By Kate Pauley, MFTC
Every day, everything around me changes, but rarely do I stop and notice the change. Each day, the grass in my lawn gets a little bit taller, the leaves on the trees brighten, change color, fall down, or bud. No two minutes have exactly the same cloud formations in the sky. The world changes moment to moment, so how can it feel so stagnant at times? The art of noticing changes involves practicing mindfulness.
My body is constantly changing too. My hair grows, my nails grow, my skin changes; I am different now than I was a moment ago. My emotions change like a wind, unexpected at times, and more predictable at others.
Thoughts race through my head, ever-changing, ever-expanding, leading me to new places. As I dream, I enter new worlds and spaces. I come in contact with new people all the time, see new faces, have fresh conversations, yet sometimes, my life feels the same day in and day out.
I get stuck sometimes thinking that things will “never change,” when in reality, they changed the moment I said those words. I feel that as humans we tend to look at things “big picture” rather than notice the tiny details. Sure, your job is the same, you keep having the same struggles at home, your friends have not changed, when someone asks you, “what’s new” you respond with “same old.” You feel tired and stuck in the sameness. But when you dig a little deeper and notice the little things, so much changes in every single moment.
It is unfair to say your friends are the same because that strips them of their ability to grow and change moment by moment too. When we can slow down, be mindful, and appreciate the small changes, no longer do we feel so stuck.
Do you notice each new bloom unfold on the tree? Or do you see more big picture: the trees were bare and now they have leaves? If we stop to notice the small changes each and every day, we can be more and more confident that growth is happening. We do not need to worry that we are “stuck” in the same patterns forever.
Sometimes, we tend to gloss over the small moments of growth, the “little wins.” But celebrating these moments are incredibly important. When we stop to recognize the newness in our life, we become more appreciative of our lives, we remain confident that we can make the big changes that we want to see. The art of noticing changes all around us also allows us to relish in the beauty that is this earth and is our human nature. When we stop putting ourselves and others in a box of “sameness,” we create room for them to grow and change, just as we want for ourselves.
So now, go stand outside and notice how each moment is different, feel into your body, notice the elements, see what is going on around you. Notice that you are powerless to change. There is no way to stop time, so begin to take control of the changes that you want to be in the world. Know that you are ever-blooming. Trust the process, and surrender to change.