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Change is Good: Three Poetic Reasons Why…

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“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

Changing: Demsa Dancer in India by Kieron Nelson via NatGeo

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

Change: A King Penguin amongst Babies by David Schultz via NatGeo

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

Changing Landscape: Palouse Hills, Washington State by Anil Sud via NatGeo

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,

Petals fade
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. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank

18 Comments leave one →
  1. 20/09/2010 2:25 am

    Eliz, my whole life has been change. I went to 14 schools in 12 years, 4 in 6th grade alone. I wrote an article on More magazine’s website about reinvention and said I think I was in 2nd grade the 1st time I reinvented myself.

    Sometimes change can be frightening, but I’ve learned to open myself to it and wait. It’s all part of the journey and I believe the best you can do is learn and grow from every change. I’ve written quite a bit about it on my blog, as well.
    Thanks for the post!

    • 23/09/2010 12:21 pm

      Thank you Barbara,
      So true. Opening up and going with the flow makes it less daunting and takes the edge off the fear.
      It is when we resist change that we suffer most. Holding on to the past makes it even tougher to move forward…
      I will read up on your blog posts on this and I’m glad you brought it up. I do love your blog. 🙂

  2. Bree permalink
    20/09/2010 6:06 am

    This is very beautiful and quite poetic as you touch on the many aspects of change.
    I agree that it is easy to say change is good until we go through a very hard time of change — but it is always for our growth.
    I love your choice of poetry and the one by kathleen is captivating because I have never heard of her work.
    I take it you are going through change and send you blessings.
    How are you working on change?

    • 23/09/2010 12:18 pm

      Thanks Bree,
      Change is huge for our own growth and that is why many fear it…
      The ego wants to maintain the status quo but change is about pushing past the mask… It’s all good!
      I loved the poetry too! 🙂

  3. 20/09/2010 8:58 am

    Many times we don’t like change because we are afraid of the unknown, I use to fight change rather it was on my job or what I just simple hated it. Then after I saw what change can do I see it from a different perspective it’s not all bad, what change does is cause us to grow and mature and learn.

    We don’t have to always have to fight with things, so now I look at change just a little different then the way I use to.

    • 23/09/2010 12:14 pm

      Hi Desiray,
      Good point. We are fearful of things we don’t know and that makes change hard to take…
      Once we go thorugh it and find out that we can handle it then the fear dissipates.
      Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate it. 🙂

  4. 20/09/2010 2:42 pm

    i’m your newest subscriber from Mailbox Monday- thanks for joining in!

    • 23/09/2010 12:34 pm

      Thank you for stopping by Brett! Do come back again …
      I am following your blog too via my blogger blog. 🙂

  5. Melissa permalink
    20/09/2010 4:42 pm

    Hi! I am a new Blogmania 2011 Dream Team Member! Just letting you know I am following you!

    • 23/09/2010 12:11 pm

      Thank you Melissa… I am following you too!

  6. 23/09/2010 3:02 am

    Hey Elizabeth,

    a very beautiful article. Not usually my style of writing but I sat down and made it my goal to go through this. And you know what? I highly appreciate this article.

    The poem “Change Upon Change” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning resonated the most with me. I’m going to save that so I can read that again later. It’s true: Everything changes, why should we even dare to believe that we don’t?

    Personally, I believe in constant evolution. Evolution is everywhere and it has been going on forever and will go on forever. I’m not going to say that change is always easy, because change happens per definition outside of our comfort zone.

    However, you can learn to install psychological structures to deal with change more effectively. My goal is to help the Universe with its evolution as well as I can. I commited myself to contribute to it.

    And that’s exactly the reason why I could resonate with your post here. I saved your blog, I will check in once in a while, alright? 😉

    I wish you the best of luck with everything, keep up the good work!

    Sven Schoene

    • 23/09/2010 12:06 pm

      Thank you Sven for your insights and good wishes.
      I agree that change is not easy especially when we feel the rug being pulled away from us. It can be unnerving.
      I appreciate that you took time to read it even when it wasn’t quite your thing… Thank you! 🙂
      I stopped by your blog to comment but I think you turned your comments off?
      I will go back and watch your video as I’m sure you have lots to offer too.

  7. Brant Srey permalink
    26/09/2010 1:51 pm

    Fantastic blog! I actually love how it is easy on my eyes as well as the information are well written. I am wondering how I can be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which should do the trick! Have a nice day!

    • 30/09/2010 8:08 pm

      Thank you Brant … why does this sound familiar?
      Have a great weekend!

  8. 09/10/2010 5:03 am

    Nice sharing

  9. Darice permalink
    18/12/2010 12:41 pm

    I wrote a paper on this in College, had i had your ability to articulate my thoughts and research, I may perhaps have received a much better grade. Wonderful Job!

    • 20/12/2010 1:47 pm

      Hope you got a decent grade from your efforts. Best wishes! 🙂

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