Dear Spirit to Spirit friend,
These times seem to be thrusting us into change, often quite dramatically. Here's what Craig Hamilton, spiritual teacher and founder of Integral Enlightenment, The Awakened Life, and Meditation 2.0, recenlty wrote about facing into the uncomfortableness of change (lightly edited). Something to ponder.
How to Befriend the Discomfort of Change
Cultivating an Evolutionary Relationship to Life
"I think we can all agree that change is challenging. That’s because there’s a part of us that doesn’t want to change, even when we know the change we’re making is really positive. There’s a part of us that wants nothing to do with any kind of growth, even when that growth is clearly good for us, and involves learning new things, developing new capacities, or awakening new dimensions of the self. There’s a part of us that just says a big “no.” So when we are really growing, evolving, and moving forward, this anti-change part of us will always tend to be a bit uncomfortable.
One of the game-changing perspective shifts we can make is learning to befriend the discomfort that comes with change. If we can start to see this discomfort as something positive and realize that it’s a result of the fact that we’re growing, it changes everything.
This is, of course, easier said than done. Let’s face it: we human beings relate to discomfort as a negative thing. It’s part of how we’re wired. We’re deeply conditioned to believe that feeling bad is bad, and feeling good is good. It’s one of the most primary orientations to life that all of us have. We all want to feel good. It’s natural. But it’s also natural that a lot of the good things in life—growth, development, and evolution—also come with some degree of feeling "bad".
We need to shift our perspective so that we can start to see this discomfort more as the natural growing pains that accompany any kind of positive change.
When we shift our perspective, we begin to align with another dimension of who we
are that I call “the evolutionary self.” There is a part of each of us that is not separate from the very impulse of evolution itself. This part of us doesn’t have any resistance to change. In fact, it thrives on it. It loves it. And when we learn to live from this part of our self, we begin to love the feeling of evolutionary discomfort or tension. The tension becomes like nectar to us, because we know it means we’re evolving and moving forward. The evolutionary self lives for change, positive growth, and development."
In Gratitude & Love, Joanna