I (Georgia) am moving out of the state and gently and carefully passing stewardship of CMP over to Jonathan Smith, PsyD as of January 1st. CMP has been my “baby” for the past several years and this has been a difficult decision to make. But, everything changes, and I’ve learned the hard way – trying to hang on for too long – that it’s best to accept and let go. This process, however, is complicated and multi-dimensional. Here’s how it’s going for me…

I’m moving because my partner and I are starting a different life together, blending our families and our responsibilities. His parents are older than mine, and their health is failing. I’ve watched my partner be patient and loving toward his parents, caring for them without hesitation or annoyance. It’s one of the reasons I fell in love with him. His parents live in Florida, and we are moving to help care for them and also so I can build relationships, get to know them, and learn how to be as humble as my partner. I am excited, and nervous, about this enormous change in my life. But I wasn’t ready to make it until I knew my existing “family” – everyone at CMP, staff and clients – would continue to thrive and grow.

I trust Jonathan, who will be taking over for me. He is thoughtful, humble and true to his values. He respects others and believes in the CMP mission. He will continue on the good work we all have started, and most of those at CMP won’t feel any change at all.

But I will. It is strange now walking around the offices, that feel like a second home to me, and realizing that all this will still be here, but will belong more to the staff, changing clients, and Jonathan. These will not be my home anymore. I am deeply sad to say “goodbye” and at the same time so excited and grateful that others will inhabit, expand and breath life into these spaces. I imagine this might be a fraction of what a parent feels when their child leaves home. Opening your hands, and letting your “baby” fly without you. Scary, exhilarating, and proud.

I am sad to say goodbye to the therapists at CMP. I have been so proud of each of them, their increasing confidence in their work, the strong relationships they build with clients, and the sacred relationships I have with each of them. I am so, so grateful. They are, and always have been, the beating heart of CMP. I know they are also sad and excited about this next phase. We are all practicing letting go, and embracing this change.

Mostly I am sad to leave my own clients. I have had the privilege of knowing each and watching them go through their own changes, bravely and poignantly. We always knew our relationships would end, and really, it will be a good thing for many of them to engage with someone new. New perspective, new intimacy, widening the circle of who cares for you in this life. That’s good. I “know” that each person will continue on her or his life journey, healing, thriving, connecting. I “know” that each person will find what they need, without me now. I am working hard to trust in that knowing. My clients are each incredibly special, strong and just plain lovely. I will miss them.

Change is hard, even when you are the one deciding to make the change. You don’t really know how things will turn out. You don’t really know how you’ll feel. You actually aren’t really “in charge” most of the time, anyway. I have been humbled again and again throughout this process. Thank you. Thank you for helping me grow, and sink into the bittersweet pleasure of letting go and risking change.

Chicago Mindful Psychotherapy is now Andersonville Mindfulness & Psychology