No one wants to change. Change is hard. But change is the only constant, and today the rate of change is faster than ever.
To surf on top of the tsunami of change, rather than get crushed by it, your mindset is your most critical asset.
Every system of life is circumambulating these four questions:
- How do we face change?
- How do we move through suffering?
- How do we accept joy?
- How do we mature and serve?
These questions are built into the human experience. Sometimes you will be in all four phases at once. Life is not linear – it is this wild spiral where right now you may have this pressing question in the forefront while there are others in the background.
How do we face change?
Every culture through history – someone is always asking this question. It is the foundational question as life moves – it is not static – so how are you going to move with it. A sense of challenges coming, a restlessness that there is a next thing coming that will require you to build it or leap into the fear. Sometimes we are pushed into change – we don’t know where we are and we don’t know how we got here and we certainly don’t know how to get out of it. Whether it is a difficulty in our marriage, with our children, an economic downturn or planetary ecological danger all of us come to these moments where our temple of life comes crumbling down and we are not prepared for it. What many think are end moments – the truth is they are actually beginnings – this is how it starts over. End times are not end times – they are beginning times.
Whenever you feel that you are up against it and the only thing is to lay down and wallow in the sorrow and prepare for it all to go to death – that is not who we are – that is not our story. The darkness is where we start – it is not where we end. This is evolving consciousness – a process of breaking what we previously thought could not be broken through humility to discover the deeper roots of our existence. But do not seek to know what others knew – seek the source – find the now.
How do we move through suffering?
Once you take the risk you are in the heat, the battle, the combat and conflict with your own emotions and thoughts. You might be dealing with loss or pain – things might be falling apart as the waves come crashing in on you. Once you are in a growth or change process the next thing you are going to face is obstacles – it is inevitable – it is part of the process. There are going to be conflicts and obstacles that you have to navigate your way through. If you become stuck and paralyzed with fear – you will be forced to go back and start over again. In order to move through suffering grieving is necessary – the full range of the human experience. There is a time and a place when you need to shake your fists to the heavens – the rage against injustice and abandonment. Anger, doubt, fear, insecurity. Bring all of yourself to the forefront. You do not get through suffering by platitudes or cutting off or trying to make nice. Learning how to suffer with dignity is an essential lesson for living because we are living in a culture that doesn’t know how to grieve.
How do we accept joy?
If you navigate yourself through the obstacles and the conflicts you will arrive to the next phase of life – joy or what we may call an aha moment or an epiphany where the lights come on and you say to yourself “there is the beautiful world out there that I didn’t even know existed.” The spring of our lives. The truth that is everywhere and in everything. But then comes that transcendent moment when you make it through and you have seen something in you or around you. Usually you have been broken open and your light is now shining allowing you to see things that you never saw before – almost like you are waking up for the first time – life is more radiant. The proverbial statement that it didn’t kill you but it made you stronger.
It is always so interesting – we have all heard the stories of people losing their jobs and later speak about how it was awful and yet out of that something was birthed. Or go through a divorce and it was just a hell on earth and yet it is out of that something new gets birthed that leads to a whole new reality. There is no plan, there is no timing – people never say “I knew everything was falling apart so I enacted a three point plan of restoration.” No – it is more “and then one day I was driving around and I asked myself how long am I going to carry this bitterness around.” I have heard the same story a thousand times. There is no rhyme or reason or plan or schedule or workbook to it. When this experience happens it is like a lightning bolt. It is tears, loneliness, questions, rock bottom – and then it is stars, music and fireworks. I know this happens to me especially individually and I see it happen in my friends and my family – I know that if we stay on the journey there is going to be that moment for all of us that will move us into another level of understanding and another way of resolving the problems of the world.
That is where my hope for humanity lies. When you have those down days remember the pattern that exists because when you are patient at some point some little thing is going to be a trigger and there will be joy. Faith to me is walking the path and knowing there is a pattern. I don’t know how or what is going to happen but I know the contours of the pattern much like I know that winter is always going to be followed by spring. I can’t chart it on a calendar but I know it. The union of polarities – bringing together that which appears to be two different things.
When people suffer – at first we think it is bad and we want nothing to do with it leads us to be broken open and all of a sudden what we thought was so horrible is actually producing something good and all of a sudden everything that was in the past that we kept at a distance gets integrated into the present and then belongs and becomes celebrated.
How do we mature and serve?
It is one thing to discover joy out of the suffering – the most essential question is how do you live that life? Because just knowing that there is this bigger life out there still doesn’t prepare you to live it. To live it is a process of trial and error. Once you reach this stage you know that there is a bigger purpose for you – that you have a role to play in this greater existence of life – you have a compulsion to give back, to contribute, to serve, to love. But what does that look like?
Experiment. You know where you are headed – you know the experiment that you are engaged in but you actually have to do it. If you just get to the aha moment and you don’t do anything with it you go back to the beginning and start over again. The message is to get down and dirty.
If you cannot then what is the point of the significance of what you went through. Go to all of the places in your inner life, in your family, in the world that are cracked and ravenous and hungry and in tremendous despair and need and go and share with others about the journey that you have been on and they too can make it through by facing change and dealing with the conflict and suffering and they to can find joy out of the suffering to discover the radiance to be able to go forward and serve. Don’t just talk about it – go and do it. Serve without bitterness, without looking for applause – doing the small nitty-gritty work of changing the culture by transforming people’s hearts to a larger reality called love and justice.
This is the journey that we must all practice and work through. This is the same pattern that us like a plant grows, how the seasons of the year and life move – this is how I understand how spirit and matter are one.
Kevin T. Cahill is an award winning sales professional and consultant specializing in the art of managing change and achieving great results. As the founder of The Change Revolution, this international best selling author and speaker inspires men and women alike. As someone who has mastered the art of resilience and hope, Kevin’s philosophy as a clarity builder is strategic and results driven. Kevin’s passion is to equip individuals and organizations with a renewed sense of clarity and excitement, knowing that positive change will bring about positive gains. His exciting creation The Change Revolution offers a winning blueprint for navigating through change and achieving success.
Speaking inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-836-7989.