Ripples #1304: Befriending Change

Am I a victim of changes, which are ALWAYS happening?
Or am I a participant of life, which is happening NOW?
~Mike Kocik, shared by Julie in Wausau, WI (who appreciated this bit of wisdom her friend Mike shared with her)

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; don’t wish things were different. That only creates sorrow. Go along. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. Be like a pebble carried effortlessly along the stream of life.
~Vernon Howard, as shared by Stefan in Sweden, who clarified the actual source of this wisdom often incorrectly attirubted to Lao Tzu


Several years ago I was preparing a keynote address for a gathering of campus recreation professionals (shout out to my NIRSA peeps!). Since the planning team had chosen the topic of change as the conference theme, and I knew that the attendees would be familiar with physical fitness terminology, I framed my content around what I decided to call “evolution fitness” that focused on four components:

  • flexibility: cultivating dexterity for adapting to changing conditions
  • strength: bolstering one’s ability to take action despite resistance
  • endurance: extending the capacity to persevere through long stretches of hardship
  • balance: remaining steady & upright even during turbulent times.

I’ve come back to these many times in the years since I gave that talk. I’ve included it in several other talks I’ve given since, and they’ve helped me manage change in my own life, too.

Since It seems like more of us are facing more changes more often than ever before, I figured these quotes might provide a useful reminder and also a helpful boost. Sure, it may be a little annoying that change is a nearly constant part of life these days, but there’s also a potential upside: it gives us a chance to improve our evolution fitness!

How might a little more flexibility, strength, endurance and/or balance help you befriend change?

P.S. If change is a thing for you, I invite you to wade through a whole bunch of previous issues that explore the topic of change.

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