Is It Change or Is It Staying the Same?
Early morning in the Colorado Mountains is the best. The world is quiet and fresh with dew as the light slowly begins to creep into our little mountain valley. The animals are sleeping in, and I find myself all alone and living totally in the Yellow (aka Conceptual) part of my brain. There is so much possibility in the early morning and I revel in letting my imagination run wild. What should I do with this day?
I could ride Ace, one of our horses, bareback to the top of the James Peak Wilderness area. I could put my guitar in a backpack and climb North Arapaho Peak and create music on the mountaintop. I could start to solo hike the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango. Letting my early morning imagination run wild fills me with life! Soon enough the day will compel me to flex into the other parts of my brain that require a bit more energy but for now, I will simply let go and live in the magic of my imagination and the “what ifs.”
In many ways, morning is one of those things in life that stays the same; it always comes no matter what – even when I may want the morning to stay away. While some mornings are rainy, others hold bright sunshine, and others are windy and snowy, still morning itself has a sameness about it in its stillness and its possibilities.
And there is also change in each morning. There is just a hint of fall in the air that wasn’t there a few weeks ago. It reminds me that soon I will need to get out my chain saw and start collecting firewood for the winter. In the midst of the sameness of the morning, change is always on the way.
Being second-third Flexible impacts how I experience change. There are times when I love change and run towards it and embrace it. The changing of the seasons is one such time. It is a change that energizes me. As fall arrives I can’t wait to hit the forest and find those big old standing dead pine trees to fell and buck up and split for the winter. It fills me with life!
There are also times when change can be challenging. As someone with a strong Social preference, relationship changes are hard for me. This morning I’m remembering people at work who’ve moved on, I’m remembering partners that have broken up, I’m remembering children who have left home. These are the changes that take more energy, and I find I need to be patient with myself and to rest more when relationships change because I wear out quicker.
Change and staying the same are parts of a vibrant life, whether we revel in them or resist them. I am committed to some change in my life and I am committed to some things staying the same. Understanding the flexibility spectrum of our profiles allows us to both stay the same and change. Happy and healthy living is not about just one or the other, it is about flexing to both. Much has been written about the importance of change, things like, the only constant in life is change. I think a healthy life is about knowing when and how to change and knowing when and how to stay the same.
One of the ways I manage this balancing act is to take time to reflect. For me, morning is one of those times when I can sit (or walk), meditate and think. Being thoughtful about the present, the possibilities and the things I want to keep or change seems easier in the stillness of the morning.
While the time or place for taking a mindful approach to change may be different for everyone, one thing is certain – mindfulness does make us more resilient, whether that means accepting change or choosing to keep things the same. Learning to understand our feelings and emotions is not always easy. It takes practice, but it is worth the effort.
I encourage you to think of ways that you can embrace mindfulness to become more resilient, manage change and manage sameness. Think about the best time to settle your mind, the best location and the best method for you. Everyone is different. By taking the time to learn how to become aware of your thoughts and emotions, to reflect and to be mindful, I invite you to a full and happy life filled with both change and sameness.
By Herm Weaver
Director of Research & Development of Emergenetics International