Most people I know – including myself – report that, in one way or another, they’re not satisfied with their life, as they currently perceive it to be.
And most of them admit they’re looking for a change. Big or small. Temporary or (usually) permanent.
I bet that’s the case for you as well.
However, another truth is that most of us, most of the time, are quite ambivalent towards change.
We want it, but under our own terms.
We welcome it, but only as far as it doesn’t push us away from our present comfort zone. At least, not too much or too abruptly.
Conveniently forgetting that once upon a time, not so long ago, we were in a different comfort zone, away from which we were also unwilling to move.
And so on, and so forth, all the way back to our inceptual comfort zone: our mother’s womb.
Yet, all said, there’s no denying that we all have gone, and will go, through many changes in our lifetime.
Many of them are radical. They provoke turbulence and turn our life into a smaller or bigger mess.
One that could last for a short while or for a relatively long period of time.
The point is that there’s no point fighting against change.
But you already know that. You don’t need science, religion, society or anyone to confirm this basic truth to you.
If you didn’t already know it, you wouldn’t be reading this article right now.
And you also feel it, deep down inside of you, that not only you need, but you also eagerly want a change in your life.
This change will come. And it will be exactly the change that you need. Rest assured about that.
However, it will probably not look as you may have imagined or expected it to look in advance.
This is good to know, but, granted, it’s not enough. Some practical guidance would be welcomed here, right?
So, what follows is exactly this: 7 important pieces of advice; 7 things you need to be aware of, so as to embrace any change and use it to grow and transform your life.
That is, the experience of a man who has gone, and knows he will still have to go, through many significant changes in his life.
So, without further ado, here are the 7 points you need to know, if you truly want a change in your life.
Number One: Your Job Is To Facilitate Change, Not To Instigate It
Change will manifest in a natural way. It will spring from somewhere inside or outside of you, when the right time comes.
You don’t have to desperately look for it. And, as said, it’s pointless to worry when and how it will “hit” you
You will know it’s the one change you need to go through, at a given point in time, once you sense and / or discover that any resistance to it is totally futile.
What you have to do instead is to remove all obstacles that prevent its smooth (or least bumpy and painful) and quick realization.
You’ll be surprised to find out that, more often than not, that’s your only role in relation to a change unfolding in your life:
To eliminate all hindrances or blockages that unnecessarily delay or stifle it.
Think of change as the emergence of a natural flow of water that has to moisten a dry valley, so that it can sustain you and your fellow human beings who live there.
Your job is not to find the proverbial spring of water, let alone generate it from thin air.
You are rather required to act as an engineer and create the proper structure and conditions that will allow it to become a river (sometimes, even a waterfall) and quench your, and everybody’s, thirst.
And do so in the best way possible, which is typically the way of least resistance.
Number Two: You Can’t Define Or Avoid Change, But You Can Steer It
This ties well with the previous point.
Believe me, it helps a lot if you see change as a kind of very powerful, yet also (and by default) raw Energy.
What you have to do, then, is to find the most optimal and suitable way for tapping into and harnessing that fantastically exhaustless Energy.
Now, again, you cannot create change from scratch. Nor can you just let it be and remain stubbornly passive upon its appearance.
But what you can, and should, do is direct it, so as to achieve the best outcome for you out of it.
Like with electricity, the key here is that you become the best possible “conductor” for change. While at the same time, you somewhat safeguard yourself so that it doesn’t “burn” (overwhelm) you.
There’s no recipe, “one size fits all” way, here.
What I can say is that you must remain alert and observant. Identify what are the features of the ongoing change that resonate with you and allow you to mobilize the resources at hand.
If you follow that approach without letting go, you will eventually notice you’ve entered a sort of “cosmic dance” with the change.
The melody and pace are pretty much given, yet it’s now entirely possible for you to lead this dance (in fact, it’s ONLY up to you).
And do so, to the best of your ability and interest.
Number Three: Unconditional Acceptance Of Change Is Key And Liberates You
This concerns any particular change as well as the general notion of Change.
“Everything changes” was the key teaching of one of the first philosophers who walked on the surface of this planet: Heraclitus.
(In fact, I’ve recently written a whole book, primarily based on his teachings).
It is perhaps easier if you first accept the general concept: change is unavoidable and constant.
You need to persistently remember this essential truth.
Then, every time a specific change “invades” your life, you’ll be ready to meet and “dance” with her (see previous point).
One more thing, though: it is crucial that this acceptance on your side is whole and unconditional.
(This is, by the way, a key teaching of another great spiritual master, Eckhart Tolle, whose work I have also explored deeply).
Any qualification or begrudging tolerance of the change under development isn’t good enough here.
In fact, it’s the other way round that works the best.
That is, not to just accept but wholeheartedly embrace and welcome change. As if it were a blessing (it actually is one).
No matter how it looks and feels while it’s still ongoing.
