“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.” William Pollard
Letting Go of the Past
All of life is about change; be it nature-bound, incremental, forced, or a sudden change. Some of us gauge our metier by how well we adjust to change while others see such reflection as a useless exercise in self-flagellation. Shouldn’t life be about pit-stops for frequent refueling?
Our lives are filled with moments of change; some small, some large, some negligible, some not. Sometimes we take these turning points as a sign from the divine to follow a new path or perform certain actions. Whichever road we decide to travel is entirely up to us, however when we commit to honor the inner call to shift or change direction; the universe in its serendipitous way lifts us and marches us forward. What does change mean to you and Is change fated?
It is easy to say “Change is Good” even as the idea of it frightens most of us. We are very comfortable in our safety zones with our nets around us. So, when events occur in our lives, particularly those of great magnitude, we are shaken to our core and need time to process it both mentally and emotionally. Depending on the nature of the events that have led up to our experience with change, we either fight it, struggle to make sense of it or embrace it. For instance, moving to the US was a time of great change for me, and it took every ounce of strength I had to help me make sense of it. How do you handle change?
Change Upon Change ~ By Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Five months ago the stream did flow,
The lilies bloomed within the sedge,
And we were lingering to and fro,
Where none will track thee in this snow,
Along the stream, beside the hedge.
Ah, Sweet, be free to love and go!
For if I do not hear thy foot,
The frozen river is as mute,
The flowers have dried down to the root:
And why, since these be changed since May,
Shouldst thou change less than they.
And slow, slow as the winter snow
The tears have drifted to mine eyes;
And my poor cheeks, five months ago
Set blushing at thy praises so,
Put paleness on for a disguise.
Ah, Sweet, be free to praise and go!
For if my face is turned too pale,
It was thine oath that first did fail, —
It was thy love proved false and frail, —
And why, since these be changed now,
Should I change less than thou.
“In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Al Rogers
Being Conscious of the Present
Change is an opportunity for growth, a chance to appreciate the perfection in all things, a time to recognize the greater power that synchronizes our aspirations and achievements. Sometimes, change could bring adversity or abundance; perhaps then, what we do with it becomes our destiny. When we stay focused on what is in front of us, time stops and we become calm and confident with it comes strength and then … perhaps a sense of humor.
If we can be present during a time of shifting winds or change, we will see the hand of God at work. Sometimes, change is preceded by a quiet storm and, at other times, it arrives like roiling waters brushing and washing away our baggage. We do have free will; which is the freedom to make choices and we must be judicious in the way we expend energy in identifying our purpose. How do you imagine change in the present?
The Road Not Taken ~ By Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
Somewhere ages and ages hence:P
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” Helen Keller
Embracing the Future
Since we dont know what the future holds, it would be wise to keep an open mind and embrace any change with love and a spirit of welcome. As I think more about what it takes to change, I reckon that it wont matter what/how long it took… what would matter was that people accepted it and benefited from the experience…
The three poems represent aspects of change and how they affect us… I have always loved Robert Frost’s poem – The Road not Taken which is pithy with meaning, delivering new insights and wisdom every time I read it. The same must be said for Elizabeth Browning and Kathleen Raine’s poems. What do you think of the poems? Which do you prefer and why?
Change ~ By Kathleen Raine
Said the sun to the moon,
You cannot stay.
Says the moon to the waters,
All is flowing.
Says the fields to the grass,
Seed-time and harvest,
Chaff and grain.
You must change,
Said the worm to the bud,
Though not to a rose,
That wings may rise
Borne on the wind.
You are changing
said death to the maiden, your wan face
To memory, to beauty.
Are you ready to change?
Says the thought to the heart, to let her pass
All your life long
For the unknown, the unborn
In the alchemy
Of the world’s dream?
You will change,
says the stars to the sun,
Says the night to the stars.
Personally, I dont like surprises but I do like to change things in my life as a way to rejuvenate my mind and keep my body moving. I don’t like stagnation of any kind and change prevents us from sitting in a rut as it forces us to use our minds and skills productively. To appreciate the power of change in our lives, we must let go of the past, we must stay conscious in the present and we must embrace the future. Do I have all the answers? No. What I do know is that many want to be healed through their experience of change… and many will…
How do you view change? What would be your first response to a drastic change in your life? Which poem resonates more effectively for you? I would love to hear from you: Please leave me a comment. Thank You!
Photo of Demsa Dancer in India by Kieron Nelson via NatGeo ~ courtesy of National Geographic
Photo of A King Penguin amongst Babies by David Schultz via NatGeo ~ courtesy of National Geographic
Photo of Palouse Hills, Washington State by Anil Sud via NatGeo ~ courtesy of National Geographic
Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©