This post is something Craig sent me when I was feeling like a change was needed and I couldn’t see a way out. His kindness and words encouraged me and I hope the do the same for you.
Change….how do we begin the process of changing or transforming a situation in our life which has played out its usefulness; one which we know, instinctively, no longer serves our practice of peace. Sometimes these situations seem to linger on despite our best wishes to be rid of them. For instance, we may know from our gut that the job we currently hold is no longer where we need to be; that our talents and skills could best be utilized in other ways. We become heavily dissatisfied and hold strong wishes for the situation to transform yet, for some reason, it lingers on and on…nothing seems to change at all and we feel stagnant.
As I look around at all the changes that occur in springtime – the budding leaves on the trees, the blooming flowers and the emerging of all sorts of insects – I am reminded that we too have within ourselves that natural force of transformation. When we find ourselves with those stagnant feelings we can look to nature and find peace in the knowledge that the change we wish for will, in fact, arrive. Just as the leaves on a tree will not bud until all conditions are right, so too do our life-changes not occur until the time is appropriate; until all conditions are satisfactory.
Flowers blossom at just the right time. All of nature is in constant flux. As we look deeply into this process, we come to a realization that our entire lifetime unfolds in just the same way. Our thoughts and intentions are the seeds we plant when we know, instinctively, that it’s time for change. Each and every day, we may meditate on those intentional seeds, peacefully cultivating them and allowing them to germinate in due time.
We should not waste our time and energy dwelling negatively on our current predicament. In other words, while we’re still involved in our current job we should avoid agitating the mind and the entire situation with all the “shouldn’t be’s” and “why me’s”…”It shouldn’t be this way!!” or ” Why am I stuck here!!?” The tree doesn’t cry out in the dead of winter that its leaves should be budding NOW! The tree simply evolves with the natural process and the leaves bud when the time is right. There is no need to force anything. We should strive to bring about our life-changes in a similar way, flowing with what currently is and fully accepting it while we cultivate our intentions, lending energy and momentum to the process in a peaceful and harmonious way until, eventually and inevitably, the seeds ripen and we see the change before us. In this way, when the change does ripen it will do so in a lasting and self-sustaining way. If the tree forced its leaves to bud during winter, fighting against the natural process, the leaves would not last long at all. They would emerge and quickly die off. In the same way, when we force our intentions to ripen through mere dissatisfaction and intense mental agitation we may see change manifest but the force behind it will not sustain it peacefully and the ultimate outcome will be warped.
So, how do we begin the process of changing or transforming a situation in our life which has played out its usefulness? Flow with nature. Flow with peaceful intentions, cultivating them little by little through contemplation and meditation. See the change in the mind’s eye while dwelling peacefully with one’s current situation. Rest assured that change will eventually and inevitably ripen in lasting and self-sustaining ways through this process.
~Craig Metcalf (teacher and friend)