Change is uncomfortable. It is often scary, sometimes seeminlgy forced upon us, and can be so challenging to move through even when desired. When it seems forced upon us, it can be downright pooey (that's a technical term).
I have been desiring change in some of my own patterns, and I have made some progress. For me, the measurable, observable changes are in eating habits and movement. The real change is in how I am thinking, feeling, and my degree of presence. I was thinking about how when people face life threatening illness, for example, the motivation to make positive changes is very great. Many do meet that challenge, yet many do not. I know one man who continued to smoke after having his tongue cut out and much of his palate from cancer. Still, for many, it is a powerful motivator.
I really do not want to manifest some serious physical ailment in order to motivate the changes that I know will empower me. It seems so obvious. Yet, it feels so difficult! Ways of habitual being are so out of our conscious awareness that we often don't even realize that we haven't made the changes we thought we were accomplishing until something occurs to slap us into awareness again!
I sit here this evening with reflux, a manifestation of my not eating the best way for me. Tonight, it was not so much what I ate as when. Sometimes there are conflicting desires - I want to eat dinner with my wonderful husband, and I want to eat before 7PM. Many days he does not get home until after 7PM. Today was one of those days. So, I ate later. Now I feel not-so-good. I am fortunate to be able to sleep in, so I can stay up later to give the reflux time to settle. Still, it would be my preference not to have reflux at all.
That is another spiritual lesson: accepting what is. Truly accepting it, not just giving lip service. Feeling peace in the presence of discomfort and pain, whether physical or emotional. We can accept the "what is" and we can also desire the future to be other at the same time. This takes awhile to get the knack of, and sometimes I can do it, and others....well, that's what spiritual growth is all about - stretching past where we are now, while also being where we are now.
I watched a powerful movie recently, which moved me to tears at times. Not tears of sadness, but truly tears of being touched in my spiritual center. It was Ram Dass' documentary "Fierce Grace." Ram Dass has been a spiritual teacher for over forty years, and he continues to live his life as an example of what is possible for all of us. He lives with courage and truly Fierce Grace. At this point in his life, Ram Dass lives with the physical effects of, as he puts it, having been stroked, with the right side of his body no longer functioning well.
His journey through this experience, including a loss of faith and the dark night of the soul after having been a guru to many for decades, and his journey not just back into the light, but into a deeper spiritual center than he ever experienced...well, it gives me hope.
Hope is a powerful feeling. It opens the way for good to come in, even when we are at our lowest and cannot possibly see how we can come back from whatever challenges we are facing. Hope allows us to face change.
One thing I have learned in my life that serves me now is that I have come to truly know and trust that change is always for the better, even when we cannot see how. Most especially when we cannot see how, perhaps.
A wise man once wrote (and sang): Life is what happens while you're making other plans. Ram Dass' movie really speaks to this, and I know I have certainly experienced this numerous times.
That's when I remind myself that there is a bigger picture, and I don't have it. But, God/Divine/Consciousness does. I hold onto hope, a willingness to change, and a trust and faith that I am being taken care of, even when I can't see it. My part is to stay open, focus on the good in my life, appreciate what I do have, and allow space for Good (Go'd) to pour more into my life.
Change is not comfortable. But, real growth entails stepping out of our comfort zones, breaking old patterns, being present and accepting what is, and allowing ourselves to be curious about what is next rather than afraid...curiosity is a completely different vibration than fear, or anger, or discomfort. It is open and expansive where the others are closed and constrictive.
So, I choose to be curious about what's next. I accept the 'isness' of this moment, reflux and all. I can feel the discomfort and choose not to suffer (which is the mental chatter we have about the discomfort, and then feel bad emotionally from that). I choose to focus on listening to the silence that is underneath the noises around me (the dishwasher running, the clock ticking, the occasional car going by, and my husband gently snoring in the next room), the silence that allows for the arising of sound. Listening to the silence underneath all sounds allows me to connect with the alert Witness Within, and access inner peace, regardless of life situations. I choose peace this night, and I am grateful for the awareness of this possibility.
In Columbus, there are many alternatives available to assist us in dealing with change, making needed changes, and dealing with the stress that often accompanies change. Holistic Life Coaching, hypnosis, spiritual counseling, Reiki, acupuncture, self-help books, even aromatherapy oils and other holistic methods such as Polarity Therapy can help us in making the changes we desire and coping with changes we did not. Check these out soon for a change of pace.