Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The work of change

Today I was thinking about making change and the sheer hard work that is involved. The changes can be physical or psychological or both. Whichever it is, this is what I've come to realise: many people want things to be different but nobody wants to change. Change is hard work. Lasting change initially makes you uncomfortable to the core. It’s painful. It makes you question what you believe about yourself and others. If you want just how confusing change can be try this simple experiment: next time you're dressing, start by inserting the opposite arm to the one you usually use first for your top/shirt or use the opposite leg for pants/trousers. It feels weird. It challenges the habit—the practiced response. We have to kill off the old thinking pattern to develop new ones. Neither of those is palatable. Change involves a death of sorts. There is a mourning period to be observed. The most painful period is that between the old and the new. It is uncomfortable sitting with the dormant; the things that are yet to emerge. Like trees with bare branches waiting for spring to unfold their new leaves, it’s easy to notice only nakedness; to think about the dying colours of autumn, to feel the sting of winter rain though the branches instead of focusing on the sky revealed. The old must be destroyed to make way for the new—new habits, new thinking, new writing. Don't be afraid to sit under that barren tree. Look up to the sky. Use a different starting point; wait patiently. Before you know it, everything will be in bloom again.