“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”~ Robin Sharma

I know how to make kale taste good and I know how to play drums. I can tell you all about Dutch art and how to grow your own vegetables. I  know how to make brands stand out through good design. But…

Out of everything big and small crammed into my brainspace, the one thing I know most of all is this:

Change is inevitable.

Just the other day, Linkedin reminded me that it was the five-year anniversary of Bright Light Graphics. What the what? How has it already been five years? I look back at that half decade in sheer wonderment. Everything has changed… my logo, my clients, my vision. I cringe when I think about my first website. It’s gone through several iterations since hanging out my shingle in 2011.

Those changes that emerged from figuring out who I was and how I wanted to show up in the world? They were often grueling to work through as I waded through the muck of self-doubt. Thanks to five years of listening to the questions, concerns, fears and dreams of my clients, I’ve grown as a person and business owner.

One of the most important skills I have learned… and the one that has changed me the most… is how to communicate with people who are radically different from what I know and am used to. They come to me with different backgrounds, different experiences, different views and different expectations.

Those differences used to sneak up on me until I threw myself into the mosh pit of humanity and learned how to authentically connect with other human beings. I even studied conflict and what can be learned from it. Once upon a time, I never imagine putting myself smack dab into the path of contention in order to learn from it.

Now I welcome conflict because it invites me to take a deeper look at life and gives me the opportunity to make changes. As a business owner, rolling with change (and doing it in a graceful and charismatic manner) will be one of the most important skills you can learn.

Someone who is well-versed in connecting with people and maneuvering through potential conflict is my friend, client and author Robin Sol Lieberman. She’s a “Charisma Specialist” and recently released a new book, The Charisma Code: Communicating in a Language Beyond Words.

Robin refers to charisma as “the currency of connection.” I can’t think of a better way to describe this intriguing power we all have. Check out Robin’s book trailer to see her charisma in action. The Charisma Code teaches people how to tap into their innate charisma so they can genuinely connect with others and communicate more effectively.

Charisma is not just for the rich and famous. (You know who I’m talking about… those clever people who seem to effortlessly glide through life.) Anyone can boost their charisma skills. You just need to know how.

Robin has a Charisma Type Quiz that will help you uncover your charisma style. It’ll give you a good baseline for communicating who you are to the world.

“Just when I discovered the meaning of life, they changed it.” ~ George Carlin

Change and I are reluctant soul mates. I map out the trajectory of how I want my life to be, believing that everything is good to go. Then I hear a rap on my door and know that Change is standing on the other side, suitcase in hand for an extended stay. It waltzes in, plopping itself down in my favorite chair and asking if I have anything to eat.

As some of you might know, I moved to Portland, then to Bend, Oregon and then back to Portland over the course of the past two years. As of November 1st, I can add to that list “… and back to Bend again.” That’s right, I’ll be back living in the Bend community, breathing in the crisp Juniper air and breaking out the puffy jacket. It’s one of the most amazing places I have ever lived. I’m excited to deepen my friendships and connections there, but I will miss Portland deeply.

Call it crazy. Call it doing what’s good for the soul. Change is the only constant in life and I choose to embrace it with everything I’ve got.

What about you? What changes have unfolded in your life lately?