Number Four: The Moment You Look At Change Differently, It Becomes Different
Again, this point almost seamlessly links to the previous one.
Imagine a potential change that would terrify you. One that, you believe, could bring you to your knees.
Usually, such changes involve, in some way, the loss of something or someone you presently value very highly.
If and when such a change occurs, and after the unavoidable effect of the initial shock wears out, it’s important that you strive to see it under a positive light.
It doesn’t matter if, in the beginning, you don’t fully believe that such a dimension exists. It’s important, though, that you at least give this possibility the benefit of doubt, as well as some breathing space inside of you.
It’s recommendable you do so even before your time of mourning has reached its end.
If you hold onto this impression and / or “alternative” reading of things, you will see that, soon, you will start perceiving not only things differently, but also different things.
In other words, the change you initially viewed as completely detrimental, now becomes a portal that leads you into new areas of your life.
Both inside, as well as in the world around you.
Areas that you probably weren’t aware of their existence prior to the change shaking you enough so that you could see them.
Areas that, in a very real sense, didn’t previously exist for you…
Number Five: Each Change Has Its Very Own Time And Place
“Time may change me, but I can’t trace time“, as the great, late David Bowie would say.
And what is time if not the primary proof of the nature of constant change of everything in this world?
At least on the surface, but more on that a bit later…
It’s important to understand two things here.
The first is that the passage of time will most certainly bring about changes to almost everything in your life.
In other words, there’s not a single thing about you and your life that is immune to change.
There’s one exception to this rule… But, again, more on that a few lines later.
The second thing to understand is that there’s not a guarantee as to how exactly a change will materialize or how long it will last.
In simpler words:
For every single change, there’s a proper place and time. Which is, pretty much, outside your sphere of influence.
This means that you need to be armed with both stoic patience and alert vigilance, when going through it.
Blessed is whoever realizes this fundamental approach that any change requires, and is also courageous and decisive enough to implement it.
All the way.
So, the “bad” news is that no change is pain-free.
On the other hand, the “good” news is that courage and decisiveness are virtues that literally everyone – including, of course, yours truly – can cultivate and exhibit, when it comes to dealing with any change.
Regardless of its perceived nature and impact.
Number Six: How A Change Is Changing You Is More Important Than What Actually Changes
If it hasn’t already become evident to you, let me spell it out:
As every good coach in any team sport would say:
“Make sure you keep your eye on the ball”!
And when it comes to any change you go through, the “ball” is how this change affects you. In what ways it changes you.
And what these ways teach you about you, your life, and the world you live in.
One could also argue that the more unexpected and shocking these ways, the better.
Of course, the actual, occasional object of a change is never completely irrelevant. Especially when it forms part of a bigger pattern of change in your life.
At the end of the day, though, this is but the proverbial finger pointing at the moon (which, by the way, also happens to be a ball-shaped object).
The point is that it’s vital you exercise your perspective, so as it broadens and becomes focused on what truly makes a difference in your life.
And this has to do with how change shapes you so as to be not only ready for what’s next.
But also perfectly attuned to the ever-present Now.
Number Seven: Knowing What It Is That Never Changes, Makes Everything That Changes Easier
Last, but not (definitely not!) least, comes the big blind spot of our human nature.
By definition, in order for something to change, something else has to remain unchanged.
Otherwise, there would be no point of reference for any change.
You can’t have a function that solely consists of variables. At least one constant is always required for the darn function to exist in the first place!
But what is this unaltered background, in front of which everything else changes?
What is this invisible canvas on which life constantly draws its Painting, mixing existing colors and never ceasing to create new ones and add them to said mix?
This constant, untouchable, inconceivable and indestructible Element is your, and everyone else’s, true nature.
Colossal Spiritual Masters, who have adorned human history with their presence, assure us of this truth.
This is the “Kingdom of Heaven” that Jesus Christ spoke about.
That is Buddha’s “Nirvana”.
This is Ramana Maharshi’s “Self”.
This is Your True Nature.
The “good news” is that you don’t have to “do” something to get in touch with your True Nature.
You see, you’re already It.
The “bad news” is that there’s nothing you can “do” to get in touch with your True Nature!
You see… YOU’RE ALREADY IT!
Therefore, you “simply” have to Be It.
It, and only It, is real.
Better: You (the true you), and only You, are real.
Against this background (pun intended), does it really matter what a change – any “change” – is really about?
No, because it cannot really affect You.
Oh yes, don’t get me wrong: it can affect who YOU THINK you are. That is, your mind-made version of “yourself”.
But, let me repeat it again – and I don’t care at all if I become tiring, because this point is of primary importance:
You are who You Are.
The ever-lit, ecstatically blissful and infinitely loving Awareness beneath it all.
Embrace this Truth; feel It; Be It.
And you’ll never have to worry about anything any longer.
Until next time,
Please remain safe and alert.