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Change is easier than you think!

Our quest for a lasting sense of happiness often has us looking for a change of some sort – a job, a change of routine, a change of wardrobe, a new car, a new iPhone, etc. It never ends. These are only our external changes. Deeper, personal levels of change require much more effort to create a shift in our own character.

This inner change might include – changing our diet, overcoming anger, becoming less judgmental, or not being jealous of the success of others. The elusive happiness that we seek often boils down to, “If I could only change this about myself, I would be much happier.”

This is why the Self Help business has been so popular and lucrative for so long; it’s all about the secrets of change – The 10 Best Ways to a New You, 5 Secrets to Being a Success in Relationships, How to Be Confident in Decision Making, on and on. It’s all about CHANGE.

In this non-stop roller coaster called life, the problem we face is that change is hard. It feels like we just added another 5-mile leg to an ever-steepening uphill run. Change is work! Change takes effort, consistency, and staying motivated. Replacing old habits of thinking and doing isn’t easy, like pressing a button to reformat our hard drive.

So, is there a way to create new growth pathways without the effort required to change? It’s possible, but we may need to rethink the word “change” and what it means to us.

Is change really a process that we participate in? Is change something we do?

My wife loves planting flowers; she creates a fantastic garden, all in pots arranged on the deck of our house. We enjoy our morning coffee amongst the flowers and steady stream of hummingbirds all summer. One morning I was alone on the deck, happily enjoying the sounds of nature waking up. I had just finished my morning meditation when I had a simple realization – nothing in nature is trying to change.

If you plant a maple tree seed, give it the proper soil and water and sunlight – it begins to sprout. It looks pretty different after a couple of years of growth; it’s now a sapling. In a few more years, it fills out, the young tree trunk becomes stronger. In a hundred years, it towers over us, endless branches reaching up to the sky. All of the change that we witness is the result of growth. The tree grows, and change is the result.

If we look at photos of ourselves from an infant to a youth to an adult, we see we have changed dramatically. Yet, our body doesn’t think about changing; it just grows. Change is the result.

A saying says, “The only thing that never changes is change itself.” After that morning, I realized this was not wholly correct. It may be better to say that growth is the only thing that never changes. Growth is the process, and change is the result. So, if change results from growth, shouldn’t we be focusing on growth? Actually no! Growth also happens on its own. It’s a natural process. When we’re born, we grow. We can’t get any taller each day by stretching our legs.

So, if we want to participate in our own evolution in a way that enhances the process of growth and results in personal change, what is our job?

Our job is to create and nourish an environment that promotes growth and results in change.

How simple! Let’s again look at the example of growing a small garden. We plant some seeds in the earth, water them, and on occasion pull the weeds. The rest of the time, they grow without much care on our part. The results are the fruits and vegetables.

Shifting our mindset from struggling with self-imposed change to creating a nurturing environment, we no longer need to work hard. As a result, the growth process also becomes more effortless and natural.

There is a saying: “If you break an egg from the outside, life ends. If the egg breaks from inside, life begins.”

Inner growth brings the required effort to break out of the shell and emerge into a different dimension of life. That growth is the result of a proper environment.

Inner Environment

Fruitful growth is determined by our environment. Seeds will grow and flourish if the soil is prime and water is plentiful. If the climate is a desert – dry and sandy, the roots will not develop, or in the best case, will not grow to their full potential.

On the superficial level, we all know how the environment can affect our comfort zone: when it’s too hot, we go inside and put the AC on. We don’t perform well when our environment is too difficult to function in. We may be in a school that doesn’t suit us or a work environment that feels stifling. When it becomes too much to bear and begins to affect our emotional comfort zone, we’ll usually say that we have to make a change. What we’re actually looking for is a new environment. If our environment is not conducive to our growth, we become unhappy and less productive.

Creating an external environment that provides us a field for growth and happiness is easy to understand, but what about our internal environment? What about the environment that I live in 24/7, the one I never leave? Yet, we rarely even think about it.

What can I do to design and nurture my inner environment and make it conducive to my growth? What type of soil, water, nutrients, air, and sunshine can create the super-environment for my own evolution?

Inside us, many systems work together, and when in harmony, they create a baseline or comfort zone for life. Just as water has differing states from solid ice to fluid state to mist in the air, the body has layers of density: the dense skeletal system, the pliable muscles, and our fluid system. It gets even subtler: we need oxygen from the air; we have an electromagnetic field, mind, and thoughts and feelings. Many of us believe there is yet something even subtler: the essence of life, what some call the soul, Self, or consciousness.

If any of these are out of balance, we experience discomfort and, in the extreme case – disease. Moreover, science has proven that our subtle mental environment, the state of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, profoundly impacts all the other denser body systems. So it makes sense that improving our subtlest system will affect the whole.

This brings us to the question:

How do I create and nourish an inner environment that promotes growth and results in change?

The flowers on our back porch require nourishment from various levels of nature’s energy spectrum to grow, from the densest to the subtlest in order: earth, water, air, and sunlight. Just as we nourish our body with food and our minds with knowledge, we need to be active participants in sustaining our consciousness. The tool for cultivating that subtlest inner environment is meditation.

The practice of Heartfulness offers a couple of unique ways to develop our internal environment.

To prepare the field, it’s necessary to remove the weeds and stones so that our seeds can have room to grow. This we call the cleaning or rejuvenation process. We remove the inner clutter and impressions through this cleaning, which are the root cause of those patterns and traits in our lives that we want to change.

After clearing the way, we need to add water, sunlight, and nutrients. Heartfulness draws from the subtlest energy resource – referred to as pranahuti or life essence. We call this transmission. Just as sunlight is the subtlest energy source for our plants, we receive the most refined life essence through transmission, invigorating the Self within. This transmission is something that you can feel and experience for yourself.

Like the example of the egg, by cultivating and nurturing our inner environment as offered through Heartfulness meditation, we bring about the possibility of breaking out into a new dimension of life, thus expressing our true potential.

So, if we spend a little time each day watering that subtle Self instead of working to change, we’ll be able to grow in an infinite field of possibilities.

Soon we’ll find that instead of pushing our car uphill, we are crossing life’s rugged terrain in a hot air balloon. Instead of forcing ourselves to change our lives, life is leading us forward.

Happy journey.

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Kathy Michaels
Kathy Michaels
Aug 09, 2022

Nice, Brian. Thanks 💖

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