DEALING WITH CHANGE
The wise guys tell us that most of the phenomena in the world are the results of consensus and moving energy. They are part of the larger dance that includes everything and everybody. How you see it is filtered through your own memories and the patterns of behavior built up by past experiences.
But then, one day you look up and notice that the world-as-you-know-it has changed so much you don’t recognize anything any more. What do you do then?
AS THE WORLD TURNS
Many wise guys say that most of the world’s phenomena often have little noticeable impact on you except as they accumulate all together. It’s like the long-term effects of accretion and erosion — Earth-energy things. It’s a slow-flowing liquid movement, like the movement of glass, for instance, or a glacier, and you are just one particle in all of this.
For decades it all goes along in a way that is understandable and part of a continuum that you are able to embrace because it just is a continuance of what has gone before. And then comes the landslide, the calving iceburg, the new discovery, the game-changing world event…and everything is different and you’re there scratching your head. Huh?
DOING THE ANT
Some people say your view of the whole thing is like that of an ant lugging along a bit of a bread crumb with his buddies. You, the ant, are doing your thing. And the whole rest of it goes on around you. You and the guys get the crumb home. There’s a party. Whoop-de-doo! Life goes on.
Then one day some bozo drops poisoned ant bait on the counter and you and the guys lug it on home and it all changes. Oy!
REVISE YOUR STORY
The best way to navigate in a world of change, according to the wise guys, is to try releasing old stuff — letting go of being an ant locked into ant-ness. If you can do that, then you can stay in touch with the world all around you. You have a better understanding about what is going on and you can respond better as a result.
The first step is knowing what stories you’ve been telling yourself and then letting them go.
In the following YouTube video, “How To Get Unstuck,” life coach Iyanla Vanzant lays out five life-hacks that will help you get unstuck. It was published in 2014 by Aol.
Vanzant’s suggestions are simple and, like all simple things, very hard to do and keep on doing.
- Tell the truth. How many of us are actually willing to do that?
- Let go of all excuses. Most of the stories we tell ourselves are “can’t” stories. “The world is this way so I can’t do that.” On and on and on. It’s way easy to make excuses. It’s a lot harder to let them go because then you have to go do whatever it is that is scaring you so badly that you can’t stand the fact that it is a piece of your own heart-song.
- Be vulnerable. This one’s one of the big scary ones. What? I’m supposed to stand NAKED? Uh-uh. No way!
- Ask for help. Oh, wow. They’re going to KNOW I’m not the biggest, baddest whatever. ARGH!
- Forgiveness. Self-compassion and self-forgiveness goes a long way toward getting to a place where you can stand to look at yourself and see your own truth.
Before you can let go of your stories, you do have to know what you’ve been telling yourself. These stories really are important to you…as they should be. They have, after all, made your life what it has been.
When the world changes, however, your old ways of moving no longer work as well as they used to. If you don’t want to keep on “ant-ing” along, you have to go look for other moves that work better and the old stories just drag on you or anchor you down.
Be aware that when you set about tearing the stories down it is really going to hurt to let them go. As Vanzant says, getting unstuck is “a mental, emotional and physical experience.”
- Look at your old stories.
- Honor them, bless them and mourn their passing away out of your life.
- Then pull up your Big Girl (or Boy) pants and get on with it.
Also, be aware that you may have to help your heart-people deal with the new stories you are wanting to tell yourself and the world. They, too, have their own stories.
Here’s a poem….
Okay, new project:
Letting go of all the dreams already blown away on
The whirling blusters that blast through my days,
Unheeding of the time and care I lavished on the silly things.
It’s not like they’re anywhere close by, those dreams.
They’re probably in Kansas by now.
They really were cool.
Everything just so….
The perfect this,
The stellar that.
Wise guys say it should not matter,
That the dreams are all illusion anyhow,
But what do THEY know?
All THEY ever want to look at is the Big Empty –
The same one that’s sucked up
Every one of those rainbow-colored ice cream sherbet dreams
That probably would have melted into sticky goopy puddles anyhow.
I wonder what those wise guys see in that Empty place….
And, don’t go telling me about the Empty that’s Full
‘Cause right now I am THIS close to bopping you!
It does make me wonder…
How come those dreams flew off and I didn’t?
Why am I still standing in this poppy field?
I wonder where they went, those dreams.
I hope it’s a nice place.
They really were some good little dreams….
by Netta Kanoho
Picture credit: Ants Carry Off Some Bread by Tom Houslay via Flickr [CC BY-NC 2.0]
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24 thoughts on “DEALING WITH CHANGE”
Thank you for this post, which actually came at the appropriate time for me. Change is unpleasant at most, even the most beneficial of changes can leave one imbalanced. Letting go is one of the things that we need to do when a change occurs, but it isn’t always easy, especially when the change has something to do with a lot of pain…like with death and losing someone you love.
I agree with being one with your emotions and properly taking the time to mourn whatever it is that one has lost in the change, and once that is done the accepting the new world with open arms. This isn’t always possible though, sometimes there just isn’t time to mourn, don’t you think?
Thank you for your visit and your comments. I do agree. Sometimes when you’re transitioning you cannot find the time to mourn properly. At some point, however, things do settle down and then you can start. It took about nine months for me to even accept the passing of my husband and then another year or two to find my feet. The emotions and the change, even almost twenty years later, still pulls at me. However, because I took the time to do the work of letting go, it is a lot more distant than it used to be. The lessons have been good ones, for the most part. I wish you good fortune on your own journey.
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This is a wonderful post. Reading it in the midst of a big change that is coming my way in life. Thank you so much for writing it.
