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Sheila Lowe on Change

Sheila Lowe is the author of the Claudia Rose handwriting analyst and the Beyond the Veil series. You can find out more about her on her website, sheilalowebooks.com, or by clicking here, see her last post here, and find her books here.

author Sheila Lowe handing over the keys to her society's new president.

Change is hard. For the past ten years, I have served as president of an international handwriting analysis organization. When I started in 2012, it was supposed to be a two-year term with one renewal. Suffice it to say, it’s taken a lot longer than that to find someone qualified and willing to take over, and believe me, I tried. And tried. Everyone seemed happy with my presidency (read that: nobody wanted the job) and I could have stayed in that position for even longer. Luckily, though, I didn’t give up looking, and finally found just the right person to nominate as my successor. But after being in the job all these years, and looking at all the meaningful accomplishments of my board of directors, it’s not easy to let go and hand over the keys to someone else.

That’s just one example, but the same is true in all areas of life. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Staying in one situation for too long can make you sluggish; you stop developing and can become dull. Have you ever walked close to a stagnant pond, where the oxygen level has dropped too low? Algae scums the surface and the smell is awful!

Handwriting sample from Richard Branson, submitted by Sheila Lowe

Change is scary. It means leaving your comfort zone. It’s easy to get into a cozy rut where things stay the same forever and ever. But breaking free and doing something different—shaking up that routine—can lead to opportunities you may never have otherwise seen.

Change is vital. Continuing to evolve allows exciting new ideas to blossom, gives new life to what we do at work, in relationships, in our writing. Some of us find it harder to make changes than others. We cling to what we know we are good at. A familiar framework keeps us feeling safe. As a handwriting analyst, one thing I look for is whether someone writes with narrow, squeezed letters, which can be a sign of fear of moving forward, or rounder letters and a decreasing right margin, which shows excitement for the future (See Sir Richard Branson’s handwriting here). Making changes can take time and effort, but if you can push yourself to take the plunge, the scope of your life will broaden in ways you might not have dreamed of. Who knows what you might find?

Change is good.

Sheila Lowe

Sheila Lowe is a real-life forensic handwriting expert and author whose Forensic Handwriting mystery series features Claudia Rose, whose career as a document examiner and handwriting analyst mirrors Sheila’s own, and the Beyond the Veil Series about a young woman who reluctantly communicates with dead people who want her to do stuff for them. Follow Sheila on her website, claudiaroseseries.com, or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

This Post Has 28 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Laurie's Story

    I loved “if you can push yourself to take the plunge, the scope of your life will broaden in ways you might not have dreamed of.” The only way to make inroads is to push outward. Thanks for the reminder, Sheila!

  2. Margaret Mizushima

    Sheila, this post resonates with me big time today as I pack the final boxes for our big move from Colorado to Washington state. As we cleared out our crawl space we found old small appliances that were actually broken that we apparently didn’t want to throw away, electronics that were obsolete, and many useful things that we’d stored and forgot about. It felt so good to clean all this out and either pitch or pass them on to someone who did want to use them. We vow to stay lean and mean in our new digs (whenever we find them) so that the next move won’t be so difficult. Although I certainly have mixed feelings about leaving a home I’ve lived in for forty years, I truly believe that this new chapter will broaden our lives in many ways! Great post!

    1. Sheila Lowe
      Sheila Lowe

      Wow, that is a very tough change. I wish you the very best in this new phase of your life!

  3. Avatar
    saralynrichard

    I agree that change is energizing and enlightening and fun. As authors, we can change our circumstances every time we write a new book, but if we want long-term, personal change, we need to let go of our comfort zones and take risks to chart new courses. Congratulations to you for the decade of fine work you gave to the handwriting industry. Here’s to bigger and better for you!

    1. Sheila Lowe
      Sheila Lowe

      Thanks, Sara. I’ve been a member of the organization since 1977, and decided it was finally time to step up. It was a change then, and now, who knows. Thanks for the good wishes.

  4. Christine DeSmet
    Christine DeSmet

    Way to go on that decade of work leading an organization. I’ve led some organizations myself, and it’s always good to plan the transition from the start, to let new people take over, and move into new avenues for one’s self. Change is definitely fun! I love re-inventing myself.

    1. Sheila Lowe
      Sheila Lowe

      New beginnings are such a great opportunity. Two weeks ago, I hosted a retreat for the incoming leadership and ongoing committee heads to plan for the future. Not everyone was happy with what the new leadership plans, but hopefully, we will all make the adjustment and love the results.

  5. Tracey Phillips
    Tracey Phillips

    Ditto to Avanti’s comment! I’ve been lucky, whether because I’m an air sign (Gemini) or because I’ve learned the value of changing it up. I love new beginnings. They make me excited for what’s to come.

  6. Anne Louise Bannon

    I’m one of those people who really doesn’t mind change. I don’t always like it. But you’re right, Sheila, if you’re going to grow, you’re going to have to change. It’s always worth it to push your personal boundaries and see what you come up with. To quote Adam Savage: “Failure is always an option.” And not to be feared.

    1. Sheila Lowe
      Sheila Lowe

      Lucky you! I once attended a corporate seminar where we were told that if you are not replaceable, you are not promotable.

  7. Sherrill Joseph
    Sherrill Joseph

    Congratulations, Sheila, on your decade of service and on passing the baton. You can reinvent yourself now. My biggest change came when I retired from teaching and turned to writing. Not being able to travel much these last few years, I find that researching for my books introduced me to new and exciting worlds, which broaden my horizons and call me to change.

    1. Sheila Lowe
      Sheila Lowe

      Well, I will still be on the board as immediate past president, newsletter editor, and website manager, so I’m not going anywhere. Researching is great!

  8. joyribar
    joyribar

    Wow, Sheila, it’s like you’re speaking directly to me in this post! I’ve been thinking and outlining ideas for a new series, but it’s hard to set aside my current series to make the time and take the risk. And, more changes are on the horizon too. Thanks for reminding me that change is good and that my comfort zone could use some jiggling.

    1. Sheila Lowe
      Sheila Lowe

      I love it when there is synchronicity 🙂 Wishing you the very best on your new series.

  9. Sharon Lynn
    Sharon Lynn

    Great post, Sheila! I have to keep some things constant (I’ve had the same job for 20 years for example) but crave change in other parts of my life to mix things up. You’re right – it absolutely sparks creativity.

  10. Sheila Lowe
    Sheila Lowe

    Definitely, some things need to be constant. Everything in life is about balance, right?

  11. gpgottlieb
    gpgottlieb

    Sure hope all those people knew how lucky they were to have you as president for all those years. The change for them must have been equally difficult, but you’re right, changes are always going to happen!

    1. Sheila Lowe
      Sheila Lowe

      Thank you. The board gave me a beautiful Egyptian gold necklace with my name in a cartouche as a parting gift (though I still have 3 jobs on the board, lol). Change is indeed the one constant.

  12. Donna Rewolinski
    Donna Rewolinski

    Great post. Change can be hard when a person is happy. It sounds like you did a great job and people in the organization were happy. The thought that the next person will not be as accessible to other’s ideas or suggestions is scary and sad. I think we’ve all been a part of a successful team that ‘works’ that with change can become rigid and unpleasant. No one wants that. Hopefully your successor will follow your lead.

    1. Sheila Lowe
      Sheila Lowe

      I think you called it, Donna, and I’m happy to say that the new leadership are really terrific, which is why I am comfortable in leaving the organization in their hands.

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