Change is Inevitable
“Change is inevitable” they say, and a good thing too. We don’t always want OR need things to stay the same. It might be great when “what is” IS great, but when the chips are down change can also be a very welcome thing!
A friend of mine used to have a favorite saying. “Knees Bent” he’d say. I apply that saying to life all the time, especially with regards to the changing events of life. “Knees Bent”. That means “Whatever happens if your knees are bent you’re more able to ride the waves. And absorb the shocks as well!”.
Nature exudes “Change is Inevitable”
Nature is a wonderful teacher – at least with regards the truly important lessons in life. Everything in nature teaches us about surrendering to change.
It’s the end of April 2021 as I write this, down here in New Zealand, and the weather is beginning to turn toward Winter, while the US and other northern hemisphere countries are welcoming in Spring and heading towards the long days of Summer.
Nowhere in Nature do you see resistance to these changes, in fact everything begins to turn away from what was and toward what is with profound grace.
My daughter and I live here at the bottom of New Zealand, in a rural country province that is a mix of coastal temperate rainforest and pastural farmland. Not unlike Washington State in fact – an equally beautiful part of the world.
I came home to the very south of the South Island after 25 years in California, including the last 15 in Los Angeles, as a result of the pandemic. I doubt I could have chosen a greater change of environment and lifestyle.
Change requires Sacrifice
Things are very normal here, compared to many other countries around the world as we well know. It’s true that New Zealand “beat Covid”, we had only a 4 week lockdown in April of 2020. There’s been no mandatory masking down here in Southland, and no social distancing from May 2020 onward.
Even as the North of the country went back into lockdown a few months ago, we stayed free and easy down here on the “other island”. There’s even quarantine-free travel with Australia as of this week, and in fact for the people here the greatest inconvenience of Covid has been delayed mail and products.
While it’s great to have helped my daughter avoid the psychological effects of the pandemic, it certainly didn’t come without sacrifice. I’ve written about that ein previous blogs. Everything worthwhile takes sacrifice.
A spiritual teacher of mine used to say Sacrifice means “to make sacred”. Making the choice to move towards what is “sacred” allows you to let go of what you were holding on to. What might have been sacred changes over time, and you can’t hold onto both.
Nature is always making things sacred
The trees here are making sacred their next incarnation as well. They are sacrificing their Spring and Summer foliage for the long dark winter ahead. They’re literally losing part of themselves. They don’t seem to mind.
For those of you who live in climates where the seasons are noticeable in this way, you know how powerful a signal that is for Change in your world. For us who lived in Southern California for many years that’s something that’s quite novel!
We have a gravel road that runs alongside the 2 acre property we live on, and it’s lined with a tall stand of Italian Alders. I was told by my neighbors to “watch for their leaves falling” – as that would herald the unusually warm and dry weather of the past few weeks is over, and we are finally entering into the long dark winter here.
Sure enough, yesterday they began to shed, and while I’m not keen on the emergence of the neighboring farm (and it’s early morning rooster), it IS a pure and beautiful sight to see them fluttering to the ground.
Nature welcomes change, and since we’re part of Nature, I think it’s a good practice for us to do that too.
A Practical example of Change as Inevitable
For my work with Blumvox the latest change means our typically afternoon meetings have become early morning for me. This is the result of Daylight Savings in the Northern Hemisphere and the ending of Daylight Savings here. Those meetings are with our Ad Agency, Steve and our Leadership Team, and Tech and Marketing, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
It’s likely not surprising that none of us on the creative team are early morning people, and while they meet in the afternoon Pacific and Eastern time (with brains well-operational), for me that’s an 8am start. Ooomf.
When we got here to NZ last year those meetings were at 6am, and thankfully after a month of seeing me on zoom in a beanie and scarf and sitting in the dark the Team took pity on me (or perhaps felt like they’d enjoy my active mental presence!) and shifted to 2hrs later. It was still hard, considering I often finished work at a highly creative 1am, but 8am was a welcome change still. It only got better from there, once the times flipped around in September I was able to enjoy a fully activated brain and a 10am start and a warming Sun well above the horizon!
The Summer here at the bottom of the world rises at 5:30am and sets at 10:30pm, while in the Winter it rises at 8:30 and sets at 4:00pm. Change is very apparent here.
Everything Changes…and so can we
This year, and after all that has already been “lost” (read “sacrificed”). I am now in a place of welcoming the time flip and even the earlier start. I recently discovered a small country store 500m up the road, and spend my mornings walking in the brisk cold air to go get my espresso.
Those of you who’ve ventured to New Zealand know that “Coffee” always means espresso, flat whites and cappuccino. Even in the most remote places. There’s no coffee pots and hours old percolation here. Even remote gas stations have fresh beans on the counter, ready for your order. So nowadays when the early morning left-brain stuff of 8am presents itself and I have to talk numbers and technical things – I’m ready.
Bending the knees, turning toward the new so it’s easier to let go of the old. Finding the benefits of a Rooster waking you up when he’s otherwise a nuisance. It’s not always this simple or this easy, and none of this is an attempt to convey that. Sometimes it’s ALL just “high water” that knocks us over as it rolls on through our lives and we feel like we can’t catch a breath.
As Steve always teaches in his classes, and even the entire class he devoted to this subject, it’s really a sense of Gratitude that can lend us the grace we need to “lose” our beautiful leaves, and welcome whatever is next with a willingness to experience it. It’s always gratitude that propels my willingness to embrace change. This is something Steve is wonderfully adept at practicing and a skill I look to him to guide our Team with, first and foremost.
Regardless of the time of day I have to be “On”, I am lucky to have a job that allowed me to come home to my family, and one that allows me to work in my PJ’s – at least from the waist down 😉
I am lucky that I can continue to be part of something that changes lives for the better, even as those lives are changed for worse sometimes. I don’t have to do it, I get to do it. That changes everything.
In closing (that might also be an opening)…
Knowing as Nature does, that change IS inevitable, we know that even if we’re heading into a dark period, the light will always return. It can be no other way.
Wishing you the courage to bend your knees and face the day with gratitude first, such that you make whatever is next a worthy and sacred moment.
Arohanui, (big love)
In celebration of Earth Day this past week – here’s a collection of stunning images of the incredible world we get to live in:
Reirani joined Blumvox in 2016 and is Steve’s Assistant for Travel and Convention Appearances as well as Marketing Co-Ordinator of Blumvox Studios, home of Steve’s wildly successful Voiceover Teaching Series. You can find her each month playing housekeeper in the live online classes with Steve and Special Guests.
She enjoys writing, teaching, and adventures with her daughter at “the edge of the world”, otherwise known as New Zealand.