“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1
“Change is never painful; only the resistance to change is painful.” -The Buddha
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am absolutely obsessed with summer. I love the heat, the beach, boat life, and the warmth-give me 85 degrees and I am as happy as can me. When we get to that first week of sub-70-degree weather in September, I cringe. “I don’t want fall to come because that means winter is next and all I’ll want to do is hibernate and wait for the heat to return!”
I have made an attitude shift though and this is the first step to defeating the winter blues that try to steal my cheer every year. I am a Christian woman with a deep appreciation of Buddhism as well—both traditions share wisdom about change.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1 of the Bible, the author said, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” and goes on to explain that there is a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, a time to harvest, a time to search and a time to stop searching. Buddha tells us that “Change is never painful; only the resistance to change is painful.”
I look back on my life and realize that BIG changes were frightening and painful mainly because I was unaccepting—I was resisting! I was unwilling to let my life have seasons! We all like staying comfortable, right? Getting out of your comfort zone is good for you.
Here’s a personal example for you.
When I lost my job at Rodale due to the magazine I wrote for, Best Life, ceasing publication, I became depressed. That was my dream job with kick-ass coworkers, fitness trails, and a cafeteria serving the most outstanding organic meal choices for less than a cup of coffee! Enter self-pity—why me?
I anxiously applied for job after job after job from Philadelphia to New York (I lived equidistance between the two cities at the time). Truth be told, I was making enough with my nutrition counseling and health education gigs that I really didn’t need to hustle for a writing job—I was even considering medical writing jobs for pharmaceutical companies-yuck! If only I had embraced the change, I would have saved myself so many nights of crying myself to sleep and crippling anxiety!
When I expanded my job search nationally and landed a marketing director job at Natur-Tyme in Syracuse, NY, I was NOT happy with the cold winters and the ridiculous amounts of snow. I complained a lot. Admittedly, I did laugh at someone’s bumper sticker that said, “Just shut up and live here.” That bumper sticker was written for me.
About a year and a few months after moving to Syracuse (January 1, 2011 to be exact), I was walking my dogs in a local park and this elderly man passed by with a huge smile on his face. He said, “Happy New Year, isn’t it a beautiful day?” I responded to him that it was quite nice, and he said, “I couldn’t be happier. The days are getting longer, and spring is the next season!” His positivity sparked a smile across my face, and I so often think of this man’s remark when January and February try squashing my mood.
The following year, my mom, who lived an hour away, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Lung Cancer at 54 years young. Suddenly I realized why I “was moved” to Syracuse…so I could be her advocate…so I could spend more cherished time with her in her last six months of life than I did in the past decade. It would have been heartbreaking to have lived hours away from her! Embrace change!
As for the seasons, how beautiful is the fall foliage and how awesome is it to cross country ski through pine forests with snow draping over tree limbs, painting fairytale-like scenery? And winter justifies hot cocoa—how “hot” is that?!
I am embracing the change of seasons! The winter blues will not fight me down this year! Where in your life do you need to embrace change?
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