Change is inevitable, suffering is optional

legtatweb

I sit in observation in the world around me, and see so much changing. Relationships changing course both personal and professional, people moving to new cities, people leaving jobs or starting new ones, children coming into this world and elders leaving, the list goes on and on.

I sit among all this change, both in my own life and externally, and just witness it. Its easy to get caught up in the story, or to create one around why or how. Ultimately it’s all happening and there is nothing we can do about it. I am often reminded by the beautiful image tattooed into my left leg, of a tree depicting the four seasons in one tree. Its a daily reminder for me of the seasons in my own life. Spring creates summer, creates fall, creates winter, creates spring again, the cycle is continuous and non stop.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Alan Watts lately, who was an amazing philosopher with brilliant insight. I could go on all day about what I got out of him, and I will state this one idea he gave me recently which is helping me with dealing with change. The first one is around the idea that when I observe a whirlpool, or a river, today, tomorrow, that it’s the same river, and it’s not. The water in that river, the animals, etc are always changing. Likewise, when I look at people and assume they are going to be the same person today, as they were yesterday, and then likewise tomorrow and so on, and this is not true. Like the river, people are always changing in each moment, and to make that assumption is unhealthy. To take that one step deeper, one thing I tell my clients is that stagnation is death is any organism. I choose to look at this optimistically instead of pessimistically, and yes, the old man inside of me loathes progress, at the same time, I know it’s important for all to be constantly growing. What may be observed as an ending, or a closing, is really an opportunity for an opening or beginning.

Some of you may be groaning at the last statement, a bunch of spiritual mumbo jumbo. You can have that belief, and here is another view point on it that maybe more esoteric, and maybe more helpful. Time, has no beginning or end, only what we assign to it. Us humans assign time to everything, where nature does not. To Nature, today, tomorrow, next week or two seconds ago, really all the same. There are no deer rushing through the forest to a missed appointment, maybe there are, that would be funny. What i’m saying is, I have a tendency of putting arbitrary time lines on everything, and if it doesn’t happen within that time line, I get anxious, mad, agitated, etc,. When in reality, it doesn’t matter if I get this task done by noon today, or next week, but a part of my brain creates a need of time constraint around it. A friend of mine shared this tool with me and feel free to try it out yourself. It’s the 10-10-10 rule. What I’m doing/ about to do/ impact/ outcome of this situation: how will this matter 10 minutes from now, 10 months from now, 10 years from now.

To try and wrap this up I’ll say this. After going through a recent breakup, I was going through all the channels: fear, anxiety, sadness anger. Then I paused and had a pretty profound thought: “Remember 10 years ago, the woman who left me, and how heart broken, distressed, lost, confused I was, and how it thought the world was over. Looking back, I know that’s not the end of the road, and holy cow, I’m glad it wasn’t! Life is pretty sweet right now!” Now extrapolate that forward, if things are bad now, just think, where could I be in 10 years from now!? Imagine the possibilities!

Just a reminder, you are always at choice! If you’re in a situation that you don’t like, change it! If you don’t know how, start with baby steps, plan, think, meditate, have conversations with people, get inspired! The answer is out there, you just have to be open to receiving it. I’ll end this with a quote from Jim Carey.

“As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it while letting go of how it might come to pass.”

 

river