Definition: subject to variation or alteration in form, state, quality, or essence; transformative

Synonyms: innovation, labile, modification, mutation, novelty, revolution, transition, transmutation
See also: Stress Hardy

Balancing Qualities: Playful, Restful, Worshipful   

Omnia mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis (Latin): “All things are changing and we are changing with them.”
Plus ça change, plus c’est le meme chose (French): “The more that changes, the more it is the same thing”

• Change creates movement; movement creates change. — Jerry Downs (1949-) American Collagist

• He who cannot change the very fabric of his thoughts will never be able to change reality. — Anwar El Sadat (1918-1981) 3rd President of Egypt

• A tiny change today brings us a dramatically different tomorrow. There are grand rewards for those who pick the high roads. — Richard Bach (1936-) One

• You cannot change anyone except yourself. After you have become an example, you can inspire others to change themselves. — Peace Pilgrim [born Mildred Lisette Norman] (1908-1981) Steps Toward Inner Peace

• The biggest reason for resisting change is the anticipation that the personal costs of the potential change will be greater than the benefits. When individuals resist change due to threatened self-interest, there is a tendency to camouflage the real reasons for resistance with “other reasons.” — J. Randolph New and Daniel D. Singer, Industrial Engineering Magazine

• What I see without is a reflection of what I have first seen within my own mind. I always project into the world the thoughts, feelings and attitudes which preoccupy me. I can see the world differently by changing my mind about what I want to see. — Gerald Jampolsky, American Psychiatrist

• We can meet many of the demands and overcome many of the challenges of life with simple skills – straightforward practices that anyone can master and that don’t require willpower – in other words, with skill, not will. — Robert Epstein (1953 -) Change your Bad Habits to Good
Note: Mr. Epstein’s study highlights the three “M’s”: Modify your environment, Monitor your behavior, and Make commitments.

Affirmation: I choose to change. I can change. I have changed. I will change again.

Consideration: Make it harder and it will be easier to give up. Make it easier and it won’t be necessary to give up. Put a lot of energy into something and you will want to follow through.

• One important element of change is motivation. To act you have to be interested (internal motivation), threatened (external motivation), or encouraged (an external appeal to your internal possibilities).

• What you think and do moment by moment are what create and change the structure of your being. You have choice. You are the result of your choices.

• When you decide, you are in control. When you allow or believe someone outside yourself to be in control, they are establishing the boundaries of your growth.

• Desire to do what you have to do. Do it well and patiently and recognize you will get it done. Don’t hold any stress or antagonism in your mind as you do it. While mowing the lawn, instead of ignoring that weed, dig it out. Clip around that tree, and do so with care and enjoyment.

• People would be better off if they knew how to change their minds. We get stuck in the way we hold the universe. True, there needs to be an order to our existence, but there must also be the ability to let go of an established “reality” to make way for a new and better way. Therein lies the answer. We cannot give up the established reality without some very good reason. Therefore, look for the good reason.

• The events happening internally and the events happening externally are responsive to your choices.

We normally react to the world in predictable ways. This consistency is because of our unique combination of experiences, and because of the characteristics of our inner selves. We can free ourselves from the bounds of our patterns by expanding our repertoire. Before reacting, glance at your range of possible responses. Becoming is not only relative to who you are but also to who you can change into. You can respond differently only when you see more options.

• You can recreate yourself. There is a way to exchange or modify your attitude toward things that have already happened. You can do so by changing your inner self, by enhancing your knowledge, by adding to your information, by adjusting your patterns and habits, and by seeing the past in the light of these expanded boundaries. Change the past by changing who you are.

Let’s say you were in a car accident and broke your foot – “bad” experience, very painful. You may have assigned blame. You do wish you had done something differently. But now you can change your attitude. Even though the facts of the experience stay the same, your relationship to the experience can change. You now have qualities you did not have then. The meaning of the experience becomes fuller and therefore the value of the experience is modified to become something other than the exclusively negative experience it once was.

Consider this as the completion of the experience. Until you have come to peace with your past experiences, and the choices that created those experiences, you will feel incomplete.

Observation: Change begins when someone sees a need. It continues with willingness, and moves ahead with imagination.

• Change is easier if you are moving toward the positive. It is more difficult when you are moving away from the negative. And, in fact, the only way to permanently move away from the negative is to create a positive intention to do so.

