By Nathan, on October 6th, 2010
“River, show me how to float.
I feel like I’m sinking down.
I thought that I could get along.
But, here in this water, my feet
Won’t touch the ground.”
“Washing of the Water”
Change is rarely in one area of our lives only. A promotion affects all areas of your life: family, finances, stress, time, food. Same with losing a job. So when dealing with change, you must deal with a chain of dependent changes as well, and this can compound the stress that you are enduring. Some people can roll with these changes, but many cannot. They get mired in the middle and fight the change from within the process. So how do you deal with all of this?
Once you understand change, evolution becomes effortless. Change is inevitable, because stagnation creates a vacuum. All of the forces of nature are in a state of constant change and because you are a part of nature, so are you. Some changes are quite trivial and therefore almost unnoticeable. A different choice in peanut butter, or a child’s practice time gets shifted a half hour. These also are multi-dimensional, but the dependent changes don’t filter as far. Some are monumental, a job relocation or a loved one passing on and the dependent changes here can filter throughout your entire life and even your perceptions can be totally altered.
The key to change is learning to float. Don’t swim against the current. Rather, let the current carry you some of the way. The current of the change will carry you through to the other side, and you will survive and thrive. Allow your perceptions to change. Allow your circumstances to shift. Allow yourself to rebound. Allow yourself to give up control and trust that you will be fine wherever you end up.
Allow me an analogy. Every weekend, I take my daughters swimming. They are learning. And I inevitably show them every time that when I relax, I float. And then I show them that when I tense my muscles, I sink, just a little. I patiently explain that the water likes me at the top and that the water likes them at the top too. But they are still learning to trust the water. It isn’t always easy to trust yourself to the water.
Okay, you say, but what does this have to do with change? The water is change. Water is in a constant state of flux, flux is change. You mustn’t think that there is a major difference. Change, like water, is an encompassing force which acts upon you by carrying you. If you fight, you sink. If you allow, you float. However, you must know when to float and when to swim.
Swim with the current. This does not mean agree with a concept that you don’t feel at ease with. There are rapids (abhorrent concepts) in the river and I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t point that out. But what is a rapid to one might be a resting place to another.
What changes are challenging you? What are the rough patches in your water?