Four years ago today the earth shook beneath us for a second and more devastating time. The first time was September 4th 2010 (which was felt more keenly in my neck of the woods) and then again on February 22nd 2011. Christchurch was rocked, shaken, split apart, and reconstructed as a result. Communities were dissolved and destroyed. People and families were torn apart. It was and still is a shocking event for us.
Which led me to think about change. As a mother this happens constantly and I forget. I forget that the phase one of my children is in is just that – a phase (or a “critical phase” as Teacher Tom says). I always feel that this is it and I will always have to deal with this developmental moment forever and I despair, get frustrated and struggle. But then a month later it’s different.
So here is a reminder to myself:
Change is constant. Change is constant. Change is constant. Drum it into my head! It happens slowly and quickly (and both can be just as life changing), before our eyes and in hindsight, to our knowledge and not of our awareness. People are still dealing with the effects of the earthquakes (because there were thousands after the big ones) now. I still stop and think – “maybe there will be one right now. Where am I? Am I ready? Where is my family? Am I safe?” How will the stress from the earthquakes affect people now in their lives or in 10 years? Maybe like a war it is forever. Change is forever altering even when we don’t think we are altered.
Over time people do remain as the people they were born as. As their Self. But change also has a big impact on how we react to and manipulate our environments and how we want to live our lives.
So what are the keys to life to remember? I need to teach (or model to) my children to be strong, resilient and to be able to recenter themselves in times of change.
Be like a tree or mountain (like Tadasana pose in Yoga) – stand strong and grounded in the earth. But, sway with the wind and be flexible. Watch the flowing waters of your thoughts and the changes of the world around you flow past you. Emotions flow through you they are not you.
Meditate and breathe deeply.
Look to the stars and see the amazing change of the cosmos and know you are apart of it. Then watch the clouds rolling by and how they change. Then be mindful of the seasons and the change. Embrace the rhythms and flows of the natural world (step away from the screen!). Sit on some sand and watch the waves roll in. Watch the bugs and microcosms go about their business in the soil.
Know that there are some things you can control and others you can’t – so let it go. Choose your battles wisely.
Sing, dance, hold hands, hug and find someone to love and someone who loves you for who you are. Someone who will listen and be there for you. Nourish the Self. Rest when you need it. So you are strong for when change comes. And have a support crew around you. Cheerleaders and service technicians!
The art of life is a practice. It is part of the journey and part of your story, your family’s story, your community’s story.
So remember to remember. And remember what has changed so far.
*The photo is of a coneflower. Christchurch is studded with road cones as work proceeds to rebuild the city and suburbs. On the anniversary of the February 22nd 2011 earthquake people put flowers on top of them. This one is via@sandalsnz.