By Shaun: Life constantly changes. Sometimes this is gentle, un-noticed change, while other times it is dramatic, all-encompassing change. But without change, without movement, there is no life. I live on a small farm and spend many hours moving things around, and as I do I think about all the things we spend our days moving around: tools, books, firewood, ourselves, money, emotions, ideas, food, water, power, energy, love etc. Everything moves and changes, from the smallest atom to the most majestic galaxy; movement, evolution, is the very essence of existence.
Yet sometimes the idea of movement, of change, is so frightening that we remain frozen in fear, not knowing what to do next, or which way to move. Not wanting to move at all. Or sometimes we are clear on where we want to go, what we want to do, but are frightened that in moving we will find disappointment. It is at these times of feeling stuck, or uncertain, or scared, that we turn to others, or the Universe, or to the deep stillness inside, or to the animals, to nature, or to Spirit for guidance. Or to anyone who will listen!
But there are always clues within the choices that we face that, if we listen to, can help us understand more about what is happening for us, and what we really want to do.
Listen to your Heart
With any choice ask yourself simply, what does my heart want to do? I like to ask people to imagine that there is a magical door behind them, and that when they walk through it, they can have whatever they want in the situation they are struggling with without any drama or struggle, it is just done, and then ask them what would they have or do? Usually, people will know this answer straight away, and that is what their heart wants them to do. This helps us to know what is important and gives us a foundation from which to explore the choice with more clarity.
The Carrot and the Stick
Another clue that we are approaching a time of change, that on some level we feel the need for something to shift, is when we are frustrated with where we are, the Stick, and yearning for being somewhere else, the Carrot. For instance, if you find yourself being critical of a boss, and you keep finding yourself talking to others about what a bad job they are doing, and how you would handle things differently, then there you have it! You are frustrated with where you are and feel you would be better somewhere else; in this case you would like to take on the responsibility of being in a leadership role. When you notice this pattern appearing in your life it is a good time to do some personal reflection and to ask what you are really wanting. Again, this will help you to be clear on what you may need to change. Knowledge is power!
The unconscious is just that, it cannot be seen directly, and cannot speak plainly, it must express itself in ways that are obtuse, strange and unusual. That is why the messages it has to impart can be so powerful, and also potentially frightening at times. Imagine having a dream of being in a new home, wandering around the large, empty rooms, exploring around every corner. You feel calm until you turn a corner and there is a big spider hanging right in front of your face. As you jump back in fright you find that you are caught in a web, and you start to panic. Then, just as you are about to scream you find yourself sitting on the lawn at the front of the house, and everything is calm again. You wake up with the feelings still sitting on your chest, and the images floating through your mind. Over the day these feelings and images come and go, and you know that there is something in there for you to understand.
Houses in dreams can represent yourself, and in this dream it feels like you are ready for a big new beginning, and that this in itself is frightening as well as something that makes you happy. The key message is that no matter how scary it feels, things will resolve, and all will be good. As you sit with all this you will gain powerful insight into the inner change that is already upon you, and perhaps feel more able to embrace the power rather than give way to the fear and try and stop the change from occurring. Listening to the unconscious can be fun too!
You know those sayings about getting knocked down and getting back up again, (knocked down 8 times, got up 9), that celebrate persistence, tenacity and strength. Well, there are also times when life knocks us down so that we can be left in no doubt that it is time for a change. The Universe is benevolent, but it needs us to learn and grow, and sometimes we just resist the change we need to go through next. This leaves the Universe with only one choice; it will keep throwing the lesson at us in the hope we will learn it and move onto the next stage. But if we keep refusing to learn, or if the fear of ‘what it’ is too much for us, or if we really need to persist and fight on until we cannot anymore, then eventually the Universe will put us flat on your backs and make us listen. Like when we get sick because we have not learnt to look after ourselves, or we always put the needs of others first, and we get so sick we spend time unable to do anything but reflect and decide it is time to change. Sometimes we do not need to get up again, we need to Let Go.
As life is about change, about growth, about movement, then it makes sense that we should build this into our everyday lives. Societies have done this forever with the different rituals that mark the changing of life-stages; initiations, marriages, graduations, funerals etc. These rituals not only mark change, but they also celebrate the continuity of life, the ever-tumbling cycles that guide us along our journey. Individuals can have their own ways of marking change, but we need to also pay respects to the great continuity of life. The great gift of living life is learning how to weave the routines of daily living with the ongoing change that life requires of us. By embracing this beautiful tension, we can create a wonderful tapestry that is our life and become better and better at the weaving as time flows along. This way change is not so much a challenge, but a welcome companion throughout our time in this life. Something to know, to love, to respect, and to surrender to when required. Enjoy the journey.
Love and Light,