from SF Reiki Group - posted by Janardhan
In a world where it’s seems easy to see the downside to all the economic and environmental changes that we are facing we are encouraged not to complain and take responsibility with sayings like, “When I change the world changes” and “Be the change you want to see in the world” and “Change begins with me!”. But we are usually left with more questions like why and what and how...exactly? WHY do I have to change in order to make the world a better place? Surely it’s not just up to me! And WHAT exactly is it that we need to change? And HOW and WHERE precisely do we start? And WHICH world exactly - the big wide world or my little world? WHO has the instruction manual? And WHY have those who say they have already started made so little difference?
Change happens on three levels. First - within our self, over which we have total control. Second - in the thoughts and behaviours of others, over which we have no control, but perhaps some influence. And third - in the big wide world out there, over which we have no control and almost no influence.
In the last twenty years the ‘change management’ industry has spawned an army of consultants and trainers whose mission is to help us to...manage change! However, in most instances, ‘change management’ is an oxymoron simply because when the rubber hits the road any change process in the world cannot be managed (where managed generally infers controlled) only guided or influenced at best.
It seems an obvious truth that we can never control any event in the world more than three feet away from us. We certainly cannot change other people. And yet, if we were to take a moment to do some detective work on the cause of almost all our feelings of stress we would find they arise because we are trying to control what we can never control i.e. the world and other peoples behavior.
The Enlightened Soul
It is an enlightened soul who has realized that it’s not what happens in the world out there that makes me feel this way; it’s what I do with the world out there ‘in here’ that makes me feel this way! And what we do with the world ‘out there’ begins with our perception ‘in here’. Our perception is our creation, so in a real sense we are creating the world at every moment. And what shapes our perception? Mostly it’s our beliefs. If you believe the world is a ‘dark and dangerous place’ you will more likely perceive scenes and situations as a threat. Your thoughts and feelings will contain some form of fear and your actions in life are likely to become detrimental to your happiness. Whereas if you believe the world is an ‘adventure playground’ you will see most situations and circumstances as an opportunity to be creative and playful, your thoughts and feelings will be joyful, and a steady state of happiness will more likely be your daily ‘insperience’.
So in a world of rampant change how are we to deal with what is not in our control? We know change is inevitable but we don’t know precisely how it will happen. No one teaches us how to prepare for the unknown, so perhaps there are just three questions we need to ask. Are you READY? Are you WILLING? Are you ABLE?
Are you READY?
To restore self mastery stop trying to change others in order to serve our personal agenda. This sets us free from the energy draining futility of constant failure. It’s a failure that few of us notice as we don’t realize that most of our stressful feelings (towards others and the world) are really a sign we are trying to do what is impossible i.e. change others! However, it’s hard to practice until we set our self free from the illusion that others are responsible for our happiness.
If we don’t step off our treadmill of constant mental and emotional activity we deny our self the time and space to reflect and ‘anticipate’ future change. We are then unable to discern what will be required to respond to what may be hurtling towards us!
Each of us will find our own level at which we are inclined to ‘reflect’. Some will explore ‘what’s changing’ close to home, perhaps at work, perhaps within their industry. Others will be drawn to reflect at a global level as they intuit the patterns of change in the wider world that are going to affect us all in all corners.
For example, the Bermuda Triangle is a place where boats and planes mysteriously disappear, never to be found again. As a metaphor for living in a changing world our personal Bermuda Triangle is known as Food, Shelter and Clothing. This is where most of our ‘money’ continues to disappear in ever increasing amounts! The modern Bermuda Triangle, where huge chunks of ‘time’ now seems to disappear for a whole generation, is Email, Facebook and YouTube! But the Bermuda Triangle that is about to transform all our lives, wherever we live in the world, is Energy, Economy and Environment. Many now say it’s where our current ‘lifestyle’ is about to disappear! To see how this may take place requires quiet, undisturbed reflective time, so that we may see the relationship and interconnections between these three global change factors and how they will cascade down into our personal lives. Only then can we get a more accurate sense of what we need to do to prepare.
Are You WILLING?
We often resist someone we don’t like or disapprove of and the relationship becomes stuck. But if we can put a metaphorical arm around them, walk with them, listen to them, gain their trust and respect, we remain stress free and the opportunity to influence them will inevitably arise. We only have to let go of trying to fix, alter or control them...in our own minds. We only have to make the inner shift from resistance to acceptance (which doesn’t mean approval or agreement). This frees up our willingness to embrace, which in turn releases our creativity so we can make a creative contribution to the situation. It’s that creative spark that then ignites our enthusiasm. And the two most powerful influences upon any change pattern or process in the world are creativity and enthusiasm.
The one thing that sabotages these two attributes of the ‘change agent’ is fear. Fear is always the projection of possible loss in the future. It’s our fears that we have ‘to manage’ in any change management strategy. This is when change management becomes self management. We can only change or control our own thoughts and feelings. Fear sabotages our self control as it paralyses our creativity and siphons off our enthusiasm. This explains why many appear to be willing to deal with change, even embrace change ...at first! But once they see how it may threaten to inflict some loss the willingness then dissipates, fear kicks in and then finds expression as resistance. Eliminating our fears is not so easy as it requires the realization that we have absolutely nothing to lose...ever! Simply because, in truth, nothing can ever be ‘possessed’.
Are You ABLE?
The capacity to stay light and optimistic, to forgive easily, turn any apparent problems into opportunities, help others and inspire others, are all recognized competencies of the change agent. But it still leaves us with one particular question.
What gives us the capability to meet all forms and all levels of change with an indestructible equanimity? How can we remain ‘chilled’ at the coal face of a rampantly changing world?
The wheel is always a good metaphor to remind us of how to position our self relative to what is apparently going on around us. If we live only on the surface of our life it’s like being on the outer rim of the wheel. We feel we are rushing through life and that life is rushing past us! Occasionally, and perhaps frequently, we will feel we are being adversely bumped and buffeted by events. Dealing with a changing world, locally or globally, then becomes energy sapping. But if we can get to the center of the wheel we find a stillness and a calmness that allows us to ‘observe’ the rising and falling, the ebbing and flowing, the ever revolving and evolving dramas of daily life around us. From this ‘centerdness’ we don’t waste or lose our energy. We can also sense when to travel down one of the spokes of our metaphorical wheel and participate in certain scenes and situations, for however long or short that we feel appropriate.
It’s in this centerdness that we find our deepest and most natural state, which is one of silence and stillness. This is the place, the ‘inner space’ of the self, that never changes. It’s our addiction to the stimulations of a changing inner and outer world that keeps us from being still. When we re-master the ability to ‘be in’ our natural still state we regain access to our inner peace and inner power. That is what gives us both the stability and the ability that we need to deal with whatever the world may throw at us.
Adapted from the writings of Mike George