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Embrace Change

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Embrace Change

“Put aside the intellectual practice of investigating words and chasing phrases, and learn to take the backward step that turns the light and shines it inward.”

These words are from Zen teacher Dogen Zenji who lived in Japan during the 13th century.† I mentioned this “backwards step” to a friend recently and he replied, “but be careful; don’t take it when you are standing at the edge of a cliff.”

We laughed, and in thinking more about his comment, the problem, when it comes to change, is that we always think we are standing at the edge of a cliff, though, of course, we rarely are.† Letting go of the known, familiar and comfortable is difficult.† What we donít know feels dangerous.† This, I think, is why we hold on so tightly to what we have and know, even if it is not serving us. This must be where the expression “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t” comes from; reinforcing the idea that change is always bad.

Finding Light in Transition

A simple model of change that I find to be useful, for myself and in the teaching that I do, is a three step approach:

1)††††† Letting go of what is either gone or needs to be let go of.
2)††††† Being in a place where we donít know.
3)††††† New openings and new beginnings.

Next: How to let go, not know, and create new openings

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Read more: General Health, Guidance, Health, Inspiration, Self-Help, Spirit

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Marc Lesser

Marc Lesser is CEO of ZBA Associates LLC, a company providing executive coaching, leadership development consulting, and keynote speaking services to businesses and non-profits. He is a developer and instructor of Googleís Search Inside Yourself program. Marc is a Zen teacher with an MBA degree and a former resident of the San Francisco Zen Center for 10 years. He is the author of Less: Accomplishing More By Doing Less and Z.B.A. Zen of Business Administration.


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5:23PM PST on Feb 27, 2013


10:27PM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

My horror scope tells me change is good for me.

I usually benefit greatly.

I stay unattached.

Everythng will change.

The way I live today determines my tomorrow.

Let God's will be done.

I try not to get trapped in desire.

Be happy.

2:17PM PDT on May 8, 2011

I agree with the change when most time I see a person who refuses to change, hard time for a better life.

7:52AM PDT on May 5, 2011

Embrace our i am presence

6:54PM PDT on May 4, 2011

When doing deep-breathing exercises I find it helpful to feel myself releasing what doesn't work for me in my life while exhaling. Give it a try !

6:12AM PDT on May 3, 2011

I have so much I need to let go of it is almost sad. I have phicical stuff and emotional stuff and even stuff.

4:25PM PDT on May 2, 2011

I need to let go of the notion that doing the same thing over and over again might work this time.
Going into the same line of work where I already know how much I dread the kind of responsabilities bestowed upon me.
Expecting things to be different in my relationships when I´ve made no effort to change the way I relate.
etc etc etc
My biggest problem is knowing what the problem is and not doing a thing to change it

10:17AM PDT on May 2, 2011

noted thx

11:30PM PDT on May 1, 2011

Good article...good advice! Although it is a whole lot easier said than done at times. I've noticed that it's not so difficult to agree and' know' these ideas are 'spot on' when your life is sort of smooth sailing at the time. It's when things get topsy, turvy.....high waves of change to be navigated ......that's when the going gets tough...and you realize that 'change' doesn't come without a sometimes tough birthing process. Painful, scary....and the whole time of pregnant expectation of the unknown child that Change is -- you hope and pray that Change may be born healthy and happy. Trust the process and know that all change must be inherently good and healthy and happy seems to be the answer to that feeling of insecurity. Once you firmly believe that all newborn change is good - even though the birthing process may be tough - than it becomes easier. Experiences teaches us that often our 'darkest' hours are the ones that evenntually lead us to the brightest days. Have a wonderful day!

10:35PM PDT on May 1, 2011


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