Change is the only constant

Change is the only constant. It is an undeniable fact. Yet we resist it in so many ways.

There is that ill at ease feeling when something is not how we like it to be or want it to be. Our mind is so set on what it likes in order to be comfortable. It likes to be in control and it can’t control change so it resists. That resistance can cause discomfort, grief and suffering. But we can’t control change, the seasons come and go, the sun rises and sets, our bodies age and the leaves fall from the tree knowing it’s time to let go.

Facing the unknown

We tend to fear change as with it comes the unknown. So called routine is uprooted and turned on its head. But what is routine anyway? An attempt to make sense and control some aspect of our lives thinking that it makes us more productive and settled. We grasp onto it as if our identity relies on it for our very existence. But even our identity is a product of our mind. A mixture of our past, present and future. Of who we were, are and want to be. All influenced by the world in which we reside including the mind.

The fearful mind or knowing heart

Our mind is a wonderful tool and one that needs guidance to ensure balance within. The mind wants what the mind wants and when it fixates on something it can be immovable and extremely stubborn. But the heart also knows and quietly awaits the quieting of the mind in order to be heard. When we are aware of both, conflict arises within. Confusion sets in. The mind can become more dominant in order to drown out the knowing heart, your inner wisdom. When we look within we can begin to recognise the familiarity of this confused state. What is needed is balance. But so often we feed our fears rather than nourishing our soul.

Fear is a natural part of life

It’s human nature to be fearful and not want things to change. But perhaps sometimes change is not really the thing we fear but the uncertainty, the unknown that the illusion of change presents to us. No day or moment to moment is ever the same. When we start to notice this in our day to day we can be more accepting of these little changes so when the big ones arrive life becomes an adventure to be explored, experienced and embraced rather than feared.

No-one is exempt

As my children become young adults and my husband plans for retirement, I find myself moving into a new phase within my own life. As I write this I can feel a sense of panic slowly rising within me as my mind propels me into an imagined uncertain future. I have never been a big fan of change, I have had to face and challenge my own fears and limited thinking when I find myself wanting to resist and reject the unknown.

Sometimes we get so used to how life is that the thought of it being different frightens us. I have been trying to imagine life with my children independent and my husband home more, but the truth is I can only imagine the future from the perspective of the past. In reality I have no idea what or how I will feel as we enter into this new phase. I can only recognise and honour how I feel in this moment. I can’t stop change, none of us can no matter how hard we try. What we can do is be fully present with how we feel. By acknowledging the feelings as they arise they can be processed.

Honour how you feel

So one way to accept change is to allow the feelings that have been evoked to freely surface. Notice what arises physically, mentally and emotionally and honour those feelings. Also learn to recognise the fearful mind and that it is trying to protect you it. If there is no direct threat of danger take some deep breaths to ground yourself this will allow your knowing heart, your higher guidance to provide some perspective.

A change in perspective

Another way of processing and accepting change is viewing it through a different lens or perspective. I recognised and honoured how I felt as a form of grief. We raise our children to be independent and live full and meaningful lives. Whilst I felt a deep sadness which is a natural response, I was viewing these changes from a place of loss. What I can do is acknowledge a job well done and celebrate the adventures that lay ahead for both of us. This helps to process how I feel and bring balance and perspective to the change.

As for my husband, we have begun our journey to get to know each other again and do things together to awaken and renew our relationship. When I honoured the mixed feelings I was experiencing and the fear that arose I was able to alleviate the anxiety attached to them. This allowed me to view the change in our lifestyle from an imagined one of constriction to a life of possibility and adventure instead.

Celebrate change

Change is the only constant and by recognising and acknowledging this, life is allowed to flow more freely. Our freedom comes from within by letting go of the restraints we hold over ourselves and others through limited thinking. All that’s required is reframing our experience to a more positive one by looking for what’s gained within the changes rather than what may be perceived as lost. But first and most importantly, learn to recognise and honour how you feel. Anchor yourself within the present moment with some deep nourishing breaths. Practice celebrating change on the small stuff first in order to get comfortable with shifting perspective and reframing the stories the mind has spun. In time and with practice change may be viewed as an adventure and even something to be celebrated.

Blessings, Gwynn x

Further reading:

Overcoming resistance

Celebrating gratitude

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