Right now, as I write this, I'm standing on the shaking earth. I have over the past months, since a major life change coupled with an initiatory experience, stripped down my practice to bare-bones, and something, I dunno what, is about to erupt out of this ground before me. Not like crops cultivated over time either, more like the ground opening up and a drake bursting forth from the bowels of the underworld kinda erupt. It itches, it's on the peripheral, and it's pulling me every which way. The only constant in it is the centralization of the Craft, but only in form and not interpretation.
This is all fine and dandy for me but I'm sure you're wondering what this has to do with anything. Well, I'm not going to claim to be some expert in these things but over the years I have learned from my own experiences thereof somethings that have made such transitions easier, for me at least. I figured I'd share them with y'all in the case any of it can help in your own times of spiritual transformation.
A long time ago, like twenty'ish years ago, one of my first experiences of having a spiritual change of this nature had to do with patience. If you are like me, you get excited when you have the mindfulness to recognize being on the cusp of these moments. Well, I was excited and decided I was going to give it a little extra push. With the help of some friends and fellow Contemporary Pagans at the time, I constructed a sweat lodge with the intent on submersing myself into a journey to my spirit allies at the time and ask them to give me a little push over the edge into the next phase.
I thought it was a great idea and spent a long time planning it, coordinating it, and setting it up. Then the time came, in the depths of the inner landscape and I called out longing to bring the action to a climatic peak that would culminate with this breakthrough. Only it didn't. I kept trying though. Finally I gave up and asked my spirit allies, what gives? And they said, "patience, have patience."
That was it. Nothing more. In that moment I realized my breakthrough was learning to have patience with breakthroughs.
Change is the only constant in life. That's it, nothing else. This is why in my own practice I try and stress my actions as being ethical in application. After all, everything else can be taken away, but not my actions. So they are my only possessions and I strive to make them worth more than gold. I spend a lot of time in reflection upon coming to understand my moral compass because of this. I do it for me, the only person that can judge our success in this regards is ourselves.
With change being the only constant, there comes other implications. One of which has to do with approaching major change. It is that of acceptance of change being inevitable. You can't hold the past, sure you can learn from it, but it's already manifested into the fabric of fate-past. Nor can you prevent change from coming, it's already here and any attempt to divorce change from the present is futile.
There is a Zen Nun that I know whom relates acceptance of change back to breathing in meditation, amongst many other things. I'll do my best to reproduce the idea she shared with me a couple of months ago. As I'm not a Zen Buddhist, keep in mind that I have filtered her words through my own inner interpretation and though I am trying to stay within the boundaries of her words, I could be in another ball-park playing tiddlywinks instead of sports-ball*.
Now to paraphrase on the fly:
Breathe out as/with the world. Out, out, out until the breath reaches deep down and hits bottom. Breathe out just a little bit more and allow the truth that lay beyond the threshold of that bottom to draw you deeper into longing for what lay beyond. Relax, and without plan or form, release so that the in breathe comes and opens up into surrender. Follow this rhythm of deeper and surrender unto it. Be like the flower that opens and turns towards the sun. Just be, just sit, breath in and out, nothing more.
So with that said, be like the flower turning towards the sun of change.
That's it, that's all I got. These three little things that sound so simple and yet take degrees of practice that can be difficult: patience, acceptance, and surrender.
"Lost in a thicker, bare-foot upon a thorn path."
*Insert whatever flavor of a ball based sport of your choice here.