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How To Be The Change You Want To See In The World
Most of us are familiar with the famous line given by one of the world's greatest leaders, Mahatma Gandhi; "You must be the change you want to see in the world." It's inspiring and motivational and yet when it comes time to make necessary changes in our lives, we often find it challenging and hesitate to begin. We look for ways to make it easier. Real change often requires uncomfortable transitions and it helps to know how we can move through these transitions with less resistance.
There are organic changes that come naturally as in a seed taking root or the change from a cocoon to a butterfly, a baby entering the world, a boy becoming a man. Although these require internal, transformational change, the effort is made from within, as we see below.
Change is a natural, evolving part of being human. Without change, we stagnate and are less than we are meant to be. We often feel that changes need to be made in our lives, but we don't know how to begin. The first step is realizing that it will require effort, but it doesn't need to be difficult when we understand that real change comes from within.
Change Comes From Within
A tiny stem emerges through the hardened soil, triumphant in its transition from a sprouted seed to a single, slender, glorious stem.
A caterpillar wraps itself into a dark cocoon and begins the transformation inside a silvery chrysalis, laboring to emerge as a delicate, vibrantly colorful butterfly.
A baby positioned to make its entry into the awaiting world follows the cues of the mother's body, as it contracts and opens and expands to make ready the birth canal for the baby's grand voyage into living, open, breath life.
Change Comes In Different Stages
Change comes in different stages, but it's never the beginning or the end that is the most difficult, it is the period of transition which requires the most focus and labor. Transition is the bridge that makes change possible. The time required varies according to conditions. But in most cases, it does mean transformation is eminent.
The stem will continue to grow and a flower will appear, providing all conditions are favorable. The flower may attract the bees and butterflies to provide nectar for the continuing propagation of life.
The butterfly will continue to grow and feed and nourish throughout its short life cycle. They remind us of of the beauty and fragility of life.
The newborn will grow rapidly and continue to form throughout different stages of it's life until adulthood is reached. The adult will also continue to adapt and go through life stages until the final passage of death.
If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.— Mahatma Ghandi
How To Make Transition Less Difficult
How can we make the transition of change less difficult? Being prepared to the best of our ability can always help. Realizing there will be necessary shifts to accelerate or decelerate the process can help cushion the uncertainty and apprehensive period that often accompanies this transitional phase. Realizing that it is a crucial and necessary part of change, and that it won't last forever, can help us focus on moving through the uneasiness. Focusing on the end goal with visualization, meditation, yoga or by practicing body relaxation techniques can help calm the mind and body. A simple calming breath can help relax the mind and body.
Don't Give up During The Transitional Phase
As human beings, we can add emotional layers to help ease a transition, by using humor, empathy, compassion, resolve, tenacity, courage and understanding. We can even forewarn others to bear with us and support us while we make the transformation from cocoon to butterfly.
As humans we can reach out and support and encourage and cheer each other on as we make the necessary transitions that life requires from each of us. If we fail to make it through the transitional period, the change is not complete. The transformation will be delayed or suspended when change was eminent. Don't give up!
Man In The Mirror - Michael Jackson
" You Must Be The Change You Want To See In The World"
Whether it be the transition of birth, to middle school, to college graduate, to first job, to marriage, to fatherhood, to new job, to new home, to loss, to widowhood, to disability, to retirement, to whatever life changes we face, we can ease the transition by accepting that change is a dynamic, essential part of life. Making a change in character or lifestyle requires a good look in the mirror, and wanting to make the very best of our human existence.
Although not always easy, we should embrace change and realize by doing so, our own human potential enlarges and expands. Life is a journey, the grand circle of life, make it amazing!
"You must be the change you want to see in the world" Mahatma Gandhi