Try as we might, we don’t change with good intentions alone. It’s actually impossible not to change. We are changing every moment. Nothing ever stays still. The question is more how do we change in the ways that we want. I am writing this with myself in mind, what I notice about my own internal landscape.
Part of the problem are my intentions because I am so often wrong about things so why would I assume to be right about the direction of change. In some ways its easy because outside feedback and inner intuitions find a meeting point. But perhaps in the most important ways, I simply have no idea about what I actually need and what a good direction looks like. For example, for a long time I thought corporate wasn’t the place for me to work. Turns out many years later I am happy to have corporate clients and work in an environment I once thought was unfit. In that frame I was convinced I knew what was right. What now then ? How might I be wrong about what I think I need or the direction I think my life should be going in? what does it feel like to relax the knowing?
It’s often true that the part in me that wants the change is one who feels wounded or burdened in some way. In other words the impetus to change is coming from a condition of the past. It’s not actually a wish from an integrated self but rather an expression of unmet pain. A part that needs things a certain way in order to feel better, or a part that might be pushing away change in order to protect the hurt ones.
When a wounded part is not in control, the Self is free to move with the world in full acceptance of life as it is. One would not imagine needing to give advice about how to change to such a self. Without the burden, the self is open and responsive to life and the change that is happening all by itself. That self can live in the moment and be fully available to potentials that just weren’t available to the other parts. The essential point is that all parts need to be included though, (as an ongoing practice) in order to embody the Self that can lead. The Self that can trust life.
The change is then more about letting go than it is trying to get something. To let go is to give space because space is what heals. It’s when we feel we have space to move that movement happens. As long as we feel stuck, it’s like nothing can breathe and if nothing can breathe we keep doing the same things, not learning from our mistakes and the mistakes of generations behind us.
Maybe a better way of framing change is aiming to stay as you are. Big leap maybe, staying the same is also the kind of challenge we signed up for. Born into a world where we were taught to be other than what we are.
I think the hero’s journey is to come back to you as you and from that place, listen. So you might try this on for an idea – don’t change, rather let change happen by giving space to all of who you are.