For a time during my high school years, I tried to make a psychedelic sanctum of my bedroom, declaring it a separate place from the rest of the house. I asked my father to bolt a three-foot ultraviolet black light to the ceiling. He did this to make me happy, and understanding that while it did make everything look enchanted, I would soon grow tired of seeing purple spots in front of my eyes from looking up at it from bed. I was striving to create a special atmosphere where transformation was possible.
I lined the bedroom walls with fluorescent Day-Glo posters that glowed in molten sunset colors when the light was switched on. The posters depicted winding pathways through trippy forests, mandalas, a psychedelic Jim Morrison reaching out a hand with smoldering eyes. I played cool music in that purple haze, as if I could make the counter culture rise like a whale from the depths of the past and carry me away to a bigger life. I read The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda, seeking a path with heart. I read Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, and later Be Here Now by Ram Dass, longing to go on similar journeys. During my high school years, I vividly remember sitting up in that room and on similar rooms with other kids. It was as if I thought that just the right lighting or reading or music would open the door to lasting change.
In the years that followed, I gave up trying to stage manage conditions in quite the same way but I kept trying to force change, hoping that just the right course of study, or diet, or exercise regime would help me change. Along the way, I discovered meditation. I tried to meditate my way to freedom. It didn’t work.
There was something wholesome in all this longing and trying. Even in my faux hippie years, I sensed that I needed to find a way that wasn’t in my head alone. Along the way I learned that trying to eat well and exercise helps, that meeting deadlines and commitments helps. Showing up helps. But I also learned that real change cannot be forced or controlled and what it feels like to be a little more free cannot be predicted. I learned that what is needed for real change is radical but not in the way I thought. What is needed is a willingness to see things just as they are. What is needed is a gentle surrender, a letting be, an inner movement of availability. We have to allow change to happen.
11 thoughts on “Allowing Change to Happen”
I took almost 70 years to figure this out, but I get it now. A gentle surrender.
I LOVED getting a glimpse into your “faux hippie years”. :-) Thanks for the reminder to allow change to happen.
Thank you, Guri. : )
When one allows change to happen, what is the nature of the forces which cause the change?
When you let go of striving and consciously see yourself, giving up hope of being better, of having a better experience, you begin to see and understand the forces that cause change.
The clue being “consciously”… thanks for posting this Tracy!
This. Thank you.
“…a little more free cannot be predicted…an inner movement of availability.”
Thanks Tracy 😀 Reminded me of my growing up years, though my father would never have allowed psychedelic strobes or such like! But all that reading similar to yours served me well … and has brought me to an understanding of the significance of seeing life as it is and not as I wish it – and being open to change.
Biggest change for me was accepting that “it is a spiritual axiom that whenever I am disturbed, there is something wrong with me” (12&12). So freeing, so empowering, so comforting – sometimes so difficult to remember.
We had that black light sanctum in the basement. Such a time. Thank you for this: “What is needed is a gentle surrender, a letting be, an inner movement of availability.” And thank you for showing up. xoxo