Monday, May 18, 2009

How Long Does Change Take?

How often have you started a new program of change in your life only to feel discouraged three days later that "nothing is happening"? Or maybe you actually stick with a new ritual or a new diet for a whole two weeks and you see some change … but it's not happening fast enough.

A Small Change Now is All It Takes
What do you do? Before you decide that everything really is hopeless, take a moment to look at the process of change with the help of this magical principle: "A small change in the present produces a larger change in the future." This is the basic principle we use in spellwork and it means that if you make even the tiniest change today you will see bigger change in about a week. And that bigger change will lead to an even bigger change in about two weeks. And so on.

So let's suppose you've started working with a new magical practice. Say you've decided to start meditating for 15 minutes each morning--nothing fancy, just sitting quietly and clearing your mind as much as possible. On the first morning of meditating you will probably notice an immediate change because your mind is quiet at a time when it normally is not. You're content that your new program of meditation is going to be useful and helpful. More importantly, a small and highly contagious molecule of change has been born.

Nothing Happening?
Now what happens a week after you start meditating? Maybe you've had a really hectic week and you feel tired and irritable. All of sudden it seems like the 15 minutes of meditation is too much--it takes too much time when so many other things are pressing on your time. It seems like nothing is happening, no change is occurring.

But "nothing's happening" hardly describes what is going on inside you. That highly contagious molecule of change that was born the day you began meditating has been busy reaching out and touching and transforming other molecules inside you. Now a greater percentage of your molecules than ever before has the quality of quiet that you create during your meditation. The more quiet you have inside you, the more you're able to listen to your inner intuitive voice, the better your work will be, the better your life will be … but it's still too small a percentage for you to notice.

It's Like the Penny Doubling
But if you stay with your new meditation practice that small sense of quiet will begin to spread. It's like the example of starting out with a penny and doubling it every day for 31 days. Here's what you get at the end of each week:

Day 1: $0.01
Day 7: $0.64
Day 14: $81.92
Day 21: $10,485.76
Day 28: $1,342,177.28
Day 31: $10,737,418.24

So at the end of the month you have over $10 million. The same is true with your new meditation practice but the key is how long it takes you notice. If you ever take the time to observe your life you will be amazed by how easily you are hypnotized by the incessant buzz and hum of daily activities. There's voice mail and email, gossip, your car running low on gas, the need to feed the cat, or all of your troubles at work. There are a million things that take up your attention while this small quiet molecule formed by your daily meditation goes around and changes you from the inside out.

Be Aware of Change
The difficulty lies in being aware of change. In the example with the penny doubling, it may take you 31 days--when you already have $10 million in your pocket--before you notice that something has shifted and life is different. But it's worth it, right? I'd say $10 million is worth it. So, as they say, don't give up on change five minutes before the miracle happens. Stick with whatever you've decided to do to change your life and prepare to be awestruck!

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Photo credit: Double Spiral

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