Here in the northeast of the US, it will be winter for a while yet. It’s still cold and there is a lot of snow on the ground. And yet, the first week of March is around the corner. Change is in the air, even if it will be a while before we have truly left winter behind.
On my daily hikes, I hear birdsong from the smallest of birds – calling to each other. And in the rivers, Mallards seem to be busy swimming around in large groups and generally making a lot of noise.
This reminds me about how I have experienced change in myself. Sometimes that change has occurred quickly, but mostly it has been a gradual process.
Change is inevitable. And although we all know this, we actually find it hard to experience because it implies letting go. It turns out we are wanting creatures, we desire things, and we like to hold on, long after something has passed.
Change can be exciting, and it can be unsettling. Change can be destructive, and it can foster new beginnings. Change is usually accompanied by a sense of being destabilized in some way. When change is exciting, there is a lot of positive energy, we are amped up. When it is unwelcome, we find it hard to settle.
I learned some time ago, that when I feel unsettled, there is no denying it. If I can, I go for a walk. If there is a friend available, I ask if I can talk with them, either then or sometime later. Putting words to those feelings, no matter how inadequate they seem to be, is helpful. If no friend is available, I write down a few words on a piece of paper. Writing long hand, helps to slow the process of thinking and supports identifying the emotions.
When I can, finding time to practice meditation, to sit, paying attention to my breathing and to the physical sensations of the body, helps to remind me of the experience I am having in those moments, rather than what has occurred during the day. In this way I am learning to let go, over and over again.
Sligo Glen: Walking Into Silence, David Whyte. “Imagine a path before you and imagine as you walk it the path worn deeper and deeper into the ground so that as it beckons you further into the narrow valley and under the roof of spreading trees, the sides of the path rear up to hold you and enclose you and the walls of this path are white stone covered with ivy and lichen and green moss and that by walking this path into the enclosed earth you had entered a pure, innocent and hidden silence for which you realize amid the noise and tumult of your own creation, you had waited years.”
Change is part of the rhythm of life. It takes love and courage to acknowledge that part of change, is letting go.