Change. It’s a word that a lot of people are afraid of. There’s a lot you could be fearful of when change occurs, particularly when you least expect it. In fact, right now we’re all being forced to endure a lasting change, one that we can only expect when a pandemic hits us with such unforeseeable strength that it knocks us off of our beaten, familiar path and into new, frightening territory.

Instead of fear, we can choose to embrace change. It’s easier said than done, but there’s a lot of good that can come from changing our behaviour.

After spending many weeks (or are we into months now? I’ve lost track of time…) in quarantine at home like everyone else and being away from the outside world, I have developed a deeper appreciation for sharing experiences with others or venturing to new places on my own with unknown scenery. I love being able to say to myself “this is the first time I’ve ever seen this – take it all in!”

I have a deeper understanding for my minimalist lifestyle, since having spent more time with less ‘things’ at home, practicing this lifestyle has earned me a space to be at one with my own thoughts and feelings, without distraction. This transformational space has come to be somewhat of a refuge in recent weeks, a place where I can escape the negative news and choose to embrace the moment.

Perhaps most of all, I’ve developed a sincere gratitude for time; that is, we don’t have a lot of time to do the things we want to do, and when our 予定 (yotei, plan) is thrown off track we’re forced to come to terms with a situation outside of our control.

We can choose to allow this new situation to frustrate us and choose to reactively prevent our own progress. Or, we can wholeheartedly embrace change with gratitude, and ask ourselves: “What can I learn from this, and what can I do about it today?”

Right now, we’re faced with an enormous challenge, but it’s not one that’s outside of our comprehension. We’re in control of what happens in our own lives, we can predict the consequences of our own actions and we can pave the path of our own future.

We’ve been on auto-pilot, but now we’re in control again. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, as difficult as it may be. Don’t take it for granted, no matter which direction you end up going.

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