Change is constant. It accompanies us through our lives, abiding with us, challenging us, sometimes catching us unawares.
The past few days have brought winter weather—ice, freezing rain, snow. Suddenly the world is different and we have to meet it in a different way. We need heavy outerwear against the cold and wind, and perhaps snow shovels to clear a pathway. The seasons are a marker of change that we can all see and we seem to roll along with them just fine.
Sometimes, when we know we should change, and there is nothing outside of us helping us out, we have to help ourselves. Arleen Lorrance, the originator of The Love Project back in 1970, suggests that we create our own reality, consciously, rather than living as if we have no control over our lives. But just how do we create a new reality for ourselves?
I know a person, who at the age of 85, left the home she had lived in for 60 years, left her friends and nearby relatives, to move to a new town, into a small apartment in a place she barely knew. She challenged herself to embrace a new life. Granted, she had relatives in the same town, but she was going to be on her own. Five years later she still lives there, in a diverse community of people she never would have met, many of whom are now friends.
I know several young people who dared themselves to take on life far from home, in strange cities they knew little about, but they succeeded in getting jobs and apartments, made friends and created new lives for themselves. I know families that have decided to change, to move out of crowded cities into the countryside. Lots of people move every day, seeking a new reality.
Sometimes, however, we aren’t able to change so drastically. We have responsibilities and duties to others. We have jobs and bills to pay, homes to care for. Life goes on and we seem to just go along with it. We can get bogged down in the drudgery of the ordinary, the routines and schedules. We constantly replay the same messages to ourselves, many simply not true, that keep us in old places. Our thoughts get stuck in telling us what we can’t do, that we aren’t enough, or that we’ll never change. But, the truth is, we are changing all the time. Every day we are different in some way, just by virtue of life itself, cells changing, energy shifting without our awareness. Just in being alive we change, but even more empowering is to volitionally change, to take over our own lives. In fact, we can create a new reality for ourselves in some very simple ways.
One way to create a new reality is to create a new inner reality. We can begin by changing what we say to ourselves. We can change how we think. We can change how we view the world around us and the people in it. We can reject negativity and begin giving ourselves only positive words, thoughts, and viewpoints. We can even go so far as to make one decision that we know will be beneficial for us and follow through on it, taking action on our own behalf.
I use meditation as a means of shifting my reality, training my mind to be quiet and calm so I can leave the rigors and demands of this world for a few minutes a day. The world always looks different when I get up from my meditation seat and reenter life. Dreams do it for us while we sleep. Taking a walk and seeing the world outside ourselves with new eyes can do it too. Simply being open to life can change how we experience our reality. If we decide to accept everything and everyone as beautiful as it/they are, another tenet of The Love Project, we find that we receive and accept on our own behalf in a different way too.
We might do something to beautify or expand our reality—paint our living space, try a new recipe, take up a sport, or do something we’ve always dreamed of doing. There are so many things we can do to create a new reality without moving from our center, though sometimes we might need something drastic, and that’s good too. Sometimes we just might need to give ourselves a kick in the pants!
The final great change that we must all face is death. I know someone who is facing death right now. This person is dying with great dignity. In moments of lucidity, death is being embraced. “Some people, like me, get lucky,” he said. “We have a healthy life, then get sick and die. Other people hang on for ten lousy years hoping they are gonna get better. That’s way worse than physical pain.” He is creating his own reality. Not succumbing to tests, hospitalizations, tubes and treatments, he is creating the death he wants. It’s his final opportunity to create his own reality in this world.
May we all take the opportunity to create a new reality for ourselves, it’s never too late!