Changes That Can Change Everything

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”

Recently I saw this quote on Instagram, under a picture of a mud-run type event. And I thought, man, I better get out there and do something challenging because I haven’t done that recently and I am not changing. Yikes, this is not looking good.

But then I got thinking. I have been in an opposite season lately. For many reasons, I have been quiet, low key, meditative. When I’m at my lowest, like when I look at people doing races and being successful in careers and posting about travel and community and collaboration and magical life experiences, I feel stagnant. Failure-ish.

But when I take my eyes off others, and I look deeply into what is happening in me, I don’t see that so much. I see change in many areas. And I am at peace with this season.

There are many avenues of change. When we walk on the beach, or hike in the mountains, or sit beside a lake, we are changed by beauty. Beauty is one of the most powerful change agents I know. It transforms the edges of our soul and makes them less rigid, softer. It increases our sense of awe and wonder. And that changes us.

When we gather with good friends, the power of vulnerability changes us. Intimacy opens us up and allows us to exchange parts of ourselves. When someone trusts us with the deepest parts of themselves, we cannot leave the same. A measure of brave and grace and compassion get woven into our soul. And that changes us.

When we keep a promise or continue to honor a commitment year after not-so-perfect year, we are changed. We become focused less on our entitlements and more on the ones we care about deeply. And that changes us.

When we look at art, or read a poem, or listen to music, or create something with our hands, something inside of us changes. Whether we observe the creative process or engage in it ourselves, something in the deepest places of our soul get stirred. And that changes us.

So let us challenge ourselves we we can, because that certainly can change us. But let’s also be aware of all that is around us, all the change agents we encounter every day. Beauty, friendships, commitments, creation, and creativity can all help us move forward in ways that make us more caring, loving, kind and graceful people. And those changes can change everything.

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