It is with a heavy heart that I write this month’s newsletter. For those who are reading this email, I’d like you to take a moment of silence to reflect on those who are lost or have lost loved ones in the tsunami that has wreaked destruction in so many countries. We will all need to use the power of our minds, bodies and hearts to help in rebuilding after so much loss.
It is with some care that I draw parallels between the power and intensity of waves and those of change. These comments are only meant in the most respectful way – drawing a few seeds of wisdom and hindsight from a situation that has wrought so much damage, and has forced so much change for so many, so quickly.
1. Change can disrupt balance, while bringing balance. While we may not understand the reason for the tsunami, nor condone the destruction it brought to humanity, the earth, for it’s own reasons, required a re-balancing of the global system.
Sometimes below our own surface or our awareness there is an imbalance that we are not conscious of, that, unknowingly to us, requires rebalancing. For example, we may ignore signs in our bodies that are small or quiet at first – like a stiff neck or back when we take on more than we can handle (and stress about it or resent it), but this tends to grow over time (like a wave that gets more powerful the further it goes).
You may have known people whose bodies have given them a ‘last warning’ about imbalances in their lives – these are violent reminders for us to get back on track to act more respectfully to our bodies, minds and emotions – forcing, rather than suggesting change.
We have greater control over ourselves than tectonic plates below the ocean’s surface, so it is our duty and right to listen to our own personal balance – and hear what we are telling ourselves to change (by ourselves or with the help of others) to re-balance ourselves and our lives.
2. The wave of change grows over time and may have a global impact. As mentioned in some news reports, the more time and distance the wave travelled, the more powerful it became. This is similar to a misaligned sight on a rifle, where a fraction of a millimetre could mean metres and metres of trajectory difference when the shot reaches its destination. Small changes have growing and expanding impact.
Not only were the countries that were hit by the tsunami affected by the great waves, but almost every nation on earth continues to feel the impact, through personal or individual loss or infrastructural and commercial ruin
Just as a pebble dropped into water makes growing rings of ripples around it, so does change impact our lives and those we know, as well as those whom we’ve never met. When we make a positive change in our own lives it will affect our family and those closest to us first and may move outward.
Even small shifts can make greater impressions. Someone who stops smoking will not only improve their own health and feelings of personal control, but also clear the air within the family and, in a small but not insignificant way, reduce the overall level of haze around the world…
No matter how small it may seem to you, a donation to one of the organisations helping those in affected areas will make a huge impact to those in affected areas – http://www.aflacinternational.com, www.unicef.org, www.tides.org, www.redcross.org.sg, www.worldvision.org
3. Change can result in ‘death’ and may create a clear space for the future. This is not in any way meant to minimise the tragedy of those involved in the tsunami. Change can be a ‘death’ of the past. When this happens, we enter into a place of uncertainty. We’ve lost something or someone, possibly an old way of life or a certain pattern – and this deserves a period of grieving – of feeling and of letting go.
Then change can create a clear space from which to make an important decision. Looking at some of the tragic tales and hearing the traumatic stories of the survivors begs a number of questions, many of which may not be answerable. It is then that we need to make a choice.
We have this sort of death happen every time we make a shift in our lives, or take a different turn, whether it was of our doing or instigated by the environment around us. We can make a choice to take these experiences, tragic or painful, and use them as a lesson that revealed our ability to tackle anything we come across, or let the terrible bits destroy us and our ability to live. It is a choice that we make both in good times and in bad. We can stay where we are or move forward.
For any readers, or friends of readers, who may be in the midst of moving on from this tragedy, I offer my services when you need them at no charge.
So here’s to 2005 – let us count our blessings and do justice to those lost in the recent natural disaster by really, truly living our lives to the fullest.