“There is nothing permanent except change.” –Heraclitus
Change. Just the word brings up various emotions for people. Some get excited for change, but often it is met with discomfort and longing for what was. When change comes our way what do we do? I use the analogy of a river with my clients. Life is like a river, constantly flowing and moving. When we find ourselves resisting change, it is like we are on a large rock in the middle of the river. It becomes comfortable on the rock. We get familiar with the scenery and sounds. While it may not be ideal, it becomes predictable. But, after a while the river rises and begins to push us off the rock. We may cling to the rock for a while and resist the changes, but eventually the water will rise enough to push us off. Our natural reaction is to get back to the rock. We swim as hard as we can, but the current of life continues to push us and no matter how hard we try, we can’t get back to the rock. Once we give in and recognize that there is no other choice, we allow ourselves to go with the flow of the river. Life isn’t about finding a rock we like and staying stuck there for the rest of our lives, it about building a strong canoe that can support us as we go down the river of life. Friends we enjoy, family support, a career we love, gratitude, compassion and joy are all reinforcements on the canoe. When we have a sturdy canoe, we know that the river may have some turbulent waters or even thorny overgrowth battering us, but it also has beautiful vistas and calm peaceful stretches. When we focus on strengthening our canoe instead of the rock we once had, we are able to go with the flow of life. We embrace change as a natural part of our own evolution. All explorers know the thrill of not knowing what is ahead and going anyway. Life is a journey, an adventure that is full of change. So, strengthen your canoe and enjoy the ride!