Sometimes change is incremental.  Like age it covers miles one step at a time and we don’t really notice the journey until something points out that we’ve made it. When people talk about the change in their lives, the positive changes they’ve made, this is usually what they are referring to.  They point out this and that which they weren’t doing for one reason or another, the situation over there which they were in because of all of those that they chose to do or not do and then they started listening to their inner wisdom, following their heart, valuing their gifts, doing what they felt called to do even though it was scary or contradictory and seemed just downright foolish and in the end they have arrived Here!  Whoot!

I over simplify and I don’t mean to trivialize.  I too can relate stories about my life that are just like that.  They are amazing and revelatory and transformational.  They are indispensible for becoming the people we came here to be and, just as importantly, for our being able to fully live our lives.  However, other times change is not so dignified and proper and logical. I’m not referring to the tragic event that overcomes us or hitting the wall or finding bottom.  These also happen.  Bad things happen to good people and there are consequences to repeated actions or inactions etc.  No, what I’m referring to here is the avalanche. One action, a sound or a snowball thrown at the top of a mountain, one footstep on a hillside drenched with spring rains, and everything starts sliding. What looked like solid ground becomes uncontrollable movement the outcome of which is completely unpredictable.

jengaChange can be like that. Just because we’re doing good things doesn’t mean we aren’t setting ourselves up for a chain reaction of changes.  You know, sometimes healing is like Jenga. You pull one piece too many and the entire stack falls into a chaos of pieces. From there anything is possible, but first they all have to fall.  One spiritual practice can start an entire portion of our life to fall out from under us. No way to control it, once it’s started it’s started, the best we can do is not get buried and then evaluate where we are when the movement stops. And like all avalanches, it doesn’t take much to get them going and the best we can do if we want to avoid them is be aware and try not to trigger them.  Which isn’t a guarantee and in most cases doesn’t work. Or like some areas prone to them, we can be proactive and trigger them purposefully in order to prevent as much collateral damage as possible.

I’m not saying avalanches are bad.  They aren’t.  Neither are volcanoes. The lava they spew sometimes does wipe out existing habitat, but on the whole it is actually creating more land and releasing internal pressure.  Better out than in, as it were. Control isn’t always best and working to control everything weakens our ability to be flexible. It makes us rigid and can cause stagnation.  Better to learn to ski than to refuse to see the wave of snow headed your way.