In a world that often presents us with uncertainty and a feeling of chaos, one thing we can certain of is change. Even when we go through periods of stagnancy or feeling stuck, we can be sure that sooner or later something will shift, and this will enable movement. Sometimes we become aware that we have been preventing change from occurring by various mental attachments to people, places, perceptions of who we are and who we want to be, while other times it seems as if changes are happening to us, without us having any influence or participation. When we are connected to those around us and have a sense of where we are going, our movement can feel fluid and light, like being propelled through space and time, but when there is a disconnect, life can feel like a struggle, the body often becoming a literal battlefield of held tension and emotion. Whatever our perceptions are of the changes happening in our lives, we can be sure that change is happening from the outside – in and inside – out all the time. We are all going through our unique developmental process.
As we travel through the space-time continuum, we each have a unique and variable rhythm. When we are in-synch with someone or something, we feel connected and confident, fluid and at ease. This sense affirms who we are and what we perceive to be true in the world. Sometimes our rhythm doesn’t align to those important to us. It can be confusing when we find that a person who seemed to resonate with us previously is no longer in harmony. When we feel we’ve outgrown a person or a philosophical ideal, often we refer to ourselves as ‘evolving’, but what does this mean?
When we learn about evolution in school, we are taught an idea of a linear process changing over a long period of time involving the change in inherited genetic code over generations. Embryology, another change process, refers to the changes occurring in the Ovum from fertilization until the fetus stage of human development. The latter process is integrated rather than linear, complete and connected rather than individualized, and rapid as opposed to slow. These differing philosophies offering varied lenses for understanding change in our own lives; evolution, looking at the individualization and differentiation of a species; and embryology, illustrating the connective flow of development as a sense of wholeness and completeness.
When we experience change, sometimes we feel ourselves outgrowing old paradigms in our lives. Certain people, labels or organisations, like clothing, may begin to feel tight or outdated. This can feel uncomfortable, and even lead us to question ourselves. The people we surround us with, our job title, the clothing we wear all help to build our persona – who the outside world knows us to be, and who we limit ourselves to being. When one or several of those things change or dissolve, we have an opportunity to expose more of our potential, who we really are. As exciting as this sounds, it can also be intimidating, as often we don’t truly know.
To combat the not knowing, we often ‘evolve’ from one thing to another. Our culture asks that we always know where we are, whether it is by defining our relationships, moving from job to job like stepping stones on a road map, or moving from location a to location b because of reasons that we can clearly justify. From an early age we are told to ‘specialize’, and far too often families with more than one offspring label the children; one sibling is good with maths, the other with paints, and from there the false concepts of who we are told to be play their own role in who we become. Other reality suggests that we all have multiple potentials. The moment we have fixed a point on the horizon or a definition of where and who we are, our scope of who we might be narrows. Realistically, we are available to change all the time, and all around us changes.
In my own life, the challenge is to stay afloat in the sea of the unknown. I continue to change and witness all around me changing, sometimes the flow is synchronized, and other times is out of synch or seemingly random. The ebb and flow of energy and emotion moves at a rapid rate, interconnecting seemingly disparate entities into a rich complete universe where we are far more like a single, whole embryo splitting, subdividing and mutating, than a linear, compartmentalized species designed for specialization. Without the labels, without the need to prove we know anything, we have far more potential to learn about ourselves and others than we do when attached to the constructs of the mind. Freedom is in the movement of change.