7 Keys for Braving the Storms of Change

The pace of change is quickening exponentially, while our ability to contain it falls further behind. The idea of being in control of everything is being replaced with the recognition that, in truth, we are in control of very little.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

If it weren't already crystal clear before now, there can no longer be any doubt. Something is definitely 'up'. And whatever that thing is that's 'up', it's getting more and more 'up' by the moment.

To what am I referring, you ask? I've been writing about 'it' for the past two and a half years here on the Living page, calling 'it' things like "the collective awakening" and "global transformation." The indigenous people call it "The Great Shift of the Ages". Whatever we call 'it', the name is not same as the thing itself.

None of our labels can adequately convey the experience we're having, going through this time of intense, turbulent change. In an earlier article I wrote on this topic, I quoted Marilyn Ferguson, author of The Aquarian Conspiracy, who referred to this experience as something akin to being in between trapezes, when the one you just released is long behind and next one isn't even in sight. Or Linus, when his blanket is in the dryer. When the waves wash in and the floor drops out, what do we do?

For a long time, we were able to pretend that whatever 'this' was, was just some small, local phenomenon that was happening "over there" to "somebody else". "Oil spills, earthquakes and tsunamis aren't a part of my life", we used to think. But now we're all paying higher prices at the gas pump and in the grocery store precisely because of these kinds of events. But that's just the beginning.

Nuclear meltdown in Japan? Elevated levels of radiation in LA? A potentially contaminated food and milk supply here in the U.S.? When did these become part of our lexicon? Yet now these terms roll off the tongue as easily as a recitation of the Dow Jones closing averages.

No, something is definitely more 'up' than ever before and this is no time to be in denial. The pace of change is quickening exponentially while our ability to contain it falls further behind. The idea of being in control of everything is being replaced with the recognition that in truth, we are in control of very little. We are more and more coming to see just how little real estate our actual sphere of control occupies. And yet.......that tiny piece of real estate we do control, our ability to choose in the moment, ends up being pretty much the whole deal.

Choice is a gift you give yourself

Oddly enough, the power of being able to choose how you'll meet each moment is a gift, one few people appreciate or apply. That may seem like second nature to you, I know. Your growing awareness of this gift is most likely part of what has you here, on the Living page, in search of what can further support you in your quest to be more conscious in the world and in your life. And that awareness is also what opens other portals of resources, draws you to certain books, see certain movies, attend certain lectures and seminars on topics that help you continue to expand.

Like everyone else, I too must admit, I don't always remember to use this gift all the time. Sometimes I'd like to be able to be in denial for just a minute. Can you relate? We're creatures of habit, and as conscious as we think we may be, we all have our moments of slippage.

I still much prefer to think about "lovely things" like love, peace, joy and abundance; like home and family and matters of the heart, and I heartily recommend it as a place to reside. But even so, with cable TV, the Internet, Twitter, Facebook, etc., we are instantly made aware of what's going on everywhere, all at the same time, and the challenge is to maintain one's footing in knowing the truth while navigating through the storms.

Yes, we can "unplug and recharge", we can cut the cable and turn off the TV, we can limit our access to the Internet, etc. Or we can slow down the pace from time to time by escaping to somewhere, say, like the island of Phuket, in Thailand. Or hang out in Haiti, seek refuge in New Zealand or climb the Andes in Chile. But did you notice that each one of these Shangri-la's was visited by a catastrophic act of nature sometime in the not so distant past? Change knows no boundaries. There is ultimately no place to go to escape 'it'.

The turbulence that is so characteristic of these times will find us, and one way or another, and we will be required to pay attention and adapt. In the end, denial and escape are temporary fixes at best. We're still living on planet Earth and change is the name of the ocean in which we swim. Best to wax up the surfboard and head on out to sea and learn how to surf this puppy!

But what are we really talking about? Literal tsunamis? We saw what happened in Japan, so let's not kid ourselves about the remoteness of that possibility. A tsunami in Japan caused millions of dollars of damage to some of our harbors here on the West coast. So it can happen here. And we're constantly reminded that it's not a matter of if, but when the "the Big one", the 8.0 earthquake or higher, will come to shake up things here in California.

As much as the effects of climate change are now a hot topic, what we're really talking about is the process of change itself, and the pace at which it keeps accelerating. We are living in a constant stream of data, a veritable tsunami of information, and whether we pay attention to it or not, these incoming missiles of information are energy fields that take up residency in our unconscious. So even if we disconnect electronically, even if we get away to a remote island, consciously or unconsciously, we're still being impacted by what's going on "out there". There's no way around it. Everything is connected.

