25 Mar Creative Mornings Raleigh – Change
Can I just say how much I love Creative Mornings? I mean, you start a Friday morning with awesome coffee, awesome food and awesome creative people. How much better can it get than that?! This morning’s talk was given by Louis Cherry + Marsha Gordon about Change and Creativity. I thought this was a great topic for what I’ve been going through lately since I’ve had a whole lot of change in my life and I’ve been struggling with it. They started off with a story that I’ve read myself recently:
An old Zen story goes like this: An old Chinese farmer had a mare that broke through the fence and ran away. When his neighbors learned of it, they came to the farmer and said, “What bad luck this is. You don’t have a horse during planting season.” The farmer listened and then replied, “Bad luck, good luck. Who knows?”
A few days later, the mare returned with two stallions. When the neighbors learned of it, they visited the farmer. “You are now a rich man. What good fortune this is,” they said. The farmer listened and again replied, “Good fortune, bad fortune. Who knows?”
Later that day, the farmer’s only son was thrown from one of the stallions and broke his leg. When the neighbors heard about it, they came to the farmer. “It is planting season and now there is no one to help you,” they said. “This is truly bad luck.” The farmer listened, and once more he said, “Bad luck, good luck. Who knows?”
The very next day, the emperor’s army rode into the town and conscripted the eldest son in every family. Only the farmer’s son with his broken leg remained behind. Soon the neighbors arrived. Tearfully, they said, “Yours is the only son who was not taken from his family and sent to war. What good fortune this is…”
The point of this story was to highlight their three key points about change and creativity:
1) Change is constant and inevitable
2) Labeling change as good or bad is pointless
3) Learn to accept change and navigate change
They’ve learned a lot about change by becoming pretty famous around the Raleigh area because of a modern house they built in the historic Oakwood neighborhood. Some of their neighbors considered this change in their neighborhood a “bad” change. Maybe some of those neighbors should have been at the talk today!
One thing that really hit home with me is they shared pictures and stories about their friend, Mary Ann Sherr, who recently passed. They said that even while Mary Ann was facing the ultimate change– death, she didn’t let it change her. She still continued on, full of life, until the very end. Since I’ve lost my mom so recently, this stuck with me. Mom was strong in the end and never stopped fighting. Losing my mom changed my entire world and my entire sense of “self”. I’ve been struggling whole-heartedly with this change lately since it’s impacted every single part of my life and I carry it with me every single second. While I never would have chosen or allowed this change to happen if I had the choice, it happened, and I have to accept this change- no matter how bad I perceive it.
“The first step towards change is acceptance. Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That’s all you have to do. Change is not something you do. It’s something you allow.” -Will Garcia
One thing I’ve always learned is the the only thing that changes is that nothing stays the same. Cheesy but true.