CONTENTMENT IN CHANGE
It has been a couple of weeks since I last wrote for #thoughtfultuesday. In truth, I was lacking inspiration and the words to compile a cohesive and contemplative blog. Over these weeks, I have felt a gnawing quiet, urging me to look within and limit my output. Amidst the grind of daily tasks this morning, I was halted by a mind utterance, which resultantly, interrupted my silent retreat. The moment a message breaks through the veil of the subconscious into the conscious is a curios phenomenon. These incidents are difficult to concretely describe, but they instill an inner wonder which cannot be ignored. I am grateful to be connected to presence, as I am sure these utterances have always resided below the surface, only I was not attuned to their existence. I relate this phenomenon to the “Call to Adventure” described by Joseph Campbell in The Hero’s Journey. Every story of heroism begins with the receival of a sacred message that propels a hero into action; the call of a journey into the unknown. The mere thought of this concept sends chills down my spine. I am left wondering how often these whispers are present, yet are unnoticed as we are too busy indulging in the loudness of the mind? I use the word “we” in my wonder as I feel that our plight as humans is the constant chatter that is the mind, which we find ourselves in continual distraction by. Before I am diagnosed with a narcissistic personality disorder, allow me to humble myself. I hold no delusions that my creative/therapeutic writing is equivalent to that of a heroic journey. Do I fantasize about being the next Harry Potter or Frodo Baggins? Absolutely. Perhaps in an alternate universe my fantasies can be actualized.
What struck me mid-sweep was how rapidly life can be turned on its head. It is rather remarkable how one can be moving along in a consistent pattern for days, weeks, months, or even years when a single incident or encounter interrupts this movement entirely. As I ruminated on this further, it occurred to me that change is instantaneous; either a difference happens or it does not, all of this unfolding in a split-second. In this case, the notion of gradual change doesn’t actually exist, it is a concept that has been developed for our mind which evidently takes time to adjust to change or recognize the occurrence of change. Why is it that humans are creatures of habit? This is a question I do not hold the answers to, but is one I find myself in tension with. I suppose there are many benefits of moving through life robotically and automatically, but for someone with a slight obsession of evolving beyond suffering and trauma, I find it increasingly aggravating. It is likely that my mounting frustration is a sign that I am seeking consistency and control over healing, which is another ploy of the mind. Sigh.
The learning amidst these contemplations is that change occurs beyond the level of the mind. Similar to the “Call to Adventure”, change resides beyond our conscious awareness and moves through us. In truth, the experience of change on its own is benign; it is simply a happening. It’s significance stems from the value we assign to the experience once the mind has detected it as change. If this rings true, perhaps change doesn’t have to be as challenging as it has been built up or expected to be. These sentiments in their entirety point to the fact that the largest hurdle exists in getting out of our own way. Whether we have liked it or not, we are experiencing a time of mass (rather forced) change. Regardless of our preferences, we are in the thick of change. The irony of situations as such is that they provide a foundation of motion for change; amidst our routines and automation we are often unable to recognize the need for change, or lack the momentum to initiate change. It is impossible (and fruitless) to predict what resides on the other side of this pandemic, but the mystery is enticing. May we all stay grounded as we weather this storm, remembering the eye of the storm is always the calmest.