Nature is our greatest teacher of change. Our senses identify changing weather patterns and temperatures. We observe changes in the flow of different bodies of water. In the cycle of a year, we can observe and direct the growth of plants from seed or bulb, to flower and fruit. If we observe over many years, we note the greater cycles of change in climate and landscape. Through whatever aspect of nature we choose to study, we can know nature's truth: the constant in our universe is truly change.
Our bodies are part of this biological system and they, too, are constantly changing. We generate millions of new cells in our brain and body each day. If we have as little as 25% of our liver, it can regenerate the liver. Our stomach lining cells last only 2 days; we replace each red blood cell every 4 months; most cells in our body are less than 10 years old, except bone cells which last 25 - 30 years. Brain cells, once thought to be the exception to cell replacement, are now known to be replaced but there is much more to be learned about the process.
So what is the purpose for change? Change is an opportunity that begins at the moment of birth. Our first big change is the transition from spiritual energy to living in a world of form and using a body. Learning to sit up, crawl, talk and walk are all milestone changes of childhood. Learning to understand the world around us is our first great desire. These opportunities are not only present to teach us a physical skill. In learning to crawl, several learnings are happening all at once. We are learning parallel body movements in the limbs. As the right arm and leg move forward,the left arm and leg move up to meet them; building strength in the limbs and developing coordination. In the head, these parallel movements develop the brain; building neural pathways in the pons and medulla to other parts of the brain. Spiritually, it is a time to build strength to use the body for learning. As children we are also taking the important step to trust our parents and to listen, honor and obey them. This translates to learning to listen, honor and obey our spirit as we grow up. In life, certain changes are culturally accepted as we develop from babies to children. We are asked to mature certain parts of ourselves as we go through high school and college. Each of the steps we make: infancy, toddlers, children and adolescense represent developmental steps to adulthood. Adulthood is not the end of learning, but the beginning of the 5th learning cycle. As adults, our learning takes on the added dimensions of parenthood, living responsibly, and fulfilling our passions: which embody our spiritual mission and purpose and the very heart of our choice to experience the physical.
For many adults, this becomes a time of stagnation and creating a mindset of resistance to change; for one has now completed the checklist that culture tells one they must do. It is often the time when adults begin their downward coast in life, often fixing their attention on trying to slow down the decay and death of the body instead of creating and fulfilling true desires. As adults we have the experience to determine what is productive for our learning, our children's learning and what kind of lives we want to live and give back to humanity through our children, work and creative endeavors. It is a time of manifesting our deepest dreams.
The final stage is wisdom that comes with maturity and is commonly called "old age." Our culture tends to disregard the Sage of our species, those who have experienced longer cycles of change and growth. It is in this stage of life that we have much to give back to humanity. It is in this stage that we embrace our learning and growth, discerning the kernels of truth that we have lived. It is a time in life to assimilate and claim our good choices and the wisdom we built from them. It is a time to share these visions, experiences, skills and wisdom with others. When we pay attention to our spiritual learning, it opens us to learning on all the levels of ourselves, which causes greater changes and understanding in our life.
I have come to appreciate change in my life very much. I know that in the things that are new to me are all the grand adventures, understandings and tools that I have yet to learn to know myself as a creator. Embrace each change in your life as learning. Teach your children to embrace productive change and growth. This causes a steady movement between members of families in which you are growing and changing together.
This is the Key to living in Joy.