Everything changes. Depending on the type, timing and initial perception of change, you habitually tend to label each change as good or bad. Typically, what you label a good change provides something you desire – some type of gain - and a bad change includes something you don’t want - some type of loss. The loss could include anything from a relationship, job, finances, health, self-esteem, personal/professional identity, etc. Ironically, sometimes the changes you initially label bad, often turn out with the wisdom and perspective of time to be your greatest gains - experiences that lead you to exactly where you need to be.
Everything changes. According to Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, to label any change as essentially good or bad fails to account for the construct of “interbeing,” our interconnection with everyone and everything, coupled with the dynamic flow of life. He details the construct of “interbeing” in his famous Flowers and Garbage dharma talk, depicting change as organic and interdependent. Change contains both good and bad elements, depending on how you perceive, interpret and interact with each change encounter. What you might initially experience as desired and beautiful about something – the flower aspect – can ultimately decay, revealing its garbage aspect. Fortunately, the reverse is true as well. The decay of the flower provides the requisite nutrients to nurture the gestation and growth of the next flower. Similarly, the growing of the exquisite lotus flower requires a bed of mud in order to unfold.
Everything changes. Both flower and garbage aspects of change are innate, interdependent and critical for the ongoing regeneration of life. I am not suggesting that you should like or enjoy every change experience – especially the most painful ones; many changes are objectively disturbing and seemingly unbearable. What I am suggesting is that when you are open to the recognition and experience of both flower and garbage aspects of change, this recognition can profoundly impact your experience of and resourcefulness around change. You get to choose what to be open to and focus on. What will you choose today? Enjoy stepping into and playing with the possibilities!
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Thinking Small for Big Results