The Tao of uncomfortable change

In both my private therapeutic practice and in my organizational consulting practice I've noticed that change, even positive change, can often register as a problem.

How is it that positive change can so easily be doubted, and not seen for what it is?

One answer has me considering the Tao. The Tao can be seen as the underlying current of life. Some might call it God, physicists might call it the implicate order, but it may just be the mysterious realm that underlies the nuts and bolts of our lives.

There is change that is intentional. We plan on it; we want it. There is also change or evolutionary processes that are unintentional. And sometimes, the intentional aligns with deeper processes; call it fate, the Tao or God. Some might call it a "flow" moment.

Recently, I had a session with the founder of Process Work, Arnold Mindell. I wanted to work on the pinched nerve that had been plaguing me for the last four or five months. Process Work suggests a "rainbow" approach to medicine and physical symptoms. That is to say, that as well as addressing symptoms at the consensus reality level, say of skeletal structure that pinches nerves, that other levels are also addressed. And one of the levels that Process Work addresses is "the Dreaming," or psychology, in that it is behind the scenes of our behavior. In my case, to paraphrase a number of different dreaming process steps, there was embedded in my physical symptom a "dream" of ambition! The physical condition occurred at the level of consensus reality, or the reality that most people would agree to. But a dreaming process is a nonconsensual reality, and that is one that fewer people would agree to.

The Australian Aboriginies have a saying that "before the kangaroo there is the dream of a kangaroo." I frankly wasn't aware of a lot of ambition cooking in me until Mindell suggested it. He referred to it as “sublimated ambition.” Here, there was first a dream of ambition and then came its manifestation.

Soon, I became engaged in a number of arenas of work and expressed a deep level of ambition that "life" seemed to want to cooperate with. And because of this deeper level of work expression I've been finding myself stressed and pressured. I was uncomfortable! Then I had other moments when I felt deeply engaged and committed to my various work endeavors and I simply felt great!

I noticed that even with an awareness of the "ambition process" that it's been easy to have moments of doubt, especially with the amount of discomfort that I've been feeling. In other moments I have been deeply appreciative of the sheer grace that has supported this kind of ambition being met so well. This experience has made me more respectful of the kinds of trepidation, doubt and hesitancy that can accompany even a very positive growth process on the part of an individual or collective. This moment has helped me see how much support, sensitivity, and clear guidance we all need in different growing moments of life.