The Impermanence of Life – Sink Into It!
Life is Impermanent. Nothing stays the same. Change is an inevitable part of what we need to accept about life. What is happening in this moment will soon move on to the next moment where the flow of life moves and brings something new. On some level we know this because we have each experienced life in its changing state. Yet, often we cringe as we feel the edge of change embarking on life as we know it. For whatever reason, we resist. We may be afraid of what’s around the corner, or we may be caught up in thinking that certain things have to be a certain way in order for us to gain happiness, or we may just feel like life is moving too fast for us to control all that is happening. Perhaps we have our mind set on what we think needs to be. Yet, we have no control over the inevitable – life changes.
Spiritual wisdom tells us that when we resist, we bring about suffering. When we push to control change or block change, we bring suffering into our life. Real contentment is found in the opposite action. Leaning into change, embracing the impermanence of our moments, being an observer of change and activity participating in change will bring us solace.
Kelly McGonigal speaks of change in her CD series Neuroscience of Change. (Kelly McGonigal, 2012) She suggests three ways to handle change.
First, have willingness and courage to go beyond our comfort zone. Engage in what is coming about. Change is here, so go with it and allow expansion in your life, even when it is beyond your box of comfort and sameness.
Second, sink into a sense of surrender as the flow of life is bigger than our own individual perspective. As we know change is happening, engage in change while understanding that we cannot fully control it.
And last, have a quality of self-awareness – both of what you are doing and what your inner experiences are. Pay attention to your motivations, your fears, and your attempts to try to control or resist change.
So with willingness and courage expand beyond your comfort zone. Allowing yourself to surrender “into” the flow of change fully participating while letting go of the need to control how the change will go, and stay aware of your own actions and inner experiences so that you can gently nudge yourself through the moments that you could allow fear to take over.
Without change we will not grow. Use change as the opportunity to catapult yourself from the mundane and step into it. It is the unknown, but if we resist we bring about suffering, often bringing in what we fear most. Instead, realize that change is a constant and allow yourself to embrace it with the excitement of the unknown that you will be lead where you need to be lead.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
- Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.
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