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Staying Grounded in the Midst of Change

Staying Grounded in the Midst of Change by Kelley Grimes at Cultivating Peace and Joy

“Try not to resist changes that come your way. Instead, let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?”



I have struggled to allow life to live through me and not want to influence its direction. I have aspired to do as Rumi instructs and not resist the changes and challenges that seem to flow endlessly into my life. Recently when facing new challenges, I have reminded myself that I have overcome so much worse and can survive this too.


One of the most difficult challenges I have faced in my life has been supporting my daughter Fiona through a lifetime of health challenges and chronic pain. Since her first seizure that lasted 55 minutes and nearly took her life at age two, there have been many times when I thought she might not live through the night or might give up all hope that things could get better. Living in constant crisis management transformed my sense of normal and left me feeling perpetually that my life was turned upside down.


One constant that grounded me during all of the chaos was my role as Fiona’s mom. I fined tuned my role as her primary health advocate and wellness coordinator, counselor and emotional support, teacher and school advocate, most enthusiastic cheer leader and hope holder, and the one responsible for finding the solution for her suffering. There were so many times I wished I could take on her suffering, as it was far more painful to witness her suffer and not being able to do anything to stop it, than to carry the burden on my own.


When Fiona went to live in Australia for a year after high school, I was so proud of her for having the courage and strength to travel while still in chronic pain. Although it was difficult for me to let go of all the roles I played in her life and my sense of purpose in being her mom, I knew it was essential for her to live out her dream and possibly even heal herself.


That was four years ago when I felt my life turn upside down. Amazingly I survived and found purpose in many other aspects of my life, including parenting her younger sister Zoey. Fiona has since returned from Australia and is now vibrantly healthy as you can see in the photo above, but now her little sister has left for college and I am officially an empty nester. Letting go of Zoey and my day to day role as her mom has been incredibly painful and I am so grateful to remember the lessons I learned when Fiona originally left for Australia.


What I learned is that in order to stay grounded in the midst of change and not resist it, we must honor the loss. When we acknowledge the experience of death and loss that occurs with every major change in our lives, we can then open to the possibility of something better on the other side. Honoring loss and the emotions that arise is critical for our self-awareness, growth and healing.


Making enough space around ourselves to feel all we do is so important in the practice of self-nurturing. When we honor all of our emotions instead of rejecting or ignoring them, we open to the healing power of self-compassion and loving kindness that quiets our inner-critic.


When I make enough space around me, I can honor my joy for my daughters, my gratitude for their ability to live their own lives, my sadness at not having them live at home, my ambivalence about not playing a central role in their lives anymore, my deep appreciation for the young women they have become and how inspired I am that they are living their dreams!


When we acknowledge all of the messiness of our experiences and feelings, we are able to embrace our authentic truth and cultivate peace, joy, and hope.


I invite you to reflect on the following questions:


What losses might you need to honor and grieve?


What conflicting emotions are you holding about these losses?


How can you show yourself compassion and loving kindness as you honor your grief and process your feelings?


As Rumi asked, “How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?”


Although change can be deeply unsettling, we can remain grounded by acknowledging the loss, processing the emotions and then looking to the infinite possibilities in front of us. We can choose not to resist the change but instead turn toward the possibilities that change provides in our lives. I am committed to doing just that and staying grounded in the midst of change!


Remember, “Light precedes every transition. Whether at the end of a tunnel, through a crack in the door or the flash of an idea, it is always there, heralding a new beginning.” ~Teresa Tsalaky


May you have the courage to let life live through you, and nurture peace in the world from the inside out!

Kelley Grimes

Sending you so much peace, love and gratitude,

Kelley Grimes, M.S.W.
Counselor, Author & Speaker

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Join the discussion 18 Comments

  • Leila says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience Kelley! It’s quit difficult to let go and accept change. It’s a feeling of loss we often don’t want to acknowledge. Like you said when we honour it and also look at it from the point of view of the other it becomes easy to accept it.

    • Thank you Leila! I know that when I do not acknowledge the loss it keeps coming up in different ways and so honoring my experience becomes the most self-nurturing thing to do. Thank you for your comment!

  • Cyndi says:

    Thank you, Kelley for sharing this. Change is inevitable for all of us. Your advice to stay grounded is the best way to handle life’s shifts, boith large and small. Many blessings!

  • Rachel says:

    Your story is so inspiring, your daughters are so lucky to have you Kelley. I feel a loss as my own child is growing and I have been feeling silly to have those feelings. As he goes into new stages of life, I find myself mourning the loss of his baby years, his toddler years, etc… I am now accepting and honoring those feelings. Yes, he will never be a baby again, I will never hold him in my arms the same way, it’s ok to miss that and at the same time marvel and delight in the boy he is becoming.

    • Thank you so much Rachel. I so appreciate your experience of parenting and resonate with the loss and joy we feel simultaneously as our children age. I feel liberated allowing my experience without judgment, which deepens my gratitude for this moment in time! I am grateful for your comment.

  • This is such a beautiful and remarkable post! At the age of 68, with daughters in their 40’s, I’m not only still grieving the loss of the little girls they used to be who needed their mom, but now I am going through it with the next generation of grandkids who are going off to college or presenting me with great-grandkids. The beauty is that I get to be there for my daughters as they wrestle with their own grief at saying goodbye to their children. Mothering is a forever job!

    • Oh Barb thank you so much for your comment! I so appreciate that you are still grieving your loss and now theirs. Mothering is a forever job and I so appreciate you sharing your experience. Thank you!

  • Suzie Cheel says:

    Kelley thank you for sharing your story, love it especially your daughter Fiona’s healing. Rumi quote is so special. and yes change is where i am at right now and this week my body responded to remind me or should I say my subconscious did! Right now still in bed taking care of me to release pain and infection before i embark on something new xxxx

    • That Rumi quote is such a beautiful reminder to me. Thank you so much for your comment Suzie. May your time of nurturing yourself in bed release your pain and infection. Sending you love and healing energy!

  • Personally I have found this to be so true. “When we honor all of our emotions instead of rejecting or ignoring them, we open to the healing power of self-compassion and loving kindness” I think it’s always really important.
    Thank you for sharing your story. I too have been through struggles and loss. When I realized to really let life live “through” me, things changed, I changed for the better. I feel it’s a powerful statement to share with the world. “Let life live through you”

    • I agree that it is a powerful way to live to let life live through you. I appreciate you sharing your experience and the healing effect that changing your thinking had on the experience of suffering. May we continue to embrace self-compassion and loving-kindness on our journeys! Thank you so much for your comment!

  • Andrea says:

    What a powerful story. I think it’s easy to underestimate the power of certain changes — like having kids leave the nest. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thank you for your comments that are so grounded in experience that you have reflected deeply upon. ❤️

  • Kelley, What a beautiful and inspirational post. You and I have had similar struggles with our daughters. Therefore, I felt every word you have spoken here. There is a book that you may find very interesting, THE WOMAN’S WHEEL OF LIFE by Elizabeth Davis & Carol Leonard. They introduce a new concept to the cycle of a woman’s life, the matriarch. If you are called to investigate and read the book, I would welcome and honor heart to heart conversation. Heart hug coming your way and what a beautiful photo of a thriving, happy and whole daughter!

    • Crystal thank you so much for your lovely comment and for sharing the book recommendation. I would love to read it and have a heart to heart discussion with you. I so appreciate your empathy and sharing that you have a similar experience with your daughter. I am grateful for all the lessons I have learned through the process and for the blessings both my daughter are in my life. Sending a big hug back your way! Thank you!

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