How to Deal With Change

There is some serious shit going down in Vermont these days and it’s going to make the Occupy Wall Street movement look like a little Kindergarten outing to see the New York Stock Exchange.

Vermonters are upset because the  poor white trash are coming into their own and it’s going to change the 100 year old mythology of Vermont being this bucolic apple cider and antiquing retreat for the New England and New York rich. What’s happening: 15 Dollar General stores are opening up on Main Streets all across the state. Those stores are dirty, filled with bags of candy bars, mis-shapen dresses, and broken blenders you can buy for a dollar. The dirt from outside comes in and nobody ever mops up. The staff stare with glazed looks at you if you ask where the Ramen Noodles section is.

(Vermont Maple Syrup is like liquid gold)

And Vermonters are up in arms. I called a friend of mine who has his country estate there. He has a staff of three that shovel his lawn, get his mail (his driveway is almost a mile long) and in general clean his house, do his shopping, and breast feed his kids when he spends his weekends there. “We chose Vermont because of the peace and quiet,” he says, “these dollar stores are going to crowd up Main Street and close down the farmers markets.”

People are angry. Jobs will be lost. Tourism will go down. All because people are against the price of goods being marked down to a dollar.

Money changes things. It changes the landscape. It changes your personality (making money expands whatever you have inside you – the good, the bad, and the ugly, and you have to work really hard to make sure it’s “the good”). It changes the complexion of Main Street.  Natural Vermont Maple Syrup that was $7.50 at Lisa’s Market (open since 1923!) will sell for for 99 cents at the dollar store. Life is going to change.

People move, relationships change, have their ups and downs or sometimes disappear. Relatives get sick and never fully recover but just get weaker and weaker until they die. Houses go underwater and then sink and drown while you grab a barely working lifeboat to stay afloat. Stores open up, others close down, a wind blowing in Greece causes a flash crash on US markets here, sex between two people can end 20 relationships. It all changes every moment.

Dealing With Change:

  1. #1: Change happens every day, every second. Ask yourself right now: what things are changing in your life right now? Big and small. Positive and negative.  Just list them with no judgement. List five things that are changing in your life today:
  1. ————-
  2. ————-
  3. ————-
  4. ————-
  5. ————-

#2: Accept change. We have tiny brains and tiny bodies. Everything in the future always seems glamorous and everything in the past seems filled with mistakes. Much later, the future will turn into the past when it surprises you with the unexpected, the bleak, the panicked, the winds you didn’t expect. You can’t control the wind. For every change in your life, treat it like a negotiation. Seek out the “yes” in the change. Find the things in the change that you can be grateful for. I lose one marriage. I lose money, I’m grateful I can see how arrogant and stupid I was then.

Find one thing to be grateful for in each change.

#3. Embrace change. Once you know it always happens, and once you practice finding the things to be grateful for in each change, then the changes will gradually start to always be on your side. When you wake up, start to look forward to the stunning that will happen in your life today. “It was simply stunning”, you will say.

Here’s what happens when you wake up looking forward to the changes that will happen that day: first, amazing coincidences, second: pleasant surprises, third: abundance.

#4: Alchemize change: Everything I’ve ever done in my life has led me to right here. Whatever my thinking was, whether it was “good” or “bad”, whatever my stupid actions were, whether they were “good” or “bad”, has led me right here and now. And right this second I can choose to be happy or sad with the changes that have happened before.

I had to move two years ago. It meant a longer commute. It meant less late night with friends. It meant less easy meetings in the city. But it meant more time with children. More time with nature. More time quiet. No noise. Silence.

Right now I get to sit in silence and I can’t imagine anything I’d rather be doing this moment.

Once you realize that all change is going to bring you to the present moment you can transform the change always into something positive, whether or not it seems that way at first.

Vermont is going to change. Apple cider is going to go for a dollar a quart. I love cheap apple cider.

The country is changing. Everyone around you is changing every day and there’s nothing you can do about it. Pour some maple syrup over it. I love hot waffles that are soft and buttery and starchy inside. Mmmm. Vermont Maple Syrup all over it. For just a dollar. Sit back and enjoy the flavors that are about to light up your tongue in ways you couldn’t possibly expect.

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