“Everything Is Continuously Changing. As Soon As We Think We Are Safe, Something Unexpected Happens.” (Buddha)
Change is scary. For most people there’s a big fear of change, as we worry about how things will turn out, whether we can cope with the change, and how it will affect the quality of our lives. Buddha is right. When we really examine our lives we’ll notice that although some things may have appeared to stay the same, the vast majority of life can be characterised by change.
So how do we work through this fear of change?
Based on my experience of working with hundreds of clients to help them get peace in their everyday lives (with many having a big fear of change) and my own self-enquiry, I share my three top tips below.
This tip has two layers to it. On the one hand it is vital to be consistent in how you approach your meditation practice from a practical perspective. On the other hand, it is equally important to be consistent in what you are trying to tap into internally through your meditation practice.
Consistency breeds confidence. By always having a meditation practice at a set time each day (even if it’s just for five minutes), you know that there will always be a point during the day in which you can go to the safety and refreshing comfort of your practice. Morning works best in my experience, as it gives you a focus and anchoring point for the rest of your day.
In addition to this, it’s essential to tap into the space that can completely deal with change consistently in your daily meditation practice. There are two key spaces in a meditation practice. One is the space that’s connected to the man-made concept of time, where we are looking to improve, process, and visualise things, while the other space is outside of time and is unchanging (I call this the “zero zone”).
Change only happens over time. As a result, the fear of change is a time-based phenomena, which simply cannot enter the power and grace of the “zero zone” no matter how difficult life appears to be on the outside. The secret, therefore, is to meditate consistently with the intention of tapping into this “zero zone” space. This space is paradox in action—it’s unchanging yet is in everything that changes, and it’s unaffected by life yet right in the heart of life too.
The mind can’t grasp it, which leads me beautifully onto tip number two.
Fear of change comes from the fact that our mind is scared of losing control of the concepts and variables it has over what it defines to be “our lives”. This approach is not about changing or controlling the mind. Instead, it’s a willingness to just let the mind be and set the intention to come from a deep place of “not knowing” when change arises in your life.
We are generally so quick to judge a change. Yet we don’t know whether a change is for better or for worse, or whether this is the right time for change or not. Change is very exciting and refreshing when you simply accept that you don’t know.
To help with the practical implementation of this, you can repeat the mantra “I don’t know” whenever fear thoughts come up during a change period. This helps anchor you to a vibration which is closely aligned to the power of the “zero zone”. You can also help anchor yourself into the power of the “zero zone” through tip three.
We often take life too seriously. Yet through the continued implementation of tips one and two we touch something that helps change our view of life forever, as we explore the “zero zone” within the duality and imperfection of life. Life becomes less serious and more like an experiment.
To help get us into the grace and flow of this state more quickly, we can also start to reverse-engineer this discovery through tip three.
The process is simple. When you wake up simply set the intention to experiment with things in your life today, doing normal things differently and with no attachment to any outcome. Change up what you eat, start a conversation with a stranger or do something you would consider risky and “out of character” (as long as it causes no harm of course).
The mind will be very resistant to this idea. Over-time, however, it will really help shift your inner posture to one aligned with having no fear when change comes.
“You will come closer and closer to perfection, but you will never be perfect. Perfection is not the way of existence. Growth is the way” (Osho)
If you implement the three tips above consistently there is no doubt that something very beautiful and deep will happen in how you approach change in your life. Yet it will never be perfection. Instead it will be a different way to approach the inherent imperfection and chaos of change that gives life its unique taste.
I would love to hear what you feel about the three tips I share and any progress you make around a fear of change from implementing them.