In 1943, W. Somerset Maugham said: Nothing in the world is permanent, and were foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely were still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.
These are wise words that still ring true. Change is inevitable. We rail against it, complain about it and make intricate attempts to thwart it, but the only constant in our day-to-day life is change. Given this age-old fact, there is much to be said for living your life one moment at a time. In our culture, we spend a great deal of time focusing on past events and projecting into the future in an effort to predict what changes are coming. The more time spent focused on the past and the future, the more the present becomes limited and unfocused.
Eastern philosophy maintains that everything in life is impermanent. All things exist in the present moment for a finite period of time. Attempts to resist change are futile. The knowing lies in enjoying the good moments while they are happening and realizing that the difficult times are just as temporary. Greatness has never been fostered by complacency. When faced with change, our awareness is activated. We make a choice to either resist or embrace the change. Adapting to change can be easy and take little thought. Other times, we must be willing to step outside our comfort zone, which can be uncomfortable or threatening. Change happens every moment, with every person. Embracing change when it occurs allows you to continue experiencing life moment by moment.
Preparing for and welcoming change can be a natural process. You can successfully navigate change by keeping in mind the following tips:
b Change is often a path that has not been taken before.
b Follow the path with a sense of adventure and see what happens next.
b Trust the process. A reason for the change may not be apparent, but there just might be a better way.
b Things rarely go exactly as planned. Learn what you can from the change.
b Uncertainty and fear often accompany change. Allow yourself to experience the feelings and move on. Avoiding them will give them the strength to remain.
Creating change in the lives of people in our community has been, and always will be, a passion of mine. And I am preparing for change in my own life. After almost 20 years, I am leaving Axis Health System this month to pursue other endeavors in the community. I would like to thank everyone for their support, feedback and suggestions for my Creating Community articles over these many years. Writing them has truly been a pleasure. I leave the creation of this monthly article in the hands of Mark White, director of quality at Axis Health System, knowing that he will do an excellent job.
So until we meet again, I leave you with the words of an old Dutch Proverb: The only constant is change. When one path in life is blocked, another path is opened up. Such is the nature of balance, and balance is the state the universe will always ceaselessly be seeking.
Linda Lute, LAC, MAC, is the executive vice president of Clinical Operations at Axis Health System.