From my log house perched on the top of ravine, I could look into the stream at the bottom. I took notice of the beaver building its damn every spring. It was fixing the damage caused by the spring run-off and ice thaw. One year we were blessed by the otter who played in the beaver pond. He would slide down the ravine and splash into the water. An occasional deer, fox or turkey would wander through. All very pastoral and peaceful.
One spring the thaw was particularly fast. The melting chunks of ice crashed through the beaver damn totally destroying it. There was no beaver that year. I suppose they figured it was too big a job to repair and migrated somewhere else. The ravine seemed lifeless. It was two years before beavers came back and took on the challenge to rebuild. I once again enjoyed the pastoral scene.
For me, this demonstrated the essence of change. Change is inherent in nature and the Universe. The Universe is constantly expanding and changing. It can be said that there is one constant in the Universe and that is change.
Change can be disruptive and occur suddenly without warning. As the beaver found, the ice had destroyed their dam and left them homeless. I was diagnosed suddenly with three cancers with little symptoms. A car accident can happen in a moment. There is always a compelling event that sets in motion the need for change.
As humans we have two responses to change. The first is fear. It will put us in a primordial fight, flight, or freeze response. We want to return to the pre-change state. Our attraction to normalcy, predictable and consistent living is very enticing. Perhaps that is why people stay with a bad boss or spouse so long – to avoid change.
In these instances we are filled with fear for the future – because it has been heaped upon us without warning from events outside ourselves. We want to return to what was because we know that environment.
The second response is acceptance. In accepting the compelling event, it allows us to explore a “new normal”. When this happens, change can be exciting and energizing. Stemming from a need to move from the status quo, it sets new directions.
This kind of response to the compelling event results in personal growth. This is because at the end you will be a different person.
The Six P’s of Personal Growth describes a process to help you navigate this personal growth phase. They can be used over and over again as you encounter new changes in life. Over time practising this approach you can become open to change. In that state you will be in a state of well-being. A state where you can appreciate the nature of life and its beauty.