, which is something I've resisted since my previous blog was brought to a sudden end in 2010, by actions taken to suppress my voice and shame me into silence. Those of you who knew me then, may well remember. It was a sudden and unexpected change - total and very painful - which culminated in a very difficult 7 year period which only came to an end through my decision to seek to right those injustices myself. Change, visibility, justice and surrender are definitely my watchwords for this year, and it is not lost on me that 7 year cycles hold a magical place in folklore globally as I realise that we are reaching the next 7 cycle conclusion this year.

I'm aware of the irony of my embracing of increased visibility at the exact time that society would naturally consign me to the back-burner - menopause is generally the point at which women are considered to be "past it" and often irrelevent - yet I seem to be stepping up and out into a new crone era with great joy and enthusiasm (and some not-inconsiderable trepidation).

As part of my move from under-the-radar to as visible as I can make myself - I am inviting everyone on my list to check out my new "about" page on my website here at www.elizaraven.com/who-am-i and give me some feedback. It doesn't have to be positive - we can only grow from understanding where our weaknesses lie as well as celebrating our strengths!

Next week I'm in the High Court, standing very visibly beside a client in a newsworthy (but corporately dull) case - it's my latest move into taking off the invisibility cloak and standing up proudly for the values I hold as essential: fairness, justice for all and an end to the tyranny and oppression of involuntary silence.

Change is coming. Are you ready for it?

Eliza Raven

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