Spare Change?

“The world never stands still. It is a constant becoming. The face of the earth—as well as the face you see in the mirror—offers clear evidence that all is flux and change.”
Robert Collier

Change: (ch nj) vt. 1. to become different; alter; vary. 2. to pass from one phase to another.

Change is one of the things in life that we can count on. It has been said that the only things you can be certain of are death and taxes, but change is another. Some things change very quickly. Some very slowly, but everything is in a state of transition. Stones seem to change very little in our perception, but that has to do with our limited ability to perceive and the short time frame with which we can observe.

Most of us are acutely aware of the impermanence of pleasure. Pleasure fades all too quickly. Emotional pain does the same thing if we will let it. Some of us forget to let go though, and the grief, sadness, anger or anxiety can seem unending. If the emotional pain seems permanent, it is probably being perpetuated by a rigidly held belief.

Beliefs can be particularly resistant to change. If they work for us in some way, we tend to cling to them, even when their relationship to reality has slipped. This is especially true when the beliefs are about ourselves. We form beliefs about ourselves at an early age. Sometimes these are based upon faulty assumptions and little kid logic. Would you as an adult ask a four-year-old child for relationship advice, or ask them about the wisdom of a particular business transaction? Of course not, but you may have based your whole life upon beliefs you formed as a very small child, who, in truth, didn’t know much about life, people or anything. It might be time to change old beliefs.

Find a quiet place where you can close your eyes and be undisturbed. Put yourself in a comfortable position and take a few slow, calming breaths. Breathe in calmly and slowly. Let the air settle deep within you. Let your chest and abdomen relax and exhale with a sigh. Just breathe for a few minutes. No hurry. Just let your breathing lead you to a state of relaxation.

Think about the earth. Imagine it, as it once was—a coalescing ball of interstellar dust. All that material coming together to form a big ball of rock. See this new planet solidifying and settling itself with much rumbling of earthquakes and spouting of volcanoes. Observe in your mind the development of an atmosphere and the collection of water in the low places. Note that what you are imagining happened over a tremendously long period of time. After not quite an eternity, plants grew on the dryer places and after an unimaginably long time animals we can’t find anymore swam in the water and walked on the land. The land split apart and oh so gradually drifted, so that there were oceans and continents. With all this continental drift, mountains were pushed up and the wind and rain washed them away and new mountain ranges were formed.

The continents continue to slide around in their own time. Some mountains are getting a little higher and some are wearing away little by little. Life forms are born and give birth to other life forms and then die. Species break off from their kind and form new life forms and some of those species continue and some are extinguished. Because some creatures continued to reproduce and flourish, you were born.

You were very small, but you grew. The cells and molecules of your body formed and deteriorated and were replaced many times. They continue to form and reform who you are. When you started out in this life, you didn’t know much, but you learned things and you continue to learn. Many things happened to you. People came into your life and some left. He sun rose and fell many times. The moon waxed and waned. The weather changed and changed back. Storms blew in and were over. Seasons changed. Years passed. Some things remained familiar, but they were not completely unchanged. Your sense of your self may have stayed relatively stable, but you are not who you were several years ago. You change with each breath. Your world forms and transforms all around you. Nothing is permanent. Nothing to cling to. No need to worry if you stay attuned to the flow. Embrace the transformation of your world. Give yourself permission to loosen your grip on conditions as you think they are now. Know that what will be is forming in the conditions of now, and you cannot control all those conditions. You can live in amazement of the eternal changing now.

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© 2001 Tom Barrett