A new year, and there is much exhortation to discard the old, the ill-founded, the undesirable, the staid for a different path, a brighter future…change.
If not the impetus of the new year, at some point this has or will inevitably happen – we long for, and many of us will stride forth to manufacture, change – change for the better – for less pain, more happiness, less boredom, more excitement, less busy, more leisure, more solitude, and so on.
And if you are like me, we also seek some form of confirmation, of that moment of change when we can identify it has come, that somehow our life is now not what it used to be.
Ironically, change has been, is and will be occurring. As Benjamin Disraeli said, “Change is inevitable. Change is constant.”
The question is do we recognize change, and if not, why not? How did we fail to appreciate it?
- It’s a matter of attention
In our minds filled with memories, we are still fixated with our old stories – old values, old strictures, old beliefs, old ideals – and our life continues to be reflected from them such that we could not see the ‘new’ or the ‘altered’. Old habits die hard.
Sometimes, change does not occur with the ‘new’ substituting ‘old’, sometimes ‘new’ is added or ‘new’ is an altered state. It is easy to not notice this expansion in experience, especially when we are not looking out for it.
We can be so busy ‘questing’ and stuck with certain goals in mind; and then fail to appreciate the moments which indicate movement, progress, change.
Sometimes we simply are not present to our moments, to the near imperceptible difference that is happening in our lives…all the time.
- A witness to our life
I had a conversation with a long-time friend who said she has noticed my journey of personal growth and development, my conflicts and struggle for self-awareness and to make a difference in the world I inhabit.
Having a witness to our life makes us aware of change…someone who is on the journey alongside us and will tell us our story, our evolving story in those moments when we fail to see, those moments of doubt. A witness who will attest to the heartbreaks and disappointments, our struggle and also our accomplishments and our joys.
To quote a line from the 2004 movie “Shall we dance?”:
‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.’
- It’s a gradual process
Another reason why we may not recognize the change in our life may be our expectation. Change is rarely a momentous occasion but a gradual process. Thus my friend’s view of the change in my life is not in naming an occasion but identifying a journey.
And the interesting thing about life is, we make choices in every moment of our life and each of these moments create a different future – change. Are we present to these choices we make? Do we appreciate their significance?
It is imperative that we be present to what is, to be conscious to the choices we make, and pay attention to and be open to our life experience expanding. Change is moving through our life, we just have to be present and see it.
Change is a process, not an event.
I am not one who makes new year resolutions. I have ‘new’ intentions – to pay greater attention to the choices I make and be more present to the changes occurring in my life.
What are your intentions this year?
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