• There are easy changes and there are hard changes. Some things are physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually on the edge of your ability. It is a good idea to consciously decide to accept a relatively small difficulty. It is hard to make a difficult change. It is easier if you are, or feel as if you are, forced to change by an outside agent. It is also easier if you believe the change is a must. In either case, the actual move takes courage and faith.

When you are dealing with something hard, do so with a friend.

The Three-sphere Model
There are various factors involved in the phenomenon of change. First, we realize a movement away from stability. We arrived at our current fixed point of view from our finite experience, and will move to a new one from our expanded experience. The new information (catalyst for the change) is plugged into the existing system, and a new stability is eventually established.

Each sphere is within a larger one, descriptive of each person’s actuals and potentials.

The inner sphere represents who a person is, at any point in time, due to their experiences and decisions. This is constantly expanding and changing as it interacts with the second sphere. These two spheres are where a person lives – the self.

The second sphere includes all, internal and external, stimuli and pressures a person can cope with. These can be brought into the solidity of the first sphere. They may be relatively easy to assimilate or quite difficult.

In the third sphere are the hazy outreachings of the mind, unexpected and still forming experiences. Sometimes a person feels this area to some degree. Elements of it are continually coming into the second sphere. This is the superconscious level of possibility as well as the subconscious level bubbling up as we expand our boundaries.

The first sphere, your stable self, can be damaged or destroyed by something coming in from the outer reaches of the third sphere. Examples: a traumatic physical accident, a devastating emotional experience, or a drug overdose.

The inner-most sphere is solid, and is the core of who you are. The second is liquid, and is your short-term potential. The third is gaseous, and is your long-term possibilities.

The Seven Stages Model
The cycle of change begins with a catalyst – an event touches you, and has to be dealt with to maintain the equilibrium of the system. The event can be something simple or difficult, positive or negative. It can originate in the first, second, or third sphere.

The second step in the process is that you feel the event. This is a seemingly obvious thing, but nonetheless no growth will be forthcoming if it has no internal impact. Reactions are relative to who a person is at the time of the occurrence. The same event will have a different impact on each individual, or on the same individual at a different time.

Next, the actual work of change is begun with a clear visualization of, or feeling for, what has happened. Of course, some changes are so easy for a person to handle, the process may happen almost instantaneously. But in more difficult situations the stabilization process could take years.

The fourth step in the growth process is the breakdown into perspective. There is a gradual acceptance of the totality of the experience. One considers a series of options. What can be done about it? How do I fit these facts into my current organization? Do I need a new system?

At the fifth step you ask yourself: How do I integrate the event into my old outlook, without completely destroying it? Here is the rub. Some mighty strange juxtapositions find their way into our personal realities here.

The sixth is the settling of the experience – the recognition of a new individual self – the balancing and resolidification of a new first sphere.

The seventh phase is the mobilization of your new being. You really haven’t got it unless you live it. This is also the most important place to take time out, to rest and recuperate.

This is the process of change, but change is not necessarily equal to growth. You do not want to just exchange one type of system for a different one. The alternate one could be even worse. You want to build the new person on the changeless realities of the universe. Growth is the integration of meanings and values. The greater you are able to adapt your internal environment to your external environment and experience, the greater the meaning inherent in the change.

If you refuse to accept the higher values and deeper meanings, the lower conflicts will persist.

Life is usually lived in a series of small steps and achievements. If you go outside of your comfort zone, you will need to develop the ability to live with the new self you are creating. Since the ideal is to always have a new self-emerging from the old, it is essential to have a fluid sense of self – one that is above, and yet familiar with and adapting to, change all the time.

Exercises: The following two list are adapted from Denis Waitley (1933 -) Nightingale-Conant Audio Tapes.
1. By looking at your attitudes
2. By practicing consciously developed habits
3. By developing your personal skills
4. By clear vision
5. By strong commitment

Managing Change
1. View change as normal. Monitor your capability of adaptability.
2. Do your best to do your best. Be constructive. Rebound from disappointment and failure.
3. If the effort to change a little thing far exceeds its worth, learn to live with it now, and come back to it later. Keep your mind free to concentrate on bigger things.
4. Investigate ways to do things more effectively. Be inventive.

Symbols: 1) death; 2) the number eleven; 3) a bridge [transition from one stage to another]; 4) crossing of the fingers [hoping to change an expected outcome]