Change is the Only Constant

My second article for the Life Matters column, published in India Se magazine in June 2014.
 
LIFE MATTERS
Change is the Only Constant
Accepting change as a basic process of life

-       by Pamposh Dhar

The recent general election in India brought amazing changes to the world’s second most populous country – a huge mandate for a single party after decades of coalition governments, a 129-year-old party associated with the freedom movement virtually wiped out (at least for now) and no opposition worth the name.

Ironically I, who teach people to “embrace change,” have been rather uncomfortable with these changes. Yet – whether I like them or not – these changes are here. They have happened and Indians of all political hues now have only two choices – to accept that the changes have happened and move forward as best as possible; or uselessly rail against the changes if they do not like them.

This is the way change works. There is no way to avoid change, and the changes that affect us do not always result from our own choices.  Anyone who has lost a loved one, been laid off work, or simply struggled to deal with a computer virus, knows this.

There is no life without change. We ourselves are always changing, from the moment we arrive kicking and screaming into this world. All the people around us are changing all the time, too. There may be a period in adulthood when physical changes seem to slow down, but in fact they are still happening on the inside. Almost all of our cells are replaced by new ones over a span of seven years – so, in effect, each of us is a completely different person on the inside every few years!

Our external world is constantly changing as well and the pace of change has picked up dramatically in our lifetimes, driven by rapid technological development and globalization. Those of us who work outside the home need to adapt so often to changing office environments that “change management” has now become a legitimate subject of study and training in the corporate world. Those who stay at home to bring up kids struggle just to keep abreast of the information, images and ideas that the children are exposed to every day – not to mention keeping up with the ways in which the kids access them. 

So, if change is inevitable, constant and often not to our liking, how best can we deal with it? First of all, by accepting the reality of change and recognizing that we cannot thrive in this world without it. Imagine if we never learnt anything new after the age of 10, 20 or even 50! What a waste of opportunity to grow that would be.

Acceptance is, of course, easier if we like a specific change. But what about the “bad” change, the kind we don’t like? Acceptance does not mean liking or approving of something. It simply means acknowledging that it has happened, or is happening. Just accept the fact.

With acceptance of the facts comes clarity. You see what you can and cannot influence, you spot opportunities even “bad” change might offer you. Based on this understanding, you can choose a reasoned response to the situation. If there is action to be taken, by all means take it. Just stop wasting your time and energy ranting against that which you cannot change.

Acceptance and clarity of vision bring the power to live happily in a constantly changing world, making good choices and saving your energy for things that matter. This includes choosing to make changes that work well for you. When you remove your energy from “victim mode,” from complaining about the things that “happen to you,” there is a better chance that you will set your own goals and strategies to live the life you really want.
 

Pamposh Dhar is a counsellor, Reiki Master, and meditation and mindfulness teacher. Email pamposh@gmail.com or visit www.terataii.com.sg

 

 

LIFE MATTERS: A Life-Changing Choice

My first article for the Life Matters column, published in India Se magazine in April 2014.
 

LIFE MATTERS
A Life-Changing Choice
- by Pamposh Dhar
 
This past week, as I followed the amazing story of a plane that appeared to have vanished into thin air, I couldn’t help but think about the uncertainty of life and how we take this essentially uncertain thing – our life – so much for granted.
We receive this life as a marvelous gift, yet we seldom stop to give thanks for it. At the same time, we know we are here on this planet on borrowed time, yet we act as if we will live forever.
Recently, a friend of mine posted on Facebook that some of her “more evolved” friends felt they should have a terminal illness to give them time to put their lives in order before they die and, especially, to say their goodbyes. This really surprised me – more so coming from apparently enlightened people.
No doubt illness, like everything else in life, has much to teach us. Terminal illness can certainly teach us acceptance and patience – if we are ready to learn those lessons. But rather than wishing illness upon ourselves, would it not be better to live every day knowing that this body that we live in is ours not forever but only for this lifetime; knowing that this lifetime, in this body, is finite? Not only that, but that this life is precarious – we have no knowledge when precisely it will end.
Benjamin Franklin famously quipped: “… in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Leaving aside the joke about taxes, we know that if we are born to this life we are certain one day to leave it too. We know also that average life expectancy has nothing to do with our own individual life spans. Lack of knowledge is not our problem – but lack of acceptance often is.
Acceptance of these two key facts about life – and death – can completely transform the way we live. This transformation came to me the hard way, with the sudden death of someone very close to me at the young age of 20. A few days after that I made a pact with my husband – we would never part, even for 10 minutes, on a fight.
It has been 13 years since we made that pact. For 13 years, it has held. Over the years, I have silently extended this pact to all my relationships. I simply do not part with anyone at all close to me on a sour note. We can agree to disagree, we can agree to continue the argument later, but we say bye on friendly terms.
This is a simple principle that can change one’s life. I know, because it has changed mine. It can change yours too. It can be extended also to leaving one’s worldly affairs in reasonable order every day. Make that will today, move that investment now, write that email, make that phone call – do what you want to do and do it now.
 

Peaceful Vesak!

 
On the occasion of Vesak/Buddha Poornima, I wish all my readers a peaceful and joyous day. Vesak marks the Buddha's day of birth, enlightenment and nirvana.
 
The Buddha was born Gautama Siddhartha, an unenlightened human being like the rest of us. It was only through his own thirst for knowledge and understanding, and his unrelenting seeking of it, that he achieved wisdom and became known as Buddha. His message to the rest of us: If I could do it, so can you!
 
 
 

Reiki - the 2nd Degree

2nd degree (or level 2) Reiki attunements and teachings empower you to send Reiki across any distance, to heal/improve relationships and situations, to cleanse crystals, clear spaces, etc. The attunements really open you up to the beautiful Reiki energy, even more than you already are at Level 1. It is a wonderful experience to learn and practice Reiki at this level!

In a just-concluded Reiki 2 workshop, the energy was palpable - in us, around us, in the room where we did the attunements and in the faces of our beautiful level 2 graduates!



Just-B: Module 1 over June Holidays

Limited seats. Email terataii@gmail.com or pamposh@gmail.com to book a seat now for your teen or pre-teen!