January 22, 2014

Be the Change

In his poem "Being a Person," William Stafford writes: "How you stand here is important. How you listen for the next things to happen. How you breathe." Stand. Listen. Breathe.

We get immersed in the doing. Do. Strive. Achieve. Yet what is the state of our being (individually and as a collective)?  

The phrase, "be the change you want to see in the world," comes to mind. In particular, I like the word choice: be the change. Inhabit the qualities you want to see. Start with yourself. Not by doing. Not by thinking. Not by talking. By being.

We can stop the busyness, say for ten minutes, and sit quietly with ourselves. To be with our breath. To be with our experience, as is. Actions on autopilot don't lead to change. Being with ourselves and those we love--that can bring powerful change.

When I remember, I ask myself: Right now, do I fully inhabit my body (or am I lost in thoughts)? In conversation, does the other person have my full attention (or am I lost in thoughts)? In this moment, what is the quality of my heart (open, closed, numb)?

We can't just think our way to positive change or do our way to positive change. Ultimately, we must be the change. We must stand, listen, and breathe.


  1. oh Joy! So good! Do you know my word for this year is change. It is. This post was perfect to read. I love the very bottom image so much and of course the image with you always smiling at me and sending encouragement via your blog.

    Love your friend

    1. it's always good to hear from you, tracie. thanks for your kind words. cheers to embodied change!

  2. Emphatic yes, those three things. The most important we can do. I fully embrace what you say here, Joy. Nodding in Seabright and smiling.

    1. thank you, pam. thinking of you nodding and smiling makes me smile big.