Tips to Living with Change, Patience & Peace
We live in a changing world. Nature changes constantly. Your body is different from one day to the next. Friends come and friends go. Feelings ebb and flow. The tide comes in and goes out. The only constant in our world is the divine. As I often say in my seminars and workshops worldwide, when the winds of change blow, go deeper — deeper within your heart.
[Bonsai Plants: I am a bonsai enthusiast and enjoy visiting my neighbor who has numerous bonsai plants in his garden that he's grown and raised for years. These hand-crafted plants are true works of art. They reflect artistic skills, patience, change, and horticulture knowledge. When I look at his exquisite panoply of colorful plants, I always feel more peaceful. Consider getting a bonsai plant of your own to care for, cultivate, and love for years to come. It will become a metaphor for all of the special, life-enhancing qualities you'd like to develop in your life. My bonsai plant is gracing my office desk and each time I pass by it or sit down at my desk, I appreciate its beauty and am thankful for this gift of nature that always makes me smile and reminds me that all great things worth having in life require patience. You'll find many more photos of bonsai plants at the end of this excerpt.]
Sometimes changes come to us as gentle breezes and other times they come as tornadoes. When changes occur we can choose how we will respond. We can try to control and manipulate the situation. We can become upset and depressed. We can allow ourselves to be tossed around in the waves of change. Or, we can choose to dive below the surface where our strength and understanding lie.
The way to remain peaceful in a changing world is to align with our inner constancy while adapting to the passing world. Welcome change. It promotes growth and restores equilibrium by moving us in the direction a better life awaiting us — our goals manifested. Know that when you are in harmony with your higher self, and you realize the light within you is not unlike the light in God, then in the face of all change, anything is possible.
The key here is how you respond to change. My mom helped me to look at change in my life with the proper perspective. Whenever I experienced a challenge, she would say to me, “This, too, shall pass.”
Continue reading to learn tips to cultivate patience and embrace change with a more accepting attitude, as well as finding my Action Step and Affirmation to help incorporate these tips into your daily life.
Are you rigid or flexible? Being flexible is essential if you want to remain peaceful. We all have likes and dislikes. You like romantic, funny movies; your spouse likes suspense-filled, action-packed movies. You like vacationing in Hawaii, Tahiti, or France; he would prefer to tour England, Ireland, or Italy. You like fruit and muffins for breakfast; he wants a seven-course feast. Can you feel okay that you have different tastes? Or do you get upset when you can’t have your way? Be flexible! With a flexible attitude, you will float through life rather than trying to swim upstream. It’s fine to have certain likes and dislikes, as long as you aren’t compulsively attached to them. Be ready to change your proclivities, if necessary, as easily as you change your shoes.
It’s healthy to break away from your own habits and acquiesce to another’s preference. Next time your partner wants to watch a television program that doesn’t interest you, view it with him and don’t complain. If he wants to have Chinese food and you don’t, have it anyway. Don't lose yourself in another's preferences, but be open-minded to trying out what they prefer. Train your mind to be flexible and to make the best of all situations.
Accepting change and staying open takes patience. This does not imply being unconcerned or uninterested. When we’re patient, we cultivate inner peace and do not disturb the creative flow in the deep waters below. A person who is patient knows everything will unfold just as it should.
It took thousands of years for the Grand Canyon to be created. It takes a few hundred years for some redwoods to reach their full height. Relationships take time; self-improvement takes time; learning a new language takes time. Cultivate patience for all these activities and others that will reveal their eventual reward.
Let’s look for a moment at your health and fitness program. Maybe at this point you are out of shape, yet you are motivated to begin exercising regularly and eating more nutritious foods. Most people don’t think about all the years they've taken to get into the shape they are now. You want to see results NOW. It doesn’t work that way. But with patience, determination, and perseverance, you will begin to see progress.
How do you feel around people who lack patience? The other day, I was driving with a friend to the beach. We were going to take a walk and enjoy the sunshine in Santa Monica. Our drive took us through heavy traffic. My friend got uptight, started honking the horn, and lost all his patience. I knew that wasn’t exactly the best time to tell him he could choose differently, he could sit back, relax, enjoy my wonderful company (indeed!), and simply watch how all the other drivers reacted. By the time we got to the beach, his pulse was high and he couldn’t relax.
Oftentimes we will be patient with others but forget to extend the same courtesy to ourselves. We make a mistake and are quick to judge and berate ourselves. When we are hurt or are angry we are seldom willing to give the situation an opportunity to reveal its lesson. We want to move through a painful situation quickly.
When we look back on our difficult or challenging situations, we find that eventually they led to greater awareness and faith. Anything worth having in life requires patience. With patience, we keep the door open to life’s blessings, knowing that all is coming together for our highest good.
Celebrate change and patience today.
The life given us by nature is short, but the memory of a well-spent life is eternal.
It is not doing the thing we like to do, but liking the thing we have to do that makes life blessed.
Affirmation & Action Step
I am patient and peaceful today and I welcome change in my life. Everything is working harmoniously for me for I am a child of the divine. I listen patiently for the inner voice as it gives me guidance.
Do things differently today from your normal routine. Welcome simple changes. For example, sleep on the opposite side of the bed, eat a meal using a fork in your non-dominant hand, take a different route to work, or call an old friend you have not talked to for a long time and tell that person how he or she has blessed your life. Think about making new, positive changes today.
Some men see things as they are and say "Why?" I dream of things that never were and say, "Why not?"
~ George Bernard Shaw