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Is Change a challenging discomfort or an exciting adventure?

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Welcome to the Year 2014! It's gotta be better than what we just went through, right? Or maybe you had such a wonderful 2013 you are not especially looking forward to the changes that are bound to be part of your life in 2014.

How does Change affect you and how does its effect reflect on the rest of what is happening in your life? The answer to that question depends a lot on many factors - several of them are the types of change and the quantity of changes in your life. It depends on whether your outlook on life is a "half-empty" or "half-full" one. It might even depend upon how you got out of bed in the morning. Honestly, its effect and its affect may well hang on a hair-trigger that suspends from the moment by moment thoughts and feelings you collect and manage daily.

The discussion of change has been introduced and debated by august bodies of intellectuals through the ages - and it has been a matter of age-old contention with toddlers within families all over the world. No one really wants to change. We all like what we are used to. You can laugh at Heraclitus' suggestion that "the only thing constant is change," but you also recognize the truth in the statement.

Let's face it, change is a major part of everyone's life. It is up to each of us how we handle it.... or how we go with the flow of it.

In the large 200 year old Valley Oak in my yard, I've watched families of beautiful and gentle gray squirrels succumb to the more aggressive brown squirrels in the neighborhood. I was saddened by this when I realized that I no longer saw gray squirrels from my upstairs window. I got used to watching the new litters of brown babies flipping their skinny tails and pretending to bark warnings to the cats that also love to roam our yard. I actually forgot about the grey ones with their full and luxurious coats until, driving in my neighborhood, I'd see one race across the road to someone else's tree.

But a miracle seems to have taken place. My tree again is visited by gray squirrels. They don't live there, yet. But they are feeling more comfortable and brave in calling the brown's bluff. There is enough tree for several families of squirrels to share. Besides, the way they habitually travel from tree to tree throughout the neighborhood, they could easily stay out of each other's way.

Then there's this cocky young blue jay that has decided he's king of it all. He believes he owns the front and the back yard at my house, scolding the squirrels and cats alike when they come near the breadcrumbs. He reminds the hummingbirds that they have their own feeder hanging on the porch. He is so busy guarding the crumbs and seeds we put out for winter feedings, that his super-vigilance is taking a toll. He is so worried that someone else will gather what he believes is his own bounty that when a family of yellow-eyed magpies came to the feast, he squawked so loud and long, he lost his voice.... and a few feathers, too.

So, how are you handling the changes happening in your life? I am reminded that we all are loved beyond measure by a loving Father-Mother-God with a promise that we would be cared for. And just as I watch over and care for the wild creatures in my yard, God is loving and caring for us. The bounty cannot be weighed and measured, it can only be appreciated, and gratefully accepted.

If you believe that promise - what are you afraid of? Change is a part of our very existence. It is the way we learn and grow and move through the stages of our lives. There may be blue jays in your life - but they are still learning that however much they squawk - life continues to flow in an orderly and divine way. Breathe into the Love that surrounds you and know that all is well. Change will be happening - accept this and move into the adventure with anticipation of experiencing and receiving your good - however that good will appear to you. To borrow from a well-known phrase: See it [as good] and it will be [your good].

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