The summer is reaching its peak and the heat has been intense and long lasting. This climate can take some getting used to and especially people from the North will now much better understand the need for a rest in the middle of the day. Getting up early earns one a cooler breeze before the heat settles at around noon. The siesta allows one to stay up late to again enjoy a milder heat during the late hours.
Often a change can be a challenge. Situations in which we need to improvise or find new ways of behaviour in order to adapt to a change in our surroundings. Change comes with challenges.
Humans will make a great effort in order to steer away from the challenge of change. Even if the present situation is not ideal, it is what is known and hence controllable, somewhat foreseeable and provides a sense of security. At the same time resistance to change limits the space to feel safe in and can make the world a very, very small place.
Each time we leave the safety of our known and somewhat controllable world, we are confronted with challenges. This can be a new job, a new boss or colleague even, a journey, moving away, etc.
From a state of comfort and routine we are confronted with a different situation, which we don’t know yet how to deal with. It might lead us to question our own behaviour, it can invite us to observe how stuck we are in our routines and how inflexible we may have become in our ideas of how the world works or should be.
The challenge often lays in the realisation, that knowing what we know, does not necessarily mean, that it is the ultimate truth, the only acceptable one. We base our opinions and ultimately our judgement on what we have learnt and experienced, on what we were taught. We are challenged in our beliefs of right and wrong and with time may understand, that difference is not good nor bad, but simply different.
Challenges are about challenge, so time of adaptation and adjusting is essential as the mind develops new strategies of coping. During this time of adjustment sensations of helplessness and fear are common. It is the empty space when the old is no longer available and the new is not yet in sight. The challenge here is to swim, to float, to surrender to the flow and trust that you are carried and that the shore again will be safe and comfortable, once you have let go of judgement and simply accept the new reality for what it is, different.
This acceptance requires a great deal of flexibility, which can only be trained by exposing oneself to challenges and change. It is a beautiful tool to have, instead of judging and maybe even being afraid, one can again be curious and fascinated by different ideas and thoughts and maybe even be inspired to change ones own. The world once again expands into infinity and instead of being stuck in one place in order to know and understand it all, we can plug back into the magnificence of not knowing and simply experiencing the mystery of existence as a whole.
Challenging oneself to try something new everyday, may it be as simple as a different flavour of ice cream, having a siesta in the middle of the day or as brave as saying yes to something you would say no to, is a simple exercise that trains flexibility and may reward with moments of bliss, wonder and awe.
May the rest of this summer be filled with surprises and may we embrace them all.