• Dana Webster

The Symbiosis of Permanence & Change

The only thing constant is change ~ attributed to Heraclitus, Greek philosopher, circa 500 B.C.


A daunting realization. I don't often approach change with delight and an open mind. More often than not, I dig my heels in, shut my eyes tight, and hang on to my comfort zone with all my might. And, yet, once I'm dragged through to the other side or once I let go just a little bit, I am grateful. It doesn't really matter how I got there although sometimes I wish I could just trust a little sooner.


Because I'm stubborn as hell. I have a pervasive voice in my head that too often gets stuck in the childish groove of "You can't make me." And even, "You're not the boss of me." If it's not a change of my choosing, I'm not buying. The thing of it is, if change is omnipresent, it means that we are constantly in a state of flux.


Which brings me to permanence. Is there such a thing? Especially in light of the ever-changing? It's a matter of degrees. See those clouds roaming and shifting high above the mountain range? See the rock that is immutable?

Mt. Rundle, Banff National Park. Photo courtesy of Meacham.

Okay, here's where the metaphor comes into play (and please bear with me - my brain is operating on only two half-cups of coffee). If we have a solid foundation that is made up of all we know to be true, of all we value, of our integrity based on experience and wisdom, we can withstand the winds of change.

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Phew, that felt like a lot of work. Here's another: like the tree that sways in the wind, bending but not breaking, yielding but not uprooting. Despite shifting and sometimes turbulent change, if we are firmly planted, deeply rooted in our own truth, not much can shake us.


Which is a blessing because it feels like the world as we know it is trying its darndest to uproot us. We are being pulled in so many different directions, being asked to consider new ways of being and thinking, it is hard to stay connected to what we know to be real.


This is immediately relevant to Canadians as we head to the polls in couple of days. Our country appears (and I use that word deliberately) to be extremely divided. Right vs Left and never the twain shall meet. Have you been following any of the debates, attack ads, and accompanying BS that seem so inherent in electioneering? I can't stand it myself so I don't engage. All the hate and schoolyard taunting simply hurts my soul.


For those of you struggling as I am with these severe winds of change, I offer you this list of permanents (that's probably not a word):

  • our human capacity for love and compassion

  • our intrinsic abhorrence of cruelty

  • our instinctual detection of falsehood

  • our divine connection to one another and the natural world in which we are hosted

  • our highly-tuned bullshit meter

  • our resistance to hate

  • our attraction to kindness

  • our ability to re-centre when we've been thrown off-course

  • our faith in the inherent goodness of all people despite our faults

  • and, on a personal note, my abiding, deeply-rooted love for my children, my husband, our cats and the home we share. This and mostly this is what keeps me grounded and immovable.

What is on your list?


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