Pathways – Change Can Be Good

It has often been said that the only things certain in life is death and taxes. I’d like to add Change. If we are living at all, we are constantly changing, as a people, as a community, as a country. And usually change is very difficult. It’s often so easy to leaves things just as they are, with the familiar seeming better than the unknown. However, this can keep us trapped in mind sets that often leads to stagnation for a community or mental and physical distress as a people. I believe many of today’s ills are because of the difficulty faced when the need for change is eminent. That’s true for one individual, one’s family, one’s business or one’s community or country.

Personally, I welcome change. Not to change causes me intense physical and mental pain. I recall, as a child, when change was not an option in my life. My early years were painful leaving my body physically abused, my voice silenced and my spirit crushed. It would take me many years to overcome those early years.

Let me share this poem by James T. Moore with you.

There seems to be an extra hard requirement in living,
Along with patience, hope and love, and that old standby, giving
This necessary item is a job to put in words,
but those who know, and practice it, live far above the herds.
The caterpillar struggles to emerge a butterfly,
And living means, apparently, some changes by and by.
The Still Small Voice may beckon, so change plans without remorse,
Great things are done and battles won by sometimes changing course.

For the most part, I have learned to change course, to listen to that Still Small Voice, to make the
hard decisions that free my mind, strengthen my body and nourish my soul. And in doing so I am
able transcend the many challenges that change creates. Those changes rose from acquiescent
child to compliant teenager, to submissive wife and mother, to single parenting four children,
from crippling physical and mental illnesses to vibrant health, from high school drop out to
college graduate, from housewife and mother to a multi-career woman.

The greatest source of strength, and I believe the principle ingredient in my success has come
from my mental and physical fitness routine. This includes walking, yoga and meditation,
calisthenics and others – swimming, hiking and kayaking, depending on what’s happening in my
life. Walking has been the one ingredient which has remained through the past 35 – 40 years. It is
well documented how physical activity helps in dealing with the pressures in our everyday lives.
I often walk up to 20 miles a week. I practice Yoga and meditation daily, and when I really need
to increase my stamina I do calisthenics. And, I do this first thing in the morning. If it doesn’t get
done before I began my day, it just doesn’t happen.

The environment I was raised in, was, by to-days standards, incredibly harsh. I continue to work
on banishing the resulting myths and beliefs that have crippled me. I have learned that while
they gave me structure, they also instilled in me the feelings of never being good enough, of not
deserving the good that is in my life. And Now!! Life is Great…’til next time this is Joan. Shoot
for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the Stars. (Les Brown)

Joan Brooks makes her home in Wawa, Ontario. Comments are always welcome and can be made through email:
[email protected], telephone 856-0652 or by writing to Box 682, Wawa, On P0S 1K0