That Which Flows By: Finding Meaning in Change


You wake up to the familiar sounds of traffic outside your window and the dog barking down the street. Another day, another sunrise. As you sip your coffee and scroll through the news, you wonder how the time slipped by so quickly. Wasn’t it just yesterday you were starting your first job, moving into your first place, meeting friends for late nights at your regular bar? Yet here you are, another year older and wondering where it all went. The truth is, time flows by whether we choose to notice or not. Each day, life rushes on at an unforgiving pace. But within the blur of schedules and to-do lists, there are moments of meaning waiting to be found. You simply have to slow down long enough to see them.

Understanding Impermanence: That Which Flows By

According to Buddhist teachings, impermanence is one of the fundamental truths of existence. Everything in life is constantly changing – arising, shifting, and passing away. This understanding can lead to greater freedom and peace of mind once fully grasped.

When you look closely, you’ll see that your thoughts, feelings, and experiences are fleeting. They come and go like waves on the sea or clouds drifting by in the sky. Yet we often cling to pleasures and push away discomfort, not realizing their ephemeral nature. By recognizing the impermanence in each moment, you can let go of attachments and aversions, embracing life as a flowing river rather than something static or permanent.

Seeing impermanence clearly allows us to appreciate each experience as it happens. We become less judgmental about change and more open to new possibilities. There is beauty to be found in transience. Like the cherry blossoms that bloom for a short time each spring, the brevity of life gives meaning to each encounter and interaction.

Everything around you – buildings, relationships, careers, reputations – will eventually fade like the last rays of dusk. But within impermanence rests eternity. There is an eternal now through which the temporal flows. By anchoring yourself in the present, you tap into something timeless that transcends the fleeting nature of all phenomena.

Though life may seem uncertain or insecure when viewed through the lens of impermanence, recognizing the truth of change can bring an underlying peace and tranquility. You realize that there is nothing to cling to and nothing to push away. You flow with the river of life rather than struggling against the current. This is what it means to understand impermanence – and to find freedom in that understanding.

Embracing Change and Letting Go

Change is the only constant in life. As difficult as it can be, embracing change allows for growth and opens doors to new opportunities. Letting go of negative thoughts, toxic relationships, and unhealthy habits involves navigating a process that ultimately leads to empowerment.

Finding the Courage Within

Summoning the courage to embrace change starts with making the choice to move forward in a positive direction. Take an honest look at your situation and acknowledge what no longer serves you. Then, make the brave decision to let it go. This act of courage, no matter how small it seems, creates space for new and better things to enter your life.

Navigating the Transition

The transition between what was and what will be can be challenging to navigate. Give yourself grace as you adjust to a new normal and avoid being too hard on yourself during this time. Stay focused on self-care, connect with your support network, and try to maintain a routine. Celebrate small wins and milestones along the way. Before you know it, the discomfort will fade, and you’ll start to build momentum.

An Open Door to Opportunity

On the other side of change is opportunity. With an open and willing mindset, you’ll begin to see new options and paths that weren’t visible before. This energizing feeling of freedom and potential is your reward for summoning the courage to let go of the past. Growth and empowerment await you, so walk through that open door. The possibilities ahead are endless!

Embracing change leads to new beginnings. Although it requires courage, navigating the transition and letting go of the past allows you to move forward in a positive way. On the other side is an open door to opportunity and empowerment. Summon your inner strength, open your mind, and walk through.

Finding Stillness Amidst the Flux

Finding stillness amidst constant change can seem an impossible task. Yet cultivating inner tranquility is vital to accessing your inner wisdom and maintaining peace of mind.

Silence the Mind

The chatter of your thoughts can drown out the quiet voice within. Make time each day to sit in silence, turn off electronics, and focus your awareness on your breath. As intrusive thoughts arise, gently bring your focus back to your inhales and exhales. Starting with just 5 or 10 minutes a day of mindfulness meditation or silent reflection can help calm your mind and allow insight to emerge.

Accept Change

Try not to resist the changes happening around you. Embrace the impermanence of it all. When you make peace with the fact that change is inevitable, you free yourself from the suffering of attachment. Appreciate each moment as a fleeting gift. Take a walk outside and observe the cycles of nature. Notice how the seasons shift, the moon waxes and wanes, the tides ebb and flow. All of life is in motion; your inner stillness can remain an anchor amidst it all.

