Change SIG - 8/25/2023

08/25/2023 8:30 AM | Mary Charles Blakebrough (Administrator)

Planting Seeds & Tending the Garden of
Personal Transformation

Change SIG 10th Anniversary

 (8:30-10:30 - bring your own coffee/tea and snacks).

"Our life is just a series of changes, and planning ahead to introduce small changes ahead of big ones makes the big ones more manageable.

This relates to me embarking on my art career. When my first child was going to college my husband said “You need a hobby; work can’t be your hobby. So, I started painting again. This made the transition to empty nester when my second went to college much easier.

Bad news about my health during Covid caused me to revisit & move up my retirement timeline and shift my priorities. Travel now. Spend money now.

Art, teaching Pilates, as well as personal coaching and wellness retreats are all part of my long-term retirement plan, but I’m easing into them while still working full time. This has had the effect of making my day job seem less stressful. It’s been a paradigm shift that has helped me get clarity on what is important. Ironically, it has led to promotions and continued positive work reviews. I’m more relaxed. I seem more capable.  

Other tenets, along with some Bridges, Kotter, and other change research out there:

  • Say yes as much as possible.
  • Just showing up is half the battle – go into the arena. Once there you will do something. And it is better than nothing. It will be a step in the right direction. And it will be easier the next day.  
  • Do some social media. You may not have a strategy yet, but doing some will help you see what competitors are doing and give you ideas. It may feel like a job but try to have fun with it."


Theresa Raines is an architect of customer joy. In her day job, she does this as a Senior Solutions Architect for Relias, where she joins sales reps for client calls to uncover needs, use cases, and workflows. This allows her to architect and demonstrate Relias solutions.  

In her spare time, she helps people rediscover the joy of movement as a Pilates instructor and Wellness coach. Recently diagnosed with two autoimmune disorders, Ehlers-Danlos Hypermobility Syndrome and Ankylosing Spondylitis, she accelerated the timeline for her spending her retirement income to travel and do now, while she can. And helping others do the same. Keeping more mobility, stability, and strength for longer.

As an artist, she specializes in making Big Happy Art, drawing inspiration from nature.

In her spare time, she likes to Garden, hike, and spend time with her first grandchild.

NOTE 1: The Change SIG is now SEARCHING for several Zoom-comfortable

people to produce our programs on a ROTATING BASIS.
NEWS: Only to-do's for each Change SIG NOW are Tech Check & Zoom Host
-- Do a 45-minute Tech Check 4th (or 5th)  Monday or Tuesday, with speaker(s) & Mary Charles

        -- Handle 4th (or 5th) Friday Zoom details, 8:15 -10:45 AM Eastern
Many thanks to _ RICHARD KURTH _ Zoom Host

NOTE 2: Do you have an idea to polish or a presentation to try out? The Change SIG is looking for 2024 speakers (February).

For more information, contact SIG leaders, Mary Charles Blakebrough (919-656-9573) or Vickie Bevenour.

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