“All is flux.”

“This world is in a state of constant change.”

Down through the ages, enlightened souls have shared with us these truths drawn from their own realization. But we still expect, or at least hope, that the playful kitten will never grow into a lazy cat; that the vitality and dynamism of our youth will never fade; or that we’ll never face debilitation or death brought on by the ravages of time.

Yet in some recess of our awareness, we know that life’s changes are inevitable, and become distressed by the fact that things don’t stay the way we want. A few days ago a friend of mine at Ananda Village shared an inspiring story about how she’d dealt with change in her life.

She and her husband are about to move on from what they’ve been doing for many years—the training and support of new community residents—and I was praising her for the wonderful job they’d done. Suddenly she looked at me intently and asked, “Do you remember how we started working with new people? You asked us if we’d be interested in doing this, and I replied that I’d think about it. But inwardly I was thinking, ‘I’m dealing with some health challenges right now, and I really don’t feel up to taking on a new job. Besides, I like what I’m doing, and I don’t want to change. No, I’m not going to accept this position.’

“Later that day, as an afterthought, I added the prayer, ‘God, I really don’t want to do this, but if it’s the right thing, then You’ll just have to change me!’ And I left it at that.

“A few days later as I was meditating, a wave of deep peace enveloped me, and I said aloud with complete conviction, ‘I can do this job!’ We accepted, and for the next eighteen years, I loved every minute of it—from taking out the garbage to cleaning rooms.”

How to Deal with Change in the Best Way, teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda Sister Gyanamata

Change no circumstance of my life. Change me. “The One in All,” painting by Nayaswami Jyotish.

Change no circumstance of my life. Change me.”The One in All,” by Nayaswami Jyotish

I thought about her story that day, and later realized how closely her words echoed the thoughts of Gyanamata, Paramhansa Yogananda’s saintly woman disciple. Gyanamata wrote in a letter, “Late one afternoon, I was kneeling in prayer in the chapel—I was thinking of something that was coming into my life that filled me with apprehension. I knew that it was not the will of God that I should be saved from the experience. Even at that moment it was moving toward me. Suddenly God told me the prayer He would listen to, and I said quickly: ‘Change no circumstance of my life. Change me.’ My prayer was instantly answered. I was changed.”

So what is the best way to deal with change? Follow the example of the wise: Give up fear of an unknown future. Don’t resist or run away from change, or pray that circumstances be different. Instead try to embrace the only change that is lasting: personal transformation. Once this becomes our goal, we can stand with steadiness on the shifting sands of time, and find the purpose and joy behind God’s will in our life.

Your friend in God,

Nayaswami Devi

Listen or download this blog as a podcast here:

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  1. Superb blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?

    I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress
    or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m
    completely confused .. Any ideas? Thanks a lot!

  2. “… try to embrace the only change that is lasting: personal transformation.”

    Dear Devi,
    Beautifully put!
    Thank You!
    ~~~Peace, Josette

  3. Dear Devi,

    Thank you for the wonderful reminder. I have had so many changes in my life and God and Master have always been there to support me. I have been inspired by the quote from Sister Gayamata and used it many times in my life since I read it. She has been an inspiration to me in so many ways as you and Jyotish have been.
    Blessings, Gloria

  4. ačiukas už šį straipsnį rašytojui, tikrai geras man buvo kaip Vilniaus gyventojui.
    Daugiau informacijos manau galite rasti domėdamiesi apie plastinę chirurgiją, estetinės paskirties plastines
    operacijas Lietuvoje, t.y. Plastiniu operaciju kainos, kas yra atliekama daugelyje plastinės chirurgijos klinikų.

  5. Thank you Devi for your beautiful inspiring messages. This was a perfect follow up to our discussion at our Gita book club tonight. I love the way you and Jyotish weave together the teachings and life experiences.
    Many Blessings, Wendy

  6. Admiring the time and effort you put into your website and detailed information you
    offer. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that
    isn’t the same outdated rehashed material. Great read!
    I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  7. ‘Change no circumstance of my life. Change me.’ ….. a food for thought….. need to understand this in depth….
    Would I have to accept a circumstance of my life which is not a desirable humanitarian one and “change myself” and follow such a circumstance!!!!

  8. Thank you for this prayer of change. It is so wonderful to see the benefit of change when we know those changes are a message from God. For some of us it might even take a lifetime to recognize the difficulties of change in our lives truly come from God. It is good to remember the golden rule we remember as children and that we are all here for each other. With this guidance we always seem to take on different missions from God.

  9. Thank you Devi,
    So pertinent to me right now as Kamala graduates and heads off to college and we’re on to our next endeavors too.
    Blessings to you both!
    Love Julie

  10. Dear Devi and Jyotish, Thank you for this wonderful blog. I do not have the words to tell you what this beautiful statement reminder from Gyanamata ‘Change no circumstance in my life. Change me.’ I have a spiritual diary from many years ago by beloved Master Paramhansa Yogananda and the above quote is one of them. I must be honest and admit that it somewhat disturbed/tugged at me pretty strongly as I couldn’t deny to myself that I found it one of the most difficult to say to God (Unaccountable times) though I truly wished to. Your reminder has invoked an immediate response in me to do just that with my heart and soul pounding inside! and praying that one precious/treasure response from Him to me is to renew and strengthen my faith and trust Onement with Him to a much greater one as it used to be long ago (very long story) Thank you, Thank you with much love and God ‘s Blessings to you.

  11. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for such a wonderful blog and good reminder 🙂

    Listening to the podcast and your voice is quite amazing. Thank you for this thought of sending it as an audio file as well

    Request you to have a satsang on this topic some time

    Many Thanks & Love

    Prem

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