Find Solace in Nature

Connect with the tranquility of nature. Go for a walk in the woods, sit under the shade of a tree, stargaze at night, or simply open a window to let fresh air in. The natural world has a calming, rejuvenating effect. Feel the earth under your feet, breathe in the scent of grass or leaves, listen to the soothing sounds around you. Your busy thoughts will quiet in the presence of nature’s peaceful beauty.

Cultivating inner stillness is a practice of patience and self-compassion. Make space in your life for those calming, centering activities that help you find clarity and reconnect with your deepest self. The more you nurture your inner tranquility, the more it will sustain you when life’s changes come.

Discovering Meaning in Each Moment

Discovering meaning in each moment requires cultivating an awareness of the present. According to Buddhist teacher Cuong Lu, this means intentionally focusing your attention on the current moment rather than dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. ###Be fully present

Give the activity you’re engaged in your full attention. Whether you’re walking the dog, washing dishes, or chatting with a friend, be fully immersed in the experience. Turn off distractions and notice small details in your surroundings. Appreciate the simple pleasure of living in the now.

Practice mindfulness

Spend a few minutes each day being still and silent. Breathe slowly and deeply, focusing on your inhales and exhales. Observe your thoughts and sensations without judgment. Let go of anxieties and to-do lists. Mindfulness meditation helps shift your mind from its default “doing” mode to a state of calm awareness.

Embrace gratitude

Notice the little things you’re grateful for each day – sunlight streaming through the window, a hot cup of coffee, laughter with loved ones. Keep a gratitude journal and write down 3 things you’re grateful for each day. An attitude of gratitude helps you appreciate life’s simple pleasures and find meaning in each moment.

Value each emotion

Rather than labeling emotions as “good” or “bad,” accept them all with compassion. Anger, sadness, joy, and peace are all part of being human. Allow yourself to fully experience the depth and richness of your emotional life. Finding meaning involves embracing life in all its beauty and messiness.

Discovering meaning in each moment is a journey, not a destination. With regular practice of intention, mindfulness and gratitude, you’ll get better at living in and valuing the present. As the saying goes, “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, which is why we call it the present.”

Living in Harmony With the Flow

To live in harmony with the flow of life means aligning your thoughts and actions with the natural rhythm of the universe. Rather than resisting change or trying to control outcomes, flow with life as it comes.

Accept What Comes

Learn to accept whatever comes your way in life, whether good or bad, wanted or unwanted. Do not label events as “good” or “bad” but see them as part of the flow of life. Resistance only brings suffering. Acceptance brings peace.

Go With the Flow

Do not try to force life to go according to your plans and expectations. Understand that you cannot control everything. Learn to adapt to changing circumstances. When disruption comes, do not cling to what was but open your mind to new possibilities. Move forward, not backward.

Find Purpose in Each Moment

Do not wish for life to be different than it is. Find meaning and purpose in each moment. Appreciate the simple pleasures in everyday experiences. Be fully present rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

Trust in Life’s Unfolding

Have faith that life will unfold as it should. Do not try to manipulate outcomes or rush the natural process of growth. Understand that there are greater forces at work. Your role is to nurture your own spiritual and personal development. In stillness and patience, all will be revealed in time.

Living in harmony with the flow of life leads to inner peace and contentment. When we learn to accept what comes, go with the flow, find purpose in each moment and trust in life’s unfolding, we achieve a state of alignment and flow through all of life’s changes. This is the path to happiness, freedom and enlightenment.


So there you have it – the everchanging, constant flow of life. You can either fight against it or learn to embrace it. When you accept change as inevitable, you open yourself up to finding meaning and purpose even in transitions. Rather than clinging to what was or worrying about what may be, focus on living fully in the present moment. Appreciate the simple details, express gratitude, spread kindness. Though the scenery may shift, your core values and priorities can remain steady anchors. Learn from your experiences but do not be defined by them. You are more than any single role or event. You contain multitudes. The river flows on, but you get to choose how you navigate its winding path.

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