What do seasons, temperature, technology, and time have in common? The answer is they all change. Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher of the 6th century, coined the phrase, “change is the only constant in life” that is commonly referenced today. We’ve all heard this saying more than once or twice, but what does it actually mean? Every day, every hour, every minute, every second the world is physically revolving or rotating on an axis. As our planet revolves, it along with the inhabitants also evolves. Webster defines evolving as gradually developing or growing. With the process of evolution, our thought forms change as well as our physical appearances, surroundings, habits, and our needs. Our families change, we change our minds several times a day, and our schedules often change too. It seems as soon as we get used to things, they always change. It is human nature to naturally resist change and that is when we create resistance in our lives by trying to hold on to the way things were as opposed to embracing what is. Why do we resist change? Maybe because change is unfamiliar, difficult, or painful at times. Or maybe we enjoy being comfortable. I know for me, I like the idea of being in control or at least thinking that I have things somewhat under control. Fortunately, I am working on that and learning to surrender each day to the Higher Power that is in fact in control and I am learning to accept change with a positive mindset and willingness to grow. I would love to say that I have always thought in this manner and that embracing change has been easy for me, but that would be far from the truth.
As I reflect on my journey, about three and a half years ago I graduated from college thinking that the “hard part” was over and that I would be starting a career, financially stable, living my dream life, and one day starting a family (way down the line). I thought that everything would be smooth sailing especially after conquering all of the obstacles and challenges that I experienced during undergraduate. When I tell you, I could have not been more wrong! Who knew that within the next 3 months I would be pregnant, engaged, employed full time in my professional field of choice, have moved to a new city, and cut off all of my hair? Who knew that in 6 more months I would give birth to my first son and have moved again into a house? Who knew that in another year I would be married, have changed jobs, earned a certification, and received a promotion while being enrolled full-time in graduate school? I definitely did not know that all of these changes were in store for me. All of these were monumental events in my life that enhanced my life in many ways but I was not so accepting as these changes were occurring. I would even go further to say that I was stressed and even experienced depression in the midst of the changes. Iyanla Vanzant, one of my favorite authors, noted in one of her books, “One Day My Soul Just Opened Up”, that the situations and events that occur in our life do not cause the stress but it is the way that we react and handle the events and situations that results in us being stressed. Looking back, I can now see how that is true.
When I moved, my physical address changed including the city, zip code, culture, and pace. The sadness that I experienced stemmed from being homesick and missing the familiarity of the people that I knew as well as the things that I was accustomed to doing. Consequently, this experience also helped me grow, expand, step out of my comfort zone, learn more about myself as an individual, focus on my family, and flourish while championing through life’s challenges. During pregnancy, my hormones, body, eating habits, sleeping habits, and mindset changed. I was uncomfortable, moody, restless, tired, and hungry. I can now see that the low points during pregnancy were attached to the fact that I missed the freedom that I had before being pregnant with the simplest things like eating what I wanted, wearing what I wanted, and being able to move freely without much thought. However, this experience pushed me to expand my heart and grow spiritually which later resulted in a better version of me mentally, physically, and spiritually.
I have learned that when we want more out of life or want something different, we must be willing to accept change otherwise we and the situation will simply remain the same. If we do not change, we are not really living up to our full potential. Notice how children are constantly learning new things, growing in height, changing in appearance, etc.? Just because we reach a certain age does not mean that we should stop our natural process of growth. We are here to evolve as individuals, a species, and as a planet. Change is a part of any process. We wouldn’t expect to lose weight without changing our level of physical activity and eating habits so why would we expect any other process to occur without making changes?
While change can be frightening, the benefits are far more rewarding than the periods of pain and discomfort. For example, seeing my son for the first time made me forget about every tear that I cried while I was pregnant, every pound that I gained, every night that I could not sleep, and every ounce of pain from my new stitches and rise up to be the mother that he needed me to be and evolve into the woman that I was created to be. Change helps us grow and reach new heights. The best way to embrace change is to focus on the new instead of fighting with the old. When things stop helping us grow and evolve it is time to release them. As a species, we have been in survival mode for quite some time now and the world has been controlled by hate, violence, and greed which all have the same root which is fear. That way of living does not help us evolve anymore. I would go even further to say that thought process keeps us in a box and out of touch with our divine nature. In order for us to make the shift from surviving to thriving, we must change our hearts and actions which starts by changing our thoughts, more specifically to thoughts of love. We have the potential to create a new earth for ourselves and the future generations and that starts with change. In the words of one of my favorite poets, actresses, writers, artists, and overall shero, Dr. Maya Angelou, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Today I challenge you to embrace any changes that you are resisting in your life and exceed your greatest expectations.