‘…the more you take in the more strength you find waiting to accomplish things and to expand your life…We don’t need revolutions provided we evolve, provided we are constantly open to new experience , provided we are open to other human beings and what they have to give us’. Anais Nin.
It feels uncomfortable doesn’t it. Change. And yet it is happening all around us all the time. The cells I had on my skin when I awoke this morning, awoke out of a particularly long slumber into another cold dark Melbourne morning, are changed, 30-40,000 times every hour, shed in fact …now home again looking through a window onto a cold dark Melbourne night. This change though ‘everyday’ is profound and yet it is not such profundity that makes me squirm.
Tomorrow I embark on a second semester of my Masters, …new classes to take, new classes to teach. This is my third degree and so history and experience tells me that I will be ok, that I have survived the others and so I’ll survive this. And yet…
In the holiday period I have also had to say goodbye to three people, at least, said goodbye to the way that my relationship with these three individuals has existed in the past. As I will continue to see all three of them through various mediums, in various places, I will have to confront that change each time I see them.
Both the thought of moving into a second ‘unknown’ semester and of existing with these individuals in a new way have me feeling more naked and more squirmish than shedding 30 to 40 thousand skin cells. As it is with my thoughts that I create this discomfort however, I’m wondering if I can use my thoughts to change my perspective, to focus on wonderment in the face of the unknown, not fear.
In change, we so often focus on the negative, on what we have lost. Rarely do we consider what we have gained. Like Anais Nin stated however, new experiences inevitably lead us to expansion, to evolve, whether it is with insight, a new relationship or the ability to put into action what we have learned through previous experiences. We always gain something in the throws of change and that very possibility should not be feared but delighted in like an empty playground or, to use a popular metaphor, a blank canvas.
But we wait for the gift of hindsight to see the benefits change brings, wait for the new skin cells before we get comfortable, wait to enjoy the empty playground. This waiting can take years. Can we not give a little energy at the moment change presents itself to wonder, even whilst squirming, what light it can shed and what great paths may await us because of it?
I believe so.
For me the light comes when I truly bask in that idea of possibility. In that empty playground. What could happen, what is possible now that there is room? What have I learned through the experience and what choices might I make now that will benefit my future? It’s infinite and indeed wonder-full.
There’s one other thing that helps and we can fall back on proven ideas of evolution to feel assured. There is no ‘end result’ really. Life, forever evolving is also forever changing. There will always be new things to try, new choices to make, new problems to solve and so in the words of the Dalai Lama ‘If there’s a problem that cant be solved, there’s no point in worrying about it. If there’s a problem that can be solved…there’s no point in worrying about it’. We will always be faced with change, it’s a part of life. Worrying about it wont make it go away.
Wonder. Meant …that in understanding change we might see what benefits it can bring now as much as in our future.