And yet, in spite of all this, life goes on. And here we are. We're still breathing, still putting one foot in front of the other, still doing what we do, loving who we love, being who we are, all the while perhaps still trying to figure out what in the heck is going on and wondering, if and when, life will slow down long enough to let us catch our breaths before the next onslaught.

7 essential supplies for the journey

I'm back posting again after taking off a couple of weeks to prepare for my daughter's wedding which took place last weekend. I'm thrilled and infinitely pleased to report that the wedding went off without a hitch, and everything was glorious. Everything that is, except for one thing: Mother Nature. She blew up one heck of a storm the night of the wedding.

Yet inside, while the winds blew and the storm raged, all was cozy. The room, in a historic building inside San Francisco's Presidio, was warmed by a blazing fire in the fireplace, filled with candlelight and flowers and a community of people bent on celebrating love. Perhaps that's a clue for how to proceed as the inner and outer storms rage.

For starters, here are some essential supplies to put in your backpack:

1. Candles. Stock up on them, you can never have too many. A few well-placed candles can transform even the dreariest spot. I needed candles when I returned home from the wedding to find the power had gone out at my house. When your power is challenged, both inner and outer, light some candles, take a few deep breaths, and let the candlelight transform you. Let it carry you to a restful, peaceful place. There is nothing you can do, so relax. Your power (inside and out) will return eventually. In the meantime, while you're waiting------

2. Settle into the silence and focus on your breath. As the outer storms beat against the windows of your psyche, prepare an inner chamber of peace and warmth to cradle your weary soul. It takes a lot of energy to brave these storms of change. Even if the change that is happening is all good, even if it's completely aligned with what you asked for, it can still be exhausting. Let this time of intensity be an opportunity for self-renewal. You're going to need it.

3. Trust and accept the moment - What is, is. No amount of resistance will change things. No matter how bad or hard things may be, whether you're buried under the rubble of a house or a heartbreak, lean into, not away from it. (I do recommend you extricate yourself from the physical version of rubble, however!) It's here for a reason. That may sound like a cliché, but it's also a truth. Life is not random. Not if you're willing to look for the lessons. And when you find them, you'll see the events are unfolding in perfect order, even if at the level of appearances, things look chaotic. Trusting and accepting the moment, means that you are free to-------

4. Choose what is. Just as it is. No conditions. No whining. Your husband just left you? Choose it. You just lost your job?. Choose it. Your wife is having an affair? Choose it. I know this sounds absurd, but stay with me here. Nobody said this would be easy. It isn't. So why would I be promoting such a strategy? Doesn't it sound counter-intuitive? Exercising the choice to trust and accept what is opens the door to freedom and personal liberation. You are no longer chained to the past or your judgments about the present. You are now free to move about the country. Choosing what is dissolves resistance. Freedom is the reward that lies on the other side. Which takes us back to #3-- trust and accept the moment.

5. Turn to your heart for guidance ---- Your heart knows the way forward. Your head may be spinning, but your heart knows where home is. Follow it. It will lead you to what the heart does best---- connection. Create it. And then-----

6. Surround yourself with a community of loving, kindred spirits------ whether it's family, your closest friends, the people at church, your sangha, or even a community of readers such as yourselves, it's important to be part of something larger than yourself. Love transforms the pain of loss and suffering and closes the gaps between us. Love so filled the room at the wedding last weekend, no one could even hear the winds howling or the rain beating against the windows. And then----

7. Let love in------ Let this be your sacred vow to yourself: that you now and forever more deem yourself a worthy servant to the truth of these times. That as such a servant, you understand and accept that part of your 'job' is to love yourself unconditionally. And having filled your own cup with self-love, honor, and appreciation, you have an endless supply to share with others. Share it. And watch it multiply.

This list barely scratches the surface and indeed, there is so much more to say on this subject. This tsunami of change is so huge and all encompassing, I can barely wrap my arms around it enough to write about it. I'm working this out with you as my partners. We're all in this together, so let's circle up.

Pull up a chair and share what you're getting as you navigate your own process. What change process do you see working its way through your life and what are you learning from it? How are you braving the storms? I invite your thoughts and commentary. We're all listening.


Please do leave a comment below or pay a visit to my personal blog and web site at Rx For The Soul. Become a Fan and be notified when new posts appear every Wednesday. For personal contact, reach me at judith@judithrich.com.

Many blessings along the path.

Go To Homepage

Before You Go