Always in motion

Change is the only constant. Sounds a bit of a cliche to me today because you come across this in many motivational forwards. And yet I was not fully aware of this truth, this law of the universe some fifteen years ago.

It was actually a young twenty something who opened my eyes and made me ponder. I wanted to give her a gift and asked her if she liked a certain piece of jewellery in a catalogue. The word ‘forever’ was engraved on that piece of jewellery and she turned round and confessed that she did not believe in ‘forever’. At first, I had thought that she was too cynical for her age. But the more I thought about her explanation, the more I appreciated her wisdom at such a young age.

Just think of the changing seasons and the tides and other cycles and rhythms of the universe; how change occurs as a result of biology or the passage of time. Nature is always in motion. And we can learn a lot from it (like I wrote in my blog the Empty Nest).

Yet, we human beings, somehow become so set in our ways and our lifestyles, our behaviour, our thinking, especially with age, that we fear and resist change. In fact, sometimes we even deny that the change has already occurred. That mind-set keeps us stuck. Change is going to happen whether we like it or not. But we get too comfortable in our everyday lives, in our work as well as our relationships, even if they are not optimal.

Let me give you what will seem a rather insignificant example. The other day I was trying to make some place on my kitchen worktop for a new juicer. My husband came up with a suggestion which once upon a time I would have resisted and even rejected for the sake of the status quo. I liked things just as they were. And I definitely did not care for someone else to mess things up in my kitchen. But I was more open this time round and surprised myself, as well as my better half, by going along with his re- arrangement without any fuss. The small change made accessibility easier and what is significant is that I had this strange feeling of freedom, as if I had thrown off my shackles of habitual behaviour , of doing things in a particular way only. If one starts the shift in one’s attitude with baby steps, maybe one can come to understand that change can very often be a positive thing.

This incident reminded me of my mother and how every time I visited her abroad, her flat always looked different. Every single time. And all she had done was move pieces around so that the rooms got a make-over. Whereas in my home there was a period in my life when nothing moved, not even myself. That is until recently when I not only learnt that your environment becomes you and that clutter stagnates but also experienced the lightness in mind and body after decluttering.

The known and familiar lulls us into a false sense of security and the thought of doing something different paralyses us. Then when change is thrust upon you by way of circumstances or fate especially in the form of trauma and you are forced into examining your life and make changes, it can be difficult to take control and be responsible for the direction you want to steer your life in. Unless you embrace the notion that change is inevitable, let go of the fear and and also act upon it. Change means stepping out of your comfort zone and that is why it can be frightening. But you do not really live till you challenge yourself to step out of the known and familiar, take control of the steering -wheel of your life rather than just let things happen That way you can keep alive the exuberance for life as well.

My trauma came in the form of two bouts of cancer, one after the other. Surprisingly, I handled them both in my stride and learned to accept as well as adapt. But it definitely opened my eyes to the need for change in my lifestyle. Putting the change into action is not that easy, I will admit. But I know what needs to be changed and that is a start. I keep falling but I pick myself up again with the confidence that I am moving in the right direction. I was lucky to get a wake-up call. But why wait? Is there something you would like to change but are not doing anything about it??

Perhaps the global pandemic today is one such situation which has created such devastating upheaval that people are talking about “the new normal”. It is a change which has been thrust upon us but adapt we must. Just like the time during the Industrial Revolution or after the two World Wars or even as recent as the dawn of the technological era. During this crisis, many people have discovered new ways of working or taken up new hobbies or changed careers. The economic gloom hangs over the world like a shroud but if we only sit and lament the changes we cannot transform and move forward.

Dr Spencer Johnson, in his amusing and enlightening book, Who moved the cheese? writes:

“A change imposed is a change opposed”

On the other hand, “If you do not change, you become extinct”. So why not be part of the change and enjoy it? There is definitely new cheese out there.

Watch and learn more from the four allegorical characters in the parable who live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy.

4 thoughts on “Always in motion

  1. Superb and flawlessly expressed…Changing and adapting to whatever life throws to you is the same as compromising to your circumstances…and the one who successfully achieves that level shall be the winner…isn’t it true?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. life is impermanent! why so controlling and grasping tight onto things 100%!! try letting go and enjoy the freedom : )


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