Expand your mind

“Don’t mistake naming for knowing.” Ezra Bayda, Saying Yes to Life

As you age, embracing change is predictably hard.

I used to think it was fear that held us back, but the more I look at the issue, I’m inclined to think we’re tired, tired of living. (Let’s face it, when each day feels like a battle, the only constant is to find a way to turn off the pain by doing as little as possible.)

Of course, some people take a diametrically different view, risk everything and hope beyond hope that something will manifest. Unfortunately, it rarely does unless their will is rock hard and they have a higher purpose, which guides them through the travails of failure and the hubris of success.

And yet, when we look more closely, there’s a significant part of the pain that materialises through our unwillingness to accept things as they are. This doesn’t mean we can drift through life aimlessly — we still have to eat, clothe ourselves and find shelter — but, the truth is, so much of the angst that rules our lives arises from our incessant need to seek change for change’s sake.

I know it’s paradoxical: on the one hand we’re encouraged to change, but, then again, if we could accept this moment fully, what change would we need?

As Thomas Merton said:

“Unlike the animals and the trees, it is not enough for us to be what our nature intends.”

Perhaps that’s the place to start in expanding your mind. Not to look how you can be something ‘more’ in the outside world, but to understand the inner voice and why it drives you on in the face of something as profound as this moment.

Note: I accept there’s a pattern emerging in my writing; and it sounds suspiciously like a tilt at ‘mindfulness’ but, trust me, if you’re not careful you can become subsumed in chasing another gilt-edged opportunity only to be disappointed that it doesn’t answer questions like “Who am I?” or “What am I?”.