On the Illusion of Change

Dear quarter lives,

Often we try to move but find ourselves in the same spot. Square 1 we like to call it. Although we are still where we’ve always been, we notice something has changed. Something does feel different. But if it’s not where we stand on the outside then something must’ve shifted on the inside. It must be us. The inside you see is not as still as the outside, we just seldom look at it because we are constantly striving for movement but it’s already there happening inside of us all the time. We move countries, jobs, friends, homes, all in pursuit of something. In pursuit of ourselves, but our selves are already here with us. All we need is a moment alone with our selves to realise the moving hasn’t been in pursuit of ourselves, it’s been a deliberate escaping from ourselves. As stressful, as busy, hectic and erratic the outside world may seem, there is nothing louder and more congested than the traffic jams of our minds. Peace of mind, “happiness” as we like to call it, does not come from a beautiful home, a stable job or a conflict-free marriage. Peace of mind comes from a conflict-free self, a mind and body that are given attention, that are seen the way we see the people we love, that are gifted and celebrated when it is time and disciplined and quieted when necessary. All you could ever want is right where you are, all you need to do is look at it.

But it’s not that easy to look at our selves at first. So much is happening. You don’t know where to even begin to look. You feel overwhelmed. You remember your breath, you go with it, and for a moment it takes you away from all that traffic. But you find yourself pulled back to a party of thoughts, fireworks are going off everywhere, your ears begin to hurt and you remember your breath. It pulls you out again to a quieter place, and again more thoughts come, and again your breath pulls you back, and back and forth you seesaw from mind to body, and you grow tired of their war. You want peace. You decide to resolve this conflict between them and mediate their peace talks. You begin to mediate and very quickly you realise that you cannot understand what they’re saying. You listen closely but hear no words, you realise this isn’t a language you can decipher from a dictionary, it’s a language unique to your own mind and body and to understand this language, you must learn to observe and decipher patterns in their communications. So you begin to listen like you’ve never listened before. And after much observing and watching yourself, you finally know all there is to know. Nothing. You finally know that there is absolutely nothing to know. And if there is nothing to know, then there is nothing to observe. You finally notice the quiet, the silence. Peace has finally come. And finally you realise you have made it. You are here. You are finally now.here. Finally “present”. You realise you were here all along, you just hadn’t noticed it. We are always at square one, we will always be at square one, so what changed? Absolutely nothing. You see the unsettled mind only appears to be unsettled when we first look at it. The mind isn’t what settles, it’s our gaze that does. Thoughts are like a painting covering a blank canvas, the colours are always there but so is the blank canvas too.

Change is an illusion of the mind, as is stillness an illusion of the eyes. The walls you see all around you, the floors beneath your feet, the trees outside might all seem pretty fixed in place, but look at them long enough and you will see they not only move but dance too. It is a dance always between the inside and outside, between body and mind, between change and stillness. All we really have the power to shift is our gaze. Whatever you choose to adjust your gaze to, whatever frequency you choose you will see it everywhere and in everything. If you choose to see anger, you will see it even in the trees. If you choose to see fear, you will haunt your own dreams. If you choose to see love, it will ooze out of everything you lay your eyes on. It is all about how we see. It is how we choose to observe that changes the world around us and even changes us to ourselves. It only feels different because our eyes see different. So cherish your eyes, they are your gift, your superpower. If you feel powerless in any situation, know that no one has power over your eyes except your self, and no one can take away that power except yourself. Progress isn’t that we change but that we learn to use our eyes differently. Progress is a matter of perception. So open your eyes wide, and intentionally choose the channel you would like to watch. Don’t settle for the one you know best. Always remember: It’s your tv and you’ve got the remote control to it right between your eyes. So use it wisely. It’s your magic wand! 🙂

With love,