Change is Beautifully Inevitable
These were the words written on the cover of a card I recently received. We have all heard the expression that change is inevitable, but “beautifully inevitable” required a little more thought, especially with the events of this past year. Change does not always happen when we think we are ready for it, it’s not always easy or always welcome, and it can surely cause a lot of discomfort when we are in the midst of it. But if we think about it, change is an essential part of life.
I think the beautiful thing about change is that it happens – and it’s happening is predictable. Change is the nature of all things, and everything is in a perpetual state of transition. Nature is, perhaps, our greatest teacher. We can begin to understand the predictability of change when we take our cues from nature. The weather changes, seasons change, night turns into day, flowers bloom in springtime to remind us of life and the beauty around us, and leaves fall in autumn to remind us to let go. There’s a rhythm – a sophisticated, integral dance of life that takes place every single day…and we are a part of that unending motion.
Sometimes change is gradual and subtle, while other times it seems to smack you in the face – wake you up and cause a shift in how you think and behave. That happened to me when I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Once I dealt with my initial reaction to the news, I decided to see life differently, take better care of myself, eat healthier, and focus more on what’s important to me. And those decisions led me down a totally new path. I became a yoga instructor, learned about aromatherapy and other alternative health options, and am currently writing a book about creating space and time for ourselves to reduce stress and lead more authentic lives.
Change can be a great catalyst for growth. And when we can accept that change happens, on a certain level we become more resilient; more fluent with transition; more flexible. And that shows up in our relationships, in our workplace, in our daily lives. Making that connection can be very powerful. When we begin to really understand that change is natural and normal, we are less likely to hold on for dear life to the status quo.
Change is happening at a faster pace than ever before, but we have choices in how we respond to it. We can complain about it and become victims of change or we can decide as Eckhart Tolle wrote, “…to leave the situation, change the situation or accept it.” Sometimes, the best and most compassionate thing to do for all concerned, is to leave the situation. Is there an experience that comes to mind for you where you made that choice? We could also work towards making things better. You see that now in the grassroots efforts happening all over the country. We can also make the decision to accept change; maybe even change our view and attitude toward it.
Put another way, we can call to mind the serenity prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr asking to accept the things that cannot be changed, the courage to change those things that can be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference between the two. After all, standing outside at midnight cursing the darkness won’t make morning come any sooner!
Change can give us choices, can challenge us, can help us grow and move us in ways that we would not ordinarily be moved. We can become stronger and more resilient because of it. Change can change our lives.
Foxfire Consulting helps people feel good about change so the best change can happen. Whether is transition coaching or change management advisory services, we provide the tools and strategies needed to make transitions more quickly, smoothly, and with greater meaning so they become long lasting and sustainable. We also offer workshops in managing the people side of change for leadership development, project managers, managers/supervisors, and employees.