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Jeff Jawer on Choosing Change

Choosing Change

Jeff Jawer

Here in the U.S. we're heading toward another election, when the similarities between the presidential candidates on core issues are far greater than their differences. We've grown accustomed to the illusion of choice as supermarket aisles are filled with a hundred kinds of soda pop that are all basically carbonated water, sugar and flavoring. Consumers are flooded with advertising touting the benefits of various brands, as if buying Coke or Pepsi is a decision that really matters. The fault, though, does not lie in the stars or with the companies that produce and promote these products. The responsibility for making change and hard choices is ours alone.

Change is necessary if we are going to avoid falling into economic and cultural decline. It is also necessary for personal growth and, perhaps, our collective survival. It is unlikely to come from the upper echelons of public or private institutions where leaders are wont to risk their comfortable positions by shaking the status quo. In these days of innovative Uranus in independent Aries, change must come from individuals like you and me.

There is, though, a natural resistance to seeing the world through new eyes and rocking the boat of even an unsatisfactory life. It's normal to crave security and safety, which change seems to threaten, especially in these uncertain times. The aura of freedom of the 1960s was possible because of a booming economy. It was safe to tune in, turn on and drop out because it was easy to drop back in and find work when needed. These days are less forgiving, as financial contraction forces individuals to hold on to bad jobs when the apparent alternative is unemployment or an even less rewarding job.

Seven culture-shaking squares between explosive Uranus and transformational Pluto begin next month. Conditions may grow even more unstable, causing more conservative behavior and increasing the fear of change. Yet standing still is not a viable option when the currents of history are about to take a radical turn. It's safer to get ahead of the curve and be an agent for change instead of waiting passively and becoming a victim of it.

The good news is that you don't have to throw out your old life to begin creating a new one. A small shift of attitude or perspective can open fresh pathways of experience. Altering your routine just a little bit may be enough to inspire more significant turns in personal and professional matters. This is a good time to consider alternative ways to act, because we're between two eclipses with the Sun in adaptable Gemini. We're less grounded and freer to explore new ideas.

We don't always have to choose between the old and the new, but simply need to increase our options. This works best with flexibility, curiosity and a willingness to make mistakes. When we reduce the needs to be right and maintain absolute control, minds open and opportunities arise.

As is often the case, when we resist change until it's imperative, the transitions are difficult. Yet when change is something we practice on a daily basis by taking a different path to work or trying unusual foods or keeping our minds open to forbidden subjects, we can handle the bigger crises more skillfully. Training ourselves to make adjustments with grace now will develop the ability to initiate and adapt to more significant shifts later.