Saturday, October 2, 2010

Learning to Embrace Change

Embracing change. This was going to be the title of this blog, but it was already taken.

I have been thinking about creating a blog for some time now. I've made blogs in the past and not kept them up-to-date. Or I didn't want my friends to know they were mine, because I posted such outrageous stuff.

Facebook's note app isn't doing it for me anymore though. So here I am.
In the computer lab at Chico State.
Meandering my way towards a story.

This past Wednesday there was a "Wellness Fair" on campus. I'm not sure what a lot of the activities had to do with wellness, but all the booths with colorful wheels you could spin to win prizes drew me like a kid at, well, a fair.

I strolled up to one booth with such a wheel, knowing I was making myself late for the drawing class I already feel behind in (I have barely drawn in my sketchbook this semester, and making accurate representations of architecture stumps and frustrates me). All this booth had to win was pencils though, so I continued on my way (after winning one for answering some random question).

After filling my Kanteen with purified water, left out for all to drink, I spotted another wheel, even bigger and more colorful. The spots were labeled with such titles as "Emotional Wellness" "Spiritual Wellness" "Cultural Wellness" and so on. The trick was to answer two of three questions correctly. Then you get a prize. It seemed like a wonderful excuse to delay my journey towards arriving at class on time. So I spinned the wheel.

First Spin: Emotional Wellness. Question, relayed to me by one of the kids operating the booth (when I say kid I mean goofy college student): "True or false-- being happy can keep you from getting sick."

True, of course. Spin again. Mental Wellness. "How many students come into the counseling center each year?" 1000, and I guessed it even before he gave me the multiple choice answers.

I had already won my prizes, but I spinned again for good measure. Academic Wellness. "If you wanted help in deciding on a major, where should you go: Academic Advising, the Career Center, Counseling Services, or the Student Health Clinic?"

I thought, counseling seems like the best option to me, but that's probably not what they want. Health Clinic is obviously not it. The Career Center isn't about school, its about after you leave school. So Academic Advising it is.

Wrong (according to their little cards)! I should have known. In a culture where education is for the purpose of fitting every individual into the functioning of the economic machine, your major is a product of what your career will be, not your interests or desires or passions at the moment.

Regardless, I had answered two questions correctly, so I kept my cynicism to myself and stepped up to receive my prizes: a rock, a Tootsie Pop, and an affirmation. I pondered the Tootsie Pops, wondering if there was any purpose in taking a ball of sugar, dyes, and chemicals on a stick into my possession. As I debated, I reached over to grab a rock from the pile, all of which had words or phrases written on them, without looking. When I pulled one to me, it said on it, "Life is Awesome!" My initial response? To put it back! I went to put it back, and then thought, What am I doing? Why don't I want this one?

It wasn't the one I would have picked with my mind. I would have gone for something about growth or healing or acceptance, not celebration. The Cosmos had something else in store for me though. I surrendered. I kept the rock. I also grabbed the first Tootsie Pop I spotted, which had a green piece of paper attached to it, with the words "I can learn to embrace change" imprinted on it. This message also felt very applicable to my needs in my current phase of life.

For the rest of the day, I kept these two ideas in my awareness. I felt celebratory, something I haven't felt much lately, having been stuck in a mucky swamp of inertia and bad dreams. I also felt confident in my ability to face change, even regarding something I have been very scared of acknowledging at all.These were the messages I was meant to receive, when I dropped my mental filters and stepped in to the flow. Which reminds me of a song we sing at Witchcamp:

Step into the flow and then I let it go
I open my mind my heart and my soul

Which brings me to something else entirely. Or maybe not so much. There is a pattern to the madness, as it turns out. I am part of a 5 Rhythms class this Fall, and right now we are working with flow. This last class I connected with my need for the lessons of flow in my life. I need to feel grounded and present in myself before I can reach out and connect with others. I love feeling present and aware of myself while interacting with others; it enriches my appreciation of them so much.

I also connected with my own creativity. This semester I changed my major to art, and I've been feeling very challenged. My right brain hasn't received nearly as much cultivation as my left. I danced with my creativity though. I was a volcano erupting with inspiration. Today I am wearing orange. I put on my new orange tie-dye dress without even realizing I was honoring my sacral chakra.

Tonight is the healing part, which I initiated. I don't know if it will go as I want it to. That will be another story. For now, the best thing I can do is surrender.

I surrender, I surrender
I surrender
I open my mind my heart and my soul

*song from Suzanne Sterling

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