Change is the most difficult shift of energy in which the human race is susceptible to. Self willed change takes bravery, dedication, outside forces, support, love and kindness. With the mass exodus of Los Angeles by attendees of Burning Man, has come realizations, relief and another permanent departure. My greatest Aunt Pete died. It’s striking to me that she was the last of her era to pass, while this ending of an era is appropriate to my own life. It’s the end of summer. Children are back at school and the burners have left, shifting of seasons and a realization of where the time has gone. We have four more months of the year. A countdown of my old van dying a year ago, a divorce being final 4 years ago, moving to Los Angeles 9 years ago and 6 months until I turn 33. Logically this math places me within my timeline of life and ponderings of old have come back. Nostalgia of remembrances of what life used to be like and questioning if it was ever easier. Has time softened the edges?

Change. What does it take to transition gracefully utilizing our past experiences and turning around forging a path that will take you where you want and need to go? First step is recognizing the need for change. Something tells me this isn’t working. Second step is failing. I mean do people really get things right on the first try? Then what? Choose something else. I chose love, I chose knowledge, I chose adventure, I chose openness and honesty. And sometimes I fail. Sometimes events and ideas get so fuzzy with a swirl of chaos that I don’t know if I can make a true choice. Sometimes I freeze with the fear that even moving at all will render the worst possible outcome with fear to fail anymore. Change happens when we need it, whether we want it or not.

I’ve been thinking of an analogy recently that could describe this change I seek. It begins with a stone. A stone can be hard or soft, can be molded by running water or chiseled with iron. A hard stone can also cut, mold or chisel away at other things. I have been molded by my life, it has created my shape and texture, deciding my place in this world. I was taking to a friend the other day who suggested that I’m being guided after I expressed my frustration with always brushing up on opportunities though never quite achieving them. In this way I feel like a stepping stone, a hand rest for a mountain climber, or a sunspot for a tired seal at sea. Maybe it’s time for me to be less passive in my life, to view what is happening around me, understand it and change my scenery to be what I want. Maybe it’s time to become a diamond, be the force to cut, mold and transform my world instead of the other way around.

In chemistry a change occurs when a reaction causes atoms to rearrange and/or a formation of a new substance. Let’s think about that for a while. A new substance partly of my own choosing, mixed with the results of my past, causing the rearrangement of the atoms which make up my being. Sounds painful. And this is when I recount a life well lived, my great Aunt Pete, a woman who used her voice for others even when it was hard, even when it was painful, even if it wasn’t the popular thing to do. She was persisent, she was kind, she was made up of love.

Change isn’t easy, but if I want to achieve the change I seek, I must be persistent, I must be kind and I must ooze love out of every pore in my body. I must allow the anger and frustration to fade, let the resistance of past hurts and heartbreaks to release and open gates where I’ve built walls. It won’t be easy, and I’ll probably swing and miss a few more times, but freedom is waiting on the other side and I’m tired of having my hands tied.