the intrinsic power of change

bridgett and john deere“Hey, you look good,” has been the greeting du jour following my long ordeal of surgery and chemotherapy. I suspect “you look good” reflects so much more than a warm salutation. It’s certainly is not my looks. My typical attire is a t-shirt and baggy jeans. I am pretty sure friends are expressing, with all good intention, a hint of surprise and relief, that I don’t look like someone with advanced cancer.  It helps to have my hair back.

Some change can be rather apparent, while other can stealthily creep into our lives.

I don’t doubt that my friends have noticed changes in me. Some may have witnessed that I am not walking as robust as I used to and need to stop and catch my breath. I am certain some are aware that I speak my mind more candidly than before. Possibly friends noticed I no longer endure people, places, or situations I find unbearable. I notice which friends can look at me in my eyes and who glance away. A select few have witnessed my tears of love, grief, and overwhelm.

Then there are the changes that altered me to the core. Recently, I took a month long trip to the west coast. It was so much more than a visit. It was a pilgrimage. It was a return to the place of my coming-of-age. A reunion with all that had nurtured and sustained me. The places where my life work emerged, relationships bonded, where my beliefs evolved and defined me.

A flood of “first times” abounded.  The old familiar places reminded me of my firsts: my first job, first house, first date with spouse, first moments I held my nieces. I breathed these in as if to resuscitate the years. Yet, the deeper I breathed, the more I felt the grief and loss of who I have been.

I know I might live with this terminal illness for several years to come, but already, there are so many “last times” lurking about. Their existence is a bit more elusive than “my firsts.”  Will this be the last time I walk on the beach? Will this be the last holiday I am well enough to cook? Will this be the last time I travel across country? Will this be the last season I ride on my beloved John Deere? These examples are actually a bit easier to digest than considering the angst of a last hug.

I ask myself why this is important. None of us will ever know if an experience is our first or last time. Ambiguity is the nature of life itself.  Change is to be expected and suffering is unavoidable.

Ultimately, what really matters is what I do with my experiences.  It all comes down to honoring the person I want to be.

Do I dwell on my emotions, disappointments, first memories, or last dreams?

Or, do I harness the intrinsic power of change?

Intuition had guided my pilgrimage.  Curiosity had me asking about “last times.”  Choice allows me to think of cancer as an experience rather than something I have to fight. Creativity inspires me to share my life experiences in as many ways as I can.

Life is full of changes.  I can meet change with resistance or use it to empower my life.  It’s not what the changes are, it’s what I do with them. It’s a slippery slope but I am making progress…I just keep living from my heart.


Are you, or someone you know, struggling with change, a shift in life experience, new circumstances, or unfamiliar situations?  I offer personal coaching through all life’s transitions and challenges. I would be honored to be of help.  Contact me at


10 Responses to “the intrinsic power of change”

  1. carrie stearns says:

    Thank you for your depth of sharing and realness of living! Truly powerful to witness. I would love to get together again for tea sometime. Wonderful to see your coaching work take flight too! Blessings, Carrie

  2. Riser says:

    Awesome! You have touched me to the core and you are an inspiration to me. I love you Briggy.

  3. Andrea says:

    Thanks for including me on said pilgrimage! I got to enjoy some lovely firsts with you and Chaya down at Pike Place. My favorite first might have been petting your uber soft hair 🙂

  4. Alice Wershing says:

    Dearest Bridgett,
    I have and continue to learn so much from you! I was so glad you were able to spend time on the West Coast! It was a joy to see the joy in your being from the pictures you posted during your travels. Your inner strength and outer light are obvious even though I cannot see you in person. I treasure the work we did together and the times we spent on our life journeys in California. I too reflect often, and have changed greatly as well over the years- and although our paths have not crossed in a while, know you are thought of often and wished joy and happiness in your journey.

  5. MagPi says:

    The depth of your sharing through your written journey continues to inspire me… As I embrace a life changing journey that I have a choice in… You take the helm of a mighty storm within that has been tossed across your path in life and embrace the lessons to be learned from being in the here and now. May you enjoy the snow season of using your John Deer and kindling many a warm fire in the lovely home that you and your wife have created together. I love you dear friend.

  6. Cheryl Jones says:

    Dearest Bridget,

    Thanks for another honest, present and meaningful post! Of course, I’m sharing it:-)

  7. Caren says:

    All I can say is, I love you Bridgett Perry! You have amazing courage, strength and wisdom… XOXOXO <3 <3 <3

  8. Anne says:

    HI— This morning when I said Bridge to myself, as in, I really love that Bridge Perry, it sounded right. You are a bridge for so many—me to you, you to me, and to all the other spokes on the wheel—how great to be on this Mandala with you, Bridge-girl. Lovely too to spend the time with you and Chaya. Felt on!
    xxx Anne

  9. kb says:

    Dear Bridgett,
    I get what you are saying but I am not sure you should be so quick to decide what people mean by “Hey, you look good!” because I have a few other interpretations….”Hey, you look good enough to eat!” or “Hey, you look good…you don’t have too many stains on your shirt today!” or, “Hey , you look good, even in those baggy jeans and T-shirts!”

    And I just wanted to let you know that I did get the stains out of your shirt but I am keeping it (and wearing it) until we see each other!

    Love, KB

  10. SusieGp says:

    Dear Bridgett, So happy to share some FaceTime with you this week. Your written word, as well as your spoken word, has so many times soothed my questioning soul. You have wisdom to share and insight that many are seeking (me being one of the seekers). I am happy to know you. You taught me to hug, a big gift that was….so now I’m sending a cyber-hug your way. That’s all I got for right now.
    Love, Susie

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