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The Paradox of Change

There’s something about soaking in the fullness of summer that invites a lull; the proverbial lazy hazy days of summer. Yet, given the ongoing pandemic restrictions, and the turbulence of sending the kids back to school (wherever and however that may be), many of us are experiencing that lull layered on with a profound fatigue that stems from maintaining a prolonged state of hyper vigilance. There is so much vying for our heightened attention and energy even outside of the normal stressors of daily living, including: health, wellness, finances, absence of routine, maintaining social connections, race relations, politics, you name it. It feels like everything is “up” at the same time, leaving us to navigate it all in a state of pure overwhelm. So much so, that there may be a little more lazing happening than usual.

Are you feeling it, too?

I admit to feeling a little thrill earlier this week noticing the first yellow leaves fall from the cottonwoods in my backyard, and the glorious hints of red tipping the maples on my walks through the neighborhood. Not only because I adore autumn, but because I could feel the promise of change that this ushers. The daylight dwindling, the temperatures beginning to cool…

Nature knows how to do this dance with change, and by extension, so do we. We are reminded, thankfully, that nothing stays the same and that if we embrace the lull, if we lean into the overwhelm, that eventually change will come for us and give us the little tug we need to engage with life once again.

Wait a second. Thankfully? Did I just say, “thankfully nothing stays the same?” That feels strange to consider, right? When there is so much in our lives that we want to hold onto? So much preciousness we want to keep forever? But the thing about cycles is they serve an essential purpose. Without this natural rhythm of change, without the disruption, the hiccups, and the stirring up, we would be stuck.

Like many of us are feeling right now.

Without the dying of what is, there would be no growth. Without the winds of change, we would stay in this perpetual state of fullness; a fullness that, as we’ve come to experience these past four months or more, has settled into an uncomfortable state of overwhelm.

So, what does it feel like to embrace the coming change, especially if it is something you want? And, what might it feel like to find a way to welcome all coming changes, even the ones you didn’t sign up for? Like a disappointment, or an illness, or a death?

We’d love to hear from you – your thoughts about this post and how you are navigating this paradox of change. On the main page of our website www.endinmindproject.org we have a feature where you can record your story and let us know how it’s going.

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