Riding the Currents of Change

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It’s been said that better questions lead us naturally to better answers, and that it’s in not knowing that we open the doorway to knowing. I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a consideration of things that truly matter in a complex world.

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The past year brought with it an array of intense changes that affect everyone, including the ways we think and feel and how we interact with each other. As a result, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed from time to time.

Join me this week as we consider ways of riding the currents of change without being blown away or getting caught in the undertow.

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Over and over when I was a boy, my toes as close to the edge of the cliff as I dared, I stood on a high promontory from which I looked down at the winding Brazos River. From that vantage point, I could see for more than twenty miles to the north and west. I went up there to watch with fascination as hawks and turkey vultures and owls rode the invisible currents of rising air. The things I witnessed have never left me.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to see eagles mastering the air in the same way. Barely flapping a wing, they rose and fell and then rose again as they circled effortlessly and eventually flew out of sight. How many times did I dream of spreading my arms as wide as I could and flying beside them?

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Years later, the currents that caught my attention were visible ones. I won’t say that I mastered the sport, yet I was fortunate enough to enjoy doing a bit of surfing as a teenager and in my early twenties. While I was first learning, I discovered several things to be supremely important. Among them were balance and agility, keeping my knees bent and my movements fluid, and more than anything else, adjusting however was necessary to stay with the movement of the water.

We paddled our freshly waxed boards out into the oncoming sets of waves, then positioned ourselves to watch and wait for just the right moment to get to our feet and be carried along by the force of the running wave. As you might imagine, the experience was both humbling and exhilarating. Adding to the excitement was knowing that a moment of inattention would bring my ride to come to an abrupt end. Each time I failed to adjust to the constantly changing conditions, I was pitched from the board and tumbled headlong into the relentless and unforgiving power of the ocean.

But that was years ago.

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Now, as we do our best to adapt to change and uncertainty following more than a year of the pandemic, it’s not currents of wind and water we’re dealing with, but powerful currents of change. As was true when I was surfing, it can be so easy to be caught up in the surge, so easy to be swept away. Yet, the more focused and flexible we are, and the more conscious we are about adapting to our circumstances, the more enjoyable and even exhilarating the ride can be.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I don’t get to choose and can’t change the force or magnitude or intensity of what life presents to me. I can only change my responses to what shows up, but in most cases, that’s more than enough.

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Before Covid, I held regular dinners in my studio, feeding as many as twenty-four people as they sat around my long harvest table. Now, increasingly aware of how vital human interaction is to me and what isolation took away, I make sure that I schedule regular lunches with friends. While I miss my tribe of artists and musicians and poets and compassionate friends, I can adjust my expectations and my thinking, seeing to it that I consciously bring regular doses of conversation and support into my week.

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Before Covid, I didn’t feel as tired as I sometimes do now. Though I’m still considered to be “the Energizer Bunny” by friends and family, one of my recent adaptations is to keep open places in my daily schedule for short—and sometimes longer—naps in the afternoon. I’ve happily discovered that those refreshing intervals of rest keep me sharper and more focused as I meet with clients for tele-counseling sessions. They deserve that and so do I.

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Before Covid, I was at the gym at least three mornings a week. The effect of it was noticeable, physically and energetically. When my gym closed, I adjusted by creating a workout space here at HeartRock, including a stationary bike and space to do yoga routines. When I get the movement I need, the difference in how I think and feel and sleep is palpable. It doesn’t take much to get me back on track.

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Before Covid, I wasn’t quite as careful about taking in how others voiced their concerns and what angered or frightened them. Nor was I as diligent about what I was taking in from social media or the mainstream “news” of the day. After a year of mounting intensity, I find that it’s important for me to be much more careful about how much I take in and how I react or respond to it. The better I attend to that, the clearer my head is and the more optimistic I feel.

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And finally, before Covid I did almost all of my own “heavy lifting.” Call it my Celtic heritage. Call it the legacy of the growing up in a family of strong and capable people. Call it being stubborn. Either way, while I continue to be largely self-sufficient, I’ve learned making a simple adjustment and asking for help with certain things is not only good for me, it’s good for the ones I allow to be supportive.

Regardless of the myths we’ve told ourselves, we truly need one another. Especially in a time like this.

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This week’s three Beautiful Questions are designed to evoke deeper consideration of what it means to adapt in healthy ways during a chaotic or intense time. Here they are.

One: When you sit quietly enough to really hear yourself, in what ways has the past year changed or affected the ways you think, feel, and behave?

Two: What intentional adjustments would help you think more clearly, feel better, and gain the social support you need?

Three: When will you put those things into place?

I look forward to hearing what positive and healthy changes your considerations bring about and how you’re moving with the currents instead of against them.

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As I say each week,
My Light with your Light

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Thank you for joining me in these podcasts as we keep doing the things we can to respond to life in increasingly healthy and effective ways. As always, I’m open to your comments and feedback.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And at thebeautifulquestion.com, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. You’ll also find an archive of all previous podcasts, including episodes three and four, guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, don’t hesitate to share them or tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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