Navigating the R.I.D.E. of Change

Writer Tracy Tjayden and change agent Maria Malayter, Ph.D. joined me in the studio today for this week Your Life, Unlimited radio show and wow our topics may have spanned the gamut  from encore careers to spirituality but one thing is for sure, they all were on target with our Your Life, Unlimited focus.

Asking what should I be doing versus what do I want to be doing was just one of the takeaways!

You can enjoy the whole show here and Maria’s guest blog post below.

Navigating the R.I.D.E. of Change

Change is hard. Change is exciting. Change is inevitable.   Change is hard because we are often afraid of the unknown and we then resist it.  Change is exciting because we often see it as a new opportunity and we embrace it.   In reality, change is inevitable.   We are always in a state of change.  Since change is the constant, there are many ways we can move through change.

In 2010, I got into a car accident.  I was on my way back from a bible study so I didn’t think much of it beyond the car damage and a little whiplash.  On the outside, I was fine with some headaches and stiff muscles. Yet after a while, my personality started to change.  I became easy to anger, somewhat obnoxious and was having memory problems where I would forget where I parked my car when I went to the mall.  I was suddenly very outspoken. I felt uninhibited as if I was walking around drunk.  What I did not know was the impact the accident had on my brain.   With the many changes in my personality and the intensity of the headaches, we discovered I had experienced a head trauma.  In the jolt of the accident, my brain smashed up upon the front of skull and caused an injury to the brain’s frontal lobe.   It was a blessing to have a diagnosis but difficult for my life.   I could no longer work as a college professor as I could not  retain information because I suffered from short term memory loss.  This led to the ending of my full time faculty position and college teaching after 20 years.  It was a devastating change for my life.

After the diagnosis, I was in shock, denial, and angry.   I worked with many people to design my comprehensive recovery plan.  It was time to embrace the change and stay committed to healing and restoration.  I had to navigate the R.I.D.E. of change.   Although this seems simple, it took many months to move through the impact of change and commit to a path of healing.

When we navigate the RIDE of change, we must decide what we will risk in order to change.  I had to decide what my risk was in adapting and embracing change.  First, one risk I had to consider was to pursue or not pursue living on disability.  I felt the best risk to take was find a way to restore myself as best I could.  I had to accept my life would no longer be the same and to move forward from my losses.  Second, I had to innovate on how I might restore my health to avoid living on disability.  I had to muster up the courage to discuss my options with many professionals on the best ways to heal my brain.  I needed to find the faith, inner strength, and courage to endure the possible treatment modalities.  Third, I had to decide on my options for the best recovery.  I kept my heart and soul open to the possibilities and decided on everything from singing in a church choir, bicycling, career coaching, dancing, physical and mental health therapy, nutrition counseling, and prayer.  I decided I could see the possibilities, visualize and had faith I could recover.   Fourth, I needed to endure the months of holistic treatments to restore my body, mind and spirit.   For me, the enduring change will last a lifetime in my case as I continue to sustain my own restoration from the accident.   The enduring has paid off.  Since car accident, I have bicycled over 3500 some miles, sang in my church choir for 5 years, and returned to teaching as a college professor.  Change is hard and I navigated the R.I.D.E. of change through risking, innovating, deciding, and enduring.   

Change is inevitable.  We have choices.  We can choose how we respond to change in many ways.  How will you R.I.D.E.  through change? Will you risk, innovate, decide and endure?   Every day we have the opportunity to R.I.D.E.  through change.  How will you respond to change?  It is my hope that you will embrace change and keep on riding.


Stephanie Staples, CSP* is the author of When Enlightening Strikes – Creating a Mindset for Uncommon Success, an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker, and the recipient of the 2014 Manitoba Woman Entrepreneur Award for Contributions to Community. Stephanie empowers audiences & clients across North America to bring their ‘A’ game to work and to life. Stephanie has a special interest in working with and empowering nurses and healthcare providers. She happily calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home. You can get loads of complimentary resources to help with issues such as work/life balance, wellness, stress management and happiness in general, as well as find out more information about her coaching and speaking services at

* Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), conferred by the National Speakers Association is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform proficiency. Less than 10 percent of speakers have earned this credential and are recognized as some of the best in their fields. Stephanie was one of only five professional speakers in Canada (and the only woman) to attain this designation in 2013.


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