There is a time to be still, and a time to move. Solomon or another sage might have said something similar. Or maybe it was just some everyday Joe philosophically considering the consequences of failing to avoid an oncoming train. Whoever should get the credit for first verbalizing this basic reality really doesn’t matter. What matters is that it is reality.
We’re at that time of year where many if not most of us make some sort of resolution toward change. Most of us fail. A hard truth, but a truth none the less. It takes more than an idea to move forward. More than a desire even. Most of us have those. But what most of us often lack is the voodoo to actually move from point A to point B. We don’t like to admit it, but whatever our difficulty or dysfunction is, it has become comfortable to us on some level. This in spite of the obvious problems it may cause us. We have old friends in our chronic behaviors and we are loathe to divorce them.
So how do we acquire the voodoo? What’s the magic? How do we change? Age-old questions with answers beyond number depending upon both who is asking and who is answering. But all of the answers that matter will have one thing in common. DO SOMETHING. Do something that is DIFFERENT from what we have been doing.
“But that is problem!” our souls screech! We want to change but can’t. We need help. We need God or a Higher Power or a therapist or a friend that will listen. We need a program or a plan. We need to pray or meditate. We need some alone time. I’m not arguing. We have a lot of things we need. Turn to God. Go see a therapist. Meditate. Make a plan. Fantastic! But what will any of that accomplish without action? In most theistic systems of thought God will tell us to make some changes. Change our thoughts, change our actions, change our life. A good therapist will listen and explore wounds and talk about feelings and then give us something to do. All plans that matter involve action steps. Things that must be done.
And what of meditation? What of the “doing nothing” that we wrote of not that long ago? I am still very much a fan. Actions without reflection and a proper stillness in the soul can often be blind and wreak havoc in lives. But a proper stillness that doesn’t lead to action isn’t a proper stillness at all and is in fact useless. Life isn’t just a noun. It’s also a verb. The existence around us is in constant motion. The birds and bees and rivers and seas all move. The universe is energetically and constantly rearranging itself. We are are microcosm of it. So the power to change is in there. That isn’t the question. The question is will we? Will we do something different?
We’ve all heard the old cliche about a journey of a thousand miles beginning with a single step. I hate cliches. I hate them because they are so stunningly ordinary. They remind me too bluntly that while there is much seeming magic and mystery in the world some things are not magic at all. They’re just work. Sometimes very hard, unpleasant (at least in the short term) work. Sometimes that is exactly the sort of reminder we need, whether we especially want it or not. Today is the first step in the rest of our journey. If we don’t like the direction our proverbial feet are taking us it’s time to do something different. Right now. Not tomorrow or in a little bit when we finish this or that.
So step away from the screen internet addicts. Put down your phone and turn the damn thing off, phone junkies. Go toss the donuts out the window dieters. Put on some shoes and go take a walk Mr. Couch Potato. E-mail that resume job searcher. Fill out the application Miss Going Back To School For The Last Five Years. Finish this post and go talk to your wife over morning coffee. Wait! That’s me. There is a life to be lived. The only path to growth is through growth itself. Growth is change. So do something. Do something different.