We are Born to Change
Has anyone said to you "a leopard doesn't change its spots" or "you will never change"? Whenever anyone has implied you were incapable of something, what did you do? Feel deflated and retreat, or transmute their negativity into positivity and expand? Personally, there has been much expansion and transformation in my life: changing from child gymnast, to model, to film star, to therapist, to meditation teacher; and moving from London, to India, to LA. If life has shown me anything it’s that nothing stays the same, and we are all born to change. Here are ways we can trigger and embrace our unfolding:
1) Don’t be afraid of change; be afraid of not changing
Change is inevitable, and when embraced, fuels adventure and curiosity. Let’s celebrate the fact that nothing ever stays the same. How wonderful it is that we are constantly expanding internally and externally. We go through many changes throughout our lives: changes in places, changes in the company we keep, changes in desires, changes in age and so on. From one moment to the next we are evolving. Rather than forcing change, we can let go of trying to manipulate reality and rest in the knowledge that everything changes with time. Not changing is therefore not an option.
2) The body is build to adapt
When we are exposed to the sun our skin produces melatonin and darkens. If we begin to drink alcohol the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase increases to break down the alcohol. Mothers breastmilk changes on a feed-by-feed basis to perfectly fit the baby, and produces antibodies if the baby is sick. When we lift heavy weights our muscles grow. When our intake of calories is less than our output we lose weight. When we meditate we literally rewire our brains so that we are more able to focus and more resilient to stress. If we scanned your brain now and you began to meditate for 20 minutes a day, and then we scanned your brain in 8 weeks you would have a different brain. Neuroplasticity shows that our brains can change throughout our lives. The body has no argument with change and adapts over time. Its cells are in direct connection with the intelligence inherent in nature. Its atoms happily age and dissolve back into the earth to be recycled.
3) Meditate to become adaptable
Meditation enables us to become versatile and adaptable in an ever changing world. When calm our brain becomes more coherent and we are able to access our creativity and find solutions. The more times we practice meditation the more creative solutions arise and the more adaptable we become. I have created the guided meditation above for adaptability. It is available to buy online with or without music or as part of a master pack. For non-guided meditation I recommend learning the technique of Transcendental Meditation (TM) www.tm.org
4) It’s better to bend than to break
When the wind blows against a tree, the tree uses the opposing force to strengthen its bark. Flowers and fauna grow out of minute cracks, making use of any available space. DNA morphs and evolves so organisms can thrive in ever changing environments. One of my favorite examples of transformation is the pale Peppered Moth. This little creature turned black following the Industrial Revolution in Britain. The evolution occurred over two decades enabling the moth to blend in against the soot covered trees and avoid predators. I’m always in awe of nature’s creativity and adaptability. Sometimes we forget that we are part of nature and can adapt.
By Aruna Shields (CHP, MBCT) Therapist, Meditation Teacher and Mentor