My daughter, who soon will be graduating from James Madison University with a degree from the School of Media Arts and Design, helped me redesign the look of my blog last week. My goal was to have a simple and clean look and feel to it, and to have the landing page express what my writing was about - the moment one laid eyes on the site. The changes are successful and represent the next phase of my evolution as a teacher and writer. I am changing and growing as I continue to learn and practice my art. Changing my blog was scary. I was afraid of not liking what we did (even though it was my choice!). I was afraid others would not like it, would be frightened away by the change. I was afraid I would not be recognized in the change, that the "me" I have put out there, and others counted on, would seem lost. I was afraid it would make others uncomfortable and I might lose their participation in my weekly process. I was afraid that the change might materialize into less, rather than more. These thoughts are a wonderful example of how subconscious fears that linger within can create our decisions.
Just now, as I wrote the last four sentences, I allowed myself to write my stream of consciousness, whatever arose as I allowed my fear of change to be present in me, fully. I had not connected with all these specific thoughts before this moment. Because, although I sensed the fear as I was changing my blog look, I knew it was important to keep moving forward. I trusted this desire for a new "look", which had been present for so long, despite the usual fears that arise as we risk change. These fears can "run" our lives - if we let them.
A great way to live your life from a sense of truth rather than in fear, is to follow this feeling/writing practice. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Most have heard this phrase. Changing my blog is a wonderful example of feeling the fear and doing it anyway. This writing is a worthy example of how to uncover your less conscious fears - to allow the flow of writing as the feeling emerges - to discover how to work with each thought as needed or desired. Each limiting thought can be challenged with healthy thinking.
Here is a demonstration of this. I will work with the last thought in my stream of fears from above. "I was afraid that the change might materialize into less, rather than more. " What does this even mean? I almost did not let myself write it as it bubbled up from within. Because as the words formed, they didn't seem to make sense. But now that they are written, I can reflect on them and recognize them as fear of scarcity. Fear of not being good enough, that I might have less - lose relationships or anything else I consider valuable. This is the voice of the ego, a part of the mind that always grasps and clings and wants more, always more, to validate itself.
Ego is our capacity to differentiate ourselves from others. Ego has a critical place in our personal and psychological development. As we learn to differentiate and know ourselves, we claim our talents as well as our vulnerabilities. And then, when put to best use, we expand our ego to include all, as we recognize our spiritual nature. This is the adult job of becoming the full "grown-up", seeing the ego for what it is, and then tuning into our more expansive nature, not letting fear and the ego become our ruling forces from within. Instead, we grow to consciously choose love and compassion as our governing forces.
Change is a truth, an inescapable fact of the world we inhabit. There are so many fantastic, wonderful, awesome, fabulous aspects to change. If you have been conditioned to fear change, you can change this! If you habitually, unconsciously move away from change and hide in an illusion of security and stability by attempting to control life, it is only you who you fool for a time. Change is truth. Trusting change as a natural process of living can bring a healthy sense of stability to a life always flowing.