Is living really as simple as being open to change?
"Truth is living, and therefore, changing." - Bruce Lee
I read that the other day and it shifted my thinking. It hit me like the ring of truth. Could it really be that simple? That living is simply changing? I recalled that the first piece of information that drew me into the field of life coaching was Martha Beck's Change Cycle. It was simple, yet no one had ever presented life as a cycle of change - meaning a continuous circular flow, not a straight line pointing in one direction.
I also loved the image of caterpillar turning into butterfly. I had read Trina Paulus' little yellow book, Hope For the Flowers, many times over the past fifteen years, and it always resonated with me as the truth. That within each of us, when we are born, is the potential to transform, to fly, to be beautiful. That it also takes a single act of courage on each person's part, at some point in their caterpillar life, in order to make that transformation possible. Here's an excerpt, paraphrased from Trina Paulus' book:
"How does one become a butterfly?" asked the caterpillar.
"You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."
"You mean to die?" asked the caterpillar.
"Yes and No...Life is changed, not taken away. Isn't that different from those who die without ever becoming butterflies?"
So isn't it interesting that our minds resist change.
Our bodies crave change and movement, but our minds crave solidity. Changing my mind used to be something I considered almost a crime. I stood by commitments with such fierce resolve that I could override most of the signals sent by my body. This made me great at staying up for 36 hours straight on call in the hospital, sitting in a desk for as long as it took to crank out a spreadsheet that satisfied my bosses in the financial world, and doing whatever it took to produce what I considered "perfection" in my violin students.
It did not, however, serve me well in bringing me happiness in my life, or a sense of peace in my heart. It did not help me notice the small things, acknowledge myself for tiny gains, or cut other people any slack when it came to honoring their differences or shortcomings.
The ability to adapt and change, to die many deaths within one lifetime, to flow with the current of our highest self and deepest truth, is simple, yet requires practice in order to become habit.
Today I am thankful for being more familiar with my own internal feelings of peace, joy and freedom than I was even a few months ago. Every day I grow in this capacity to recognize and rest in these feelings in my body. They are part of me now, and they have been waiting for me patiently my whole life. It was just up to me to learn how to access them.
So, ask yourself this: Have you changed your mind lately?
Give yourself a gift and try it today.