What do you think of when you think of “change?” Is it the leaves on the trees in Autumn? Or possibly a crop of purple, white and yellow crocuses reaching through a frost-covered lawn? Is it a shift in your thinking? Or a shift in your being and doing? What if signs of change are so subtle that they are barely audible or visible? What if signs of change aren’t perceptible as signs at all – until years later when we have the benefit of hindsight and wisdom?
Today I was driving down the road, and I saw a yellow tree. My immediate thought was, “Oh, little tree, you’ve jumped a bit too early.” My second thought was, “Wow – Fall is around the corner!” But what if the tree hasn’t jumped the gun? What if the tree is one of those pioneers of change. Sending us little signs of what’s to come, that we often miss until the vast majority have changed along with that first little tree?
It’s the same for people, isn’t it? There are those who are on the forefront of change, and those who bring up the rear. There are individuals who put themselves out there, day after day, seeking new paths, and new ways of being and doing – sometimes we look at them as “crazy” or “imbalanced.” Sometimes, we see their “signs” of what’s to come as utter foolishness and conjecture. And sometimes, just sometimes, we pause long enough to have a second thought – and we see them more clearly for what they are: harbingers of new possibility. I admit there are those pioneers (or false teachers) who have gone so far down the path that perhaps they have lost touch with reality. Perhaps they are just too far ahead of the rest of us for us to understand them. And that’s ok. We need those “scouts” to blaze some sort of path for us, even if it’s to show us where not to go.
But for the most part, when we read something or hear something that gives us a little stir inside and we react with fear, it usually turns out to be something different than what our first thoughts tell us. If we give it enough space and time, we can often get to the second thought, and allow a sliver of a message to come through. That’s when the magic happens. That’s when change starts dropping seeds in the cracks of our pavement, and allowing us to grow just a little with each breath.
Today, I see signs of change all around me. I see it in the way a parent talks to their child in a grocery store. I see it in choices friends are making with their futures and their health. I see it when I hear of a colleague who has decided to pursue her passion, regardless of the challenges that lay ahead. We even have a President who was elected on a platform of change. Whether he turns out to be a pioneer or a false teacher – we don’t know yet. The fact is that change is happening all around us. And it’s our choice whether we want to swim with the tide, float on top of it, or wait for the last few currents to carry us along.
For me, though it can be challenging, I choose to swim with the tide. By being more proactive, I certainly invite more challenges and obstacles in my path – but my hope is that I can help to navigate a clear waterway for those who will come after me. By learning to embrace change I feel better equipped to watch for its littlest signs. So, when I see my next yellow tree, hopefully I will see it for what it is: a messenger. Nothing more, nothing less. And once we are able to recognize the littlest signs, we might be better able to forge a way forward to greater peace, wellness and joy.
This week is all about noticing the little things – the smallest changes that have big impacts on our lives and our decisions. How can we embrace them to move forward into more meaningful relationships with others and ourselves?
Body – Have you made any changes to your routines? Could you? How about riding a bike to work? Or perhaps swapping out regular coffee for decaf?
Mind – What would it take to change your mind about something specific, like how you feel about a family member or friend who has hurt you? What do you stand to gain by looking at it a different way? And what do you stand to lose by not making a change?
Spirit – The greatest changes happen within at such a subtle level that they are almost imperceptible. What can you do to nourish your spirit as you grow into who you are? Is there a CD or song that you’ve heard in a coffee shop that stirs something inside of you? What if you found out who or what it was, and offered it to your spirit as a gift? What would your spirit say in return for being acknowledged and honored?
In love and light,