Change, A Lesson in Self Mastery

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There is a great deal of change happening in the world at the moment and it is at best unsettling, at worst turning lives upside down. Old ideas and goals have been usurped by a feeling of instability and a fear of the unknown. So what are we to do in a world that feels uncertain where it is heading?

There is a theory that challenges and change are a way of offering us opportunities to move in a different direction, perhaps to get to know who we really are and discover our own strengths and weaknesses. Maybe it is time now to explore our own vulnerabilities, own up to them and ask for help if needed but also to search for our strengths and offer them in service.

It could be time for all of us to see that we are connected, that we are all members of the Human family and as such have the ability to bring together our individual skills to make this challenging time one of creativity, compassion and community.

In this era of transition and transformation we need to concentrate on how to become more flexible in attitude, more positive, prioritise better and concern ourselves with what truly matters, then let things go and let the energy flow. This requires a degree of self-mastery.

We are here to experience all manner of feelings, emotions, and situations gaining our own wisdom from those moments, perhaps passing on this unique knowledge. In this way the Human family are all connected, for without each other we could not build our wisdom, find our strengths and create resilience through the stormy weather leading us to brighter skies afterwards.

We have all had challenges in our lives. We have probably told ourselves the worst scenario over and over in our minds and imagined all sorts of difficult and dramatic outcomes, given energy to it and almost lived through it before it has even happened, yet many times this scenario simply doesn’t happen.

If our imagination is powerful enough for us to build these pictures and consequent feelings of anxiety and stress that accompany them, then maybe we CAN use that same imagination to build feelings of hope and paint ourselves a more positive outcome.

Time to ditch the sense of drama we create around our difficulties and instead do what we can to resolve issues and then let them be. Perhaps to appreciate what we have and to work from the inside out and open ourselves to gestures of human kindness, sharing with our neighbours, encouraging community awareness and working together to solve problems. Stepping forward  with trust in each other can only help to restore hope for the future and help build a world where people really see people and value the skills everyone has to offer.

Where the God in me honours the God in you and where we can draw on our own strengths through experience, express the unconditional love we are deeply capable of, be enabled by the wisdom of our words and be resilient through our own self-mastery.

You see, I am a great believer in people and the strength of the Human family, our innate power can often be well hidden and unused but it IS there, a Divine spark waiting for the right moment to shine.

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer related in one of his books a moment in his life when he was struggling, he had little money and his fridge was nearly bare. He took himself for a walk feeling pretty low. He bumped into a young couple who had nowhere to stay and looking like they hadn’t had a meal in ages. He offered them his humble home for the night and made a meal from the small contents of his fridge and suddenly he realised he had more than enough, having plenty to improve the couple’s situation. Yet nothing had physically changed. Sharing what he did have with someone who needed it gave him a new perspective on his own situation.

Once you are in this shift of perspective you can see and focus on the abundance of life in the present moment. The focus moves from what is lacking to appreciation of what is. This can take practise but you can start with something simple, appreciation of your morning cup of tea, of the warm cosy bed you have, for the people you share the ups and downs of life with.

Then there is always someone who can be uplifted with a smile or a friendly “How are you today?” Then listen, really listen to the reply. People don’t need solutions as much as they need to be heard, valued, to feel they matter.

We humans have an abundance of creativity and this can be used in small community projects which can help revive our sense of well-being. There is a small patch of land where I live which was overgrown, now an old bath has become a pond, the ground cleared, a few neighbours bought some seeds and we have a community vegetable patch.

Maybe skills can be matched in various creative ways; sewing groups repairing whilst talking over troubles, retired ladies who love to bake matched with families who struggle to provide their children with birthday cakes. There are so many ways creativity, compassion and community go together.

Some may think this an idealistic point of view…people working together in small pockets of communities and groups to solve small problems every day. However the alternative is many cocooned in their homes all facing the same stresses and feeling isolated and anxious as to how to move forward. Many masking their difficulties, feeling unable to admit they are struggling.

We are our own obstacles, we limit ourselves but we are also our own solutions. It starts with communication on a real level without drama, opening up, trusting a little more, asking for help… offering help, building a new platform of care and consideration.

There will always be change and uncertainty but we have to start believing in ourselves to turn those challenges into opportunities and meeting each other on the Human family level.

We must start with self and once mastered go on to build a sense of compassionate community ….a community full of opportunity and more importantly HOPE.

Patricia McDowall 

Author and More to Life Elder

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