Friday, 17 October 2008

Change

The Autumn is well and truly here and the trees are seriously amidst the process of change. They are changing colour, retreating from the season of production and fruitfulness and preparing to survive the expected frost and winds of winter.

The news is full of change: Credit Crunch, recession, shares rinsing and falling all over the place, petrol prices dropping after the summer highs and many companies going out of business. It all reflects just how much we base our lives around money, the desire to have more, to earn more, to use the earth's resources as if they are unlimited, to seek self-satisfaction at the expense of others. There are voices that call for new visions for how we live on this planet, but I wonder if they will really be heard or actioned in a way that will have real effects and substantially change the way we do things.

I often feel I have to sacrifice my desire for a more ecologically based lifestyle in order to have a job, pay the mortgage and support my dear family. Perhaps I fear making a radical change. I would like to, but I don't think I can do it by myself... not sure...

Quite a few of my friends at my old workplace are facing redundancy. My wife has kept her job, which I am thankful for, but I do feel for the others most of whom I have known for many years. Change happens, no-one is immune from it. Perhaps birth and death are the most drammatic changes our bodies undergo. Many of the changes we usually face in life, unless they are accident or illness, are just psychological - we just have to adapt our minds to new ways of thinking about our lives, what we do and how we do it.

I wonder how Nature copes with change, or indeed individual plants and animals? Can I learn anything from it? At an individual level. perhaps we are just the same. Put anything in an environment in which it faces stress and it either survives or dies. I have killed several treasured garden plants over the years just by moving them around too much or putting them in unsuitable places. Animals and humans are the same. Put me in a desert without the means to cope with a new environment and I wouldn't survive very long. But when changes are subtle, or within our means to cope, then we can survive and move on, even fourishing better than before. On a global level, I wonder if Nature will have better chances to survive and adapt than humans. But, of course, you could easily argue that we are all part of the same system anyway, so it isn't possible to talk about any separation. We are Nature, just as the tree that stands outside the window is. Humans do seem to have undergone a creation that is unique - I wonder if that creation has been too quick... it puts huge strains on our lives - we all want jobs, a car, a house, access to health servcices, the latest HD television, the ability to get compensation and have insurance for anything. Are we beginning to get scared of loosing ourselves and our existence? If you treat Nature as a separate entity from humans, then I am confident it will always exist for as long as the planet can sustain it. As a whole I believe it has a greater capacity for self-preservation and continuity. It has been around millions of years longer than we have. I am sure humans will always continue to exist on this planet alongside the ant and the oak tree, but they must live sustainably and I think that, as a whole global society, we haven't even really grasped what that means yet.

What I suppose we fear most about change is the ability to support ourselves and our families, to live the lives we want to live and to have what we have grown to expect from our modern world.

On my NLP course last week we were talking about timeline therapy and how if we think about the past we visualise it behind us, and if we think about the future we visualise it as being in front of us. Ever since, I've been practicing this and either I "want" to view this differently or I do actually see it differently. For me, the past is either place related and is in whatever direction an event occured (i.e it happened in Herefordshire, St Albans etc which I imagine to be where it is geographically from where I am standing); or it is "within" me - sort of carried as a memory in my body/mind. I think the future is similar. I am my future, it is within me, I create it. My future will be me in whatever situation I find myself in and I will imagine it either in my current position or within a geographical location I know or can visualise in any direction.

So, change. We all face it. We cope with it in different ways. We can never escape it. How we deal with in depends on what resources we have mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We have to dig deep sometimes to draw upon an inner strength that will carry us through. The supermarket won't help us, the DVD player won't help us, our investments may not help us. We need to have resources that we can draw on from within ourselves.

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