It’s common and easy to waste time and energy, and reduce our power by resisting change.
Everything we take for granted is constantly changing. The formation of the clouds in the sky at this moment is unique and will never be repeated. Every cell in our bodies is replaced every seven years. Our planet and the universe are in a state of continual, inconceivable transformation. One way to cut through the boredom or sense of being in a rut in meditation practice is to bring to mind that this breath, each breath, right now is actually new, has never happened before and will never occur again.
The fact that everything changes is good news. Or actually, as Buddhists and scientists say, it is neither good news nor bad news. It is what is, neither good nor bad . . . and this is good news! However, we often find it difficult to accept change and the uncertainty that goes along with it. We grasp at what we know and what is familiar, resisting anything that might take us out of our comfort zone; we hold on to limiting and self-defeating beliefs because it seems safer. But these beliefs only reflect what we think we know about ourselves (I’m not a good cook; I don’t speak well in public)—not what we might actually be able to achieve. Sometimes we resist positive change rather than let go of what we already have.
Compile a list of your limiting beliefs and rephrase them as open-ended beliefs. Below is a list I formulated for myself, which you can use as a guide.
|COMMON LIMITING BELIEFS||MORE OPEN-ENDED BELIEFS|
|I don’t have enough time (I’m too busy!).||I am clear about my priorities and my ability to respond.|
|I don’t have enough experience.||I know my strengths and what I still need to learn.|
|I’m not smart enough.||I love to learn new things and I can learn or find the help and support I need.|
|Things will never change.||In the past there were many problems and challenges.|
Then place these as daily reminders in your office, on your computer, or somewhere where you can easily refer to them. When you look at them, intentionally question what you gain from holding on to your limiting beliefs. And notice how, one at a time, these more open-ended statements challenge your limited view of yourself, and the world.
Change, and our resistance to change, can be a great guide and teacher.