Embrace Change

by : Mark Susnow

We all have a unique way of communicating our story, a way that reflects our life experience. The photographer uses a camera, the artist a brush, and the musician a melody or rhythm. But as the years go by our story changes. We look through a different filter, paint with a different color, sing a different song or feel a different rhythm. This past June family members came from all over the country to celebrate my son’s graduation from high school. While sitting on the baseball field with picturesque mountains in the background, memories of parenting flooded my mind. I thought about how rapidly my children had changed and how I had to let go of some of my expectations in order to stay connected with them. As I eagerly awaited the moment of my son’s graduation, the valedictorian read an inspiring poem and a few students performed original inspirational songs for the occasion. And then the principal addressed the students and their families. She made reference to Spencer Johnson’s classic parable about change, “Who Moved My Cheese.” It is a paradox of life that while our children change rapidly, we as adults try to put the brakes on the speed of change. We like to think to some degree we are in control of our life by holding on to what we’re used too. “No,” Hem quickly responded. “I like it here. It’s comfortable. It’s what I know. Besides it’s dangerous out there.” Johnson, Spencer “Who Moved My Cheese?”

During periods of my life I’ve resisted change, enjoying the moment, not wanting it to end. But eventually it does end and I begin a new phase that is not necessarily what I was hoping for. I’ve learned through the years that letting go and trusting that the change will be exciting, vibrant and full of new challenges, offers me a new way to look at life… a life in which everyday is new. Haw said, ”Sometimes, Hem, things change and they are never the same again. This looks like one of those times. That’s life! Life moves on. And so should we.” Johnson, Spencer. “Who Moved My Cheese?”

Just look at nature’s cycles. Trees bud in the spring and by summer they are full of delicious fruit. In the Autumn, leaves fall to the ground and when winter arrives, the trees are barren and the cycle begins anew. You know for certain there’s an intelligence in nature’s way of doing things.

What if we looked at life in this way? Since we know there are cycles in our lives, we can prepare for the inevitable next cycle. We know it will be colder in the winter and warmer in the summer, so we dress accordingly. We do not resist the cycles of nature, so let us not resist the cycles of our lives.

Now, here’s the good part. If we know there are changes coming we can prepare ourselves by becoming more flexible and adaptable. If we know there are changes coming we can enjoy the moments when things are going well and when they are not, we can look forward to a better future. By embracing change as a way of life, we can look forward to change as opportunity, as adventure, as possibility.

It is essential that we have the tools to prepare us for this new way of thinking. Today there’s an increasing awareness of teachings from many different walks of life that encourage us to be more open and flexible. As we look inward and take time for reflection through meditation and prayer we are more accepting of our differences and unique rhythms. And as we continue to expand we can embrace change as a way of life.

Let me know what is changing in your life. I love receiving your many responses and feedback. Thank you and keep them coming. Feel free to pass this letter on to the friends in your circle and let them know about the advantages of being on the journey.

Speak with you soon,