shane's blog.

status quo

Things change. Do you?

We tend to get used to the many twists and turns of life. Time after time, we make a decision or unexpected things happen, and even through we can be thrown off from the path we’ve set for our lives, we find our way back to the way things were: The status quo. The hardest part in striving for change can be finding a pathway for making meaningful and permanent positive change in the midst of the tidal forces pushing and pulling all around us. When we see everything around us changing, such as major events in the lives of those we care about, we almost wonder if Mercury is in retrograde; seeking a higher purpose to contextualise the changes around us by almost scrambling for divine permission to find similar ways to make radical changes ourselves. The truth, however, may not be as clear as this.

There are many angles to look at here. We’re directly (or indirectly) influenced by the immediate world around us. This world can have a huge impact on how we either decide to return to the status quo as it was, or shatter it into a million pieces and pave a new path onward. A strong desire to break the status quo can be triggered by personal crises, political events or financial constraints. No matter which way, the act of picking a new direction is vastly different to putting manageable and realistic steps in place to find oneself on the other side; on a shore looking back across what felt like an ocean; even the distance may have been more accurately attributed to a pond or lake.

We perceive the difficulties of ‘change’ in response to the gravity or effect of the shift by how much it may impact ourselves and others. The ‘too hard basket’ is a good example of a human construct that permits us to place any event or task that may appear to be more difficult than it is into a category which permits the status quo as a place of peace, comfort, contentment and acceptance. Whilst no changes come out of doing this, the basket tends to get fuller the more we use it - and the more we use it, the more we’re inclined to keep using it as an excuse to put off the changes in our lives we may want or need.

I’m acutely aware of the fact that there is a lot that we need to do in order to pave a way past the status quo - and not everyone is built the same. Many people may not have the social or financial skills required to meet the expectations they’re setting for themselves. For example, whilst many people would happily say they would like a substantial sum of money, getting there takes a set of skills that not everyone may have on-hand. Even though these are attainable skills that we as human beings have the capacity to learn, the ‘too hard basket’ tends to win in this case, and the status quo remains.

Even worse, others may have social or financial prerequisite skills to make the change they need, but are unaware of physical or mental health problems that are actively preventing them from going where they want to be in life. Either way, the solution lies in developing and implementing tools for building extra capacity for mindfully and attentively listening to what the body needs, what the mind needs, and what the heart needs. As all aspects of our lives are constantly in flux, we must build a set of skills for managing the tremendously positive and negative effects of change.

It is one thing to say that these changes can be made, but it is whole other story to find courage from within and turn our deepest desires into reality. After all, the status quo cannot be our go-to default and win forever.