The challenge of releasing the old stuff is the hardest part of change for me. What if one is willing to release and let it go but there’s an huge inertia for the others to hang on to it for sentimental reasons? The act will turn into a kaleodoscope of mixed emotions which sometimes make it hard to manage. But nevertheless, nothing can be done cleanly and nothing should as life is a journey where we deal with situations one thing at a time. We cannot do too much as we can’t do too little.
Hey Rags: Thanks for your visit and your comments. I’m glad the post helped. Please do come again….
I can totally relate to your article, change is inevitable I know that but personally I’ve always been afraid of change. Do you happen to know why?
For example, I’ve been using a blackberry for a while and when the iphone trend hits, I wanted to give into the hype and I actually bought an iPhone but never really used it for 3 months because I’m too comfortable with my blackberry. Is this normal with many people or is it just me?
Hey Riaz: You like your comfort zone. Nothing wrong with that. I just had my computer wizard build me a virtual machine within my new computer so that I could continue to use Windows XP and run my very old programs (Microsoft Works and cardfile) that I can make dance. How retro is THAT? Since that new computer will never venture onto the internet, I’ll probably be able to use the thing until it collapses.
I think, perhaps, people like us have a very refined awareness of what we lose when we take on new things and if the displacement of the old is great, it may not be worth it to us to make the shift. Some people are extreme sports fanatics, other people are lead-bottoms. I am proud to be a lead-bottom, my own self…but it is good to know that when I HAVE to move fast, I can do that one too.
Thanks for your visit and comments. Please do come again.
I like adventure so I can feel what you try to express. When I was as an elementary student, we moved home 4-5 times. I always just made new friends and it was about time to say good-bye. Back to then, we had no cell phone, no what’s app, so I felt lonely.
After graduated from school, my first sales job was sent to Moscow and began to travel in different continental. I began to get used to change of environment, to wake up in the different city. I try to feel the sensation and power coming from change. Since then life is getting colorful and I have no more fear.
Making ant a metaphor is interesting. It seems to me the ant always work hard and pays attention to jobs not others.
George, thank you for your visit and for sharing your story. I do appreciate it.
You are right. There is power that flows through change and life does get interesting, doesn’t it?
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Indeed, the best thing we can do about changes, especially the long-term and irreversible, is to accept and let go.
If we cannot do something about it then, we have move forward.
There is also a change that we need to initiate, a change of oneself. I’m an introvert type of person and because of the fact that I want to be truly rich, not just in my finances, but in all aspects of my life, I need to change myself.
Somehow, the process is difficult, but I accepted the challenge and soon I’ll let go of my introverted self.
Thank you for the visit and for sharing your thoughts. Good fortune on your intention to change.
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Hi There 🙂
Your article speaks truth and it was my pleasure to read it. I thought they way you wrote was clear and direct as to not lose the message. Great job. I love poetry and I loved how you explained the poem a little bit prior to allowing us to read it, I think it is a unique take on writing an article and a job very well done. I can’t wait to read more
Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, Jade. I am pleased you enjoyed the post.
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Hi Netta, very inspiring post about change. In the business world you prepare yourself for constant change. As a manager, you have change management training and many ways to deal with change. In life though we typically want things to remain the same. There are no change management classes for wanting time to stop. Where we are almost living in the past. I agree with your final thoughts about mourning the past but looking forward is a great way to finalize your thoughts.
Let Go of the past… I totally agree.
Hey RanDaMan: Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.
You are right. Businesspeople are encouraged to look to the future and to watch and deal with changes that impact our bottom line and all that, but, as you say, “There are no change management classes for wanting time to stop.”
We do need to work on that one, all of us.
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Change is intrinsic in every phenomena of life. That’s a beautiful concept, thanks to have deepened it. Like many other I find myself in a huge period of change and reading this article helped me to think outside the “ant world” and remembering me that even mountains are not eternal. They change shape and get older, exactly like me. Just a different scale of time. So if embracing the change is what we need I want to start with being happy about it. Just for a change. Thanks for these inspiring words and for the beautiful poem.
Kent, I do appreciate your visit and for sharing your thoughts. Thinking outside of ant world is a good thing. Realizing that mountains are just like you is an awesome metaphor. Thanks!
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I think that it is very important to learn to embrace change , for our own good. If we don’t accept that we are doomed to be unhappy for ever. I think that the best way to understand that is to understand life itself, we need to work the same way as life as simple as that by my opinion.
Brian, thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts. I think Braden is inspirational too!
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Very nice article, like the image, if we constantly keep the hard work as the ant we literally get the success straight away. You can decide either to move on or turn back. If you turn back, you will realize that nothing is where you left so, you still need to know dealing with change.
Characteristics of Change are:
1. Change is the nature of existence
2. Change is inevitable
3. Change brings challenges
4. Change is continuous
5. Change brings discomfort whether it is good or badArticle Source
6. Change is uncertain
Hey Fabio: Thanks for the visit and for sharing your truths about change. I’m reminded of a saying (probably Chinese): “In a world of constant change, the only constant is your heart.”
Us humans always do need to learn how to deal with change. One way to figure out the most effective ways to do that is to listen to your heart. A thought.
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I love how you suggest to tell yourself a different story. Sometimes we hold onto things in the past that we really need to move on from. It isn’t easy by any means but it is the first step in change.
If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. You deserve everything your heart desires!
Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts. I do appreciate it…and, of course, I agree with you!
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Like Heraclitus said, “The Only Constant in Life Is Change.”. Therefore, we need to learn to adapt to change and actually, be open and ready for changes at any time of our life.
It is easier said than done as we tend to stay within our comfort zone. But it is life and it is the beauty of life, isn’t it?
So why need to worry and try to stick to the old ways? Let go and move on! ^_^
Thanks again for your post!
Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, Grace. I’m glad you agree!
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