Managing times of change

Do you ever pause to consider that your life is like a story, unfolding day by day – or page by page if you were to read it literally.  How interesting is each person’s life!  And how little it matters that we might describe ourselves as ‘just an ordinary person’ when we recognise that each life is filled with precious moments and memories, coloured by times of change.

As each birthday is celebrated we can be sure that the preceding year has called for some new adaptation: friends come and go, family life changes, study is completed and work life shifts direction, illness and loss makes its mark and successes give cause for rejoicing.  But what happens when too many negative events collide?  And how do we respond to the collective change that is occurring all the time throughout our world?  For some, that response is a craving ‘for the good old days’; others may exhaust themselves in concern for things over which there is no personal control – while others prefer to remain aloof, no longer watching the news or reading daily press but preserving themselves by paying attention only to personal responsibilities and pleasures.

the only constant is changePummelled as one may be by change, at times we can feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, fearful and out of control.   Mental activity turns to worry, rumination, depression as the physical body follows by increasing nervous tension –  Nature’s fighting mechanism – and a gift which can so often work against us.

To use my own story of long ago as a measure, the key to managing times of change lies in our ability to remain calm in the face of discomfort or distress.  This ability is crucial to the teaching of Ainslie Meares within his style of meditation – SMT as it is now known.  Assisted in this way, it is more possible to manage change and its consequences within our personal lives and beyond.

As with any life-skill or life-art, if SMT is learned, practiced, integrated and lived, then change as it arises can transform into another memorable shade within the ever-expanding palette of life.

Pauline McKinnon © July 2016