March 5, 2015

Change: What a Penny has Taught Me.

Photo: yatoobin via Flickr

I almost walked by the penny today.

Two steps passed and it called to me, “Here I am! Don’t miss picking me up!”

I’ve been walking nearly every day since the beginning of January. I keep finding change, mostly pennies, but dimes and an occasional nickel, too. It’s not every day and it’s never in the same place. The randomness of it all speaks to me.

I started walking because I wanted to be healthier. Actually, I wanted to lose some weight and that was my main impetus to begin this little program of mine. But I genuinely wanted to be healthier. I’m a full time student and I can’t afford to join a gym. Besides, the idea of getting dressed, getting in my car, driving a few miles, heading into the gym to work out and reversing this process seemed exhausting. Getting dressed and walking out the front door seemed so much easier.

If I’ve learned anything about myself, I know my exercise program has to be easy for it to succeed.

But I digress. The penny. Change. It’s all about change.

At first, when I would find a penny, I would smile and tell myself that the Universe was adding value to my walk. But now, two months into this walking and finding change thing, I’m seeing the message on several levels.

Think about this phrase: I’ve been finding change.

Not just pennies, but change.

Change on other levels.

Changing my physical health by walking.

Meditation while I walk is changing my mental health.

The randomness of the change I find on my walks mirrors the randomness of the change in life.

One day your loved one is here, the next day, they are no longer. Finding change has become a regular metaphor for finding change in my life.

What do we do when we want to change something in our life? 

So, what if change is right there in front of us and we fail to see it?

What if change is right there and we step on it, step over it or like I almost did this morning, walk right past it?

What if the change we seek looks like a lowly penny and we just can’t be bothered to stoop over and pick it up?

Sometimes the change we seek is right in front of us but we don’t choose to acknowledge it because it doesn’t look the way we think it should.

I never go for my walk expecting to find a penny. But I always go for my walk being open to the possibility. Being open to the possibility of change.

Last Saturday I went on my morning walk a little later in the morning than my usual 7 a.m. I was walking along and found a penny. Nice. I smiled, picked it up and continued. Then I found a ten dollar bill. There wasn’t a soul out on the street and the bill wasn’t even close to a car. It was just lying in the street. I began chuckling at how the Universe was grabbing my attention.

Because this wasn’t change, this was big change!

I picked it up and continued walking, chuckling to myself. A few minutes later, I found another penny! How many of us would walk everyday if we thought we might find $10?

Another thing about finding change—you’ve got to keep your eyes on the path. You won’t find change if you’re looking around at this and that. You won’t find change if you’re distracted by the landscaping in that yard or the flowers over here. Sure, stop and smell the roses. Say hi to the lady walking her dog. How else are you going to find out that the dog is blind and his cat friend, appropriately named Merlin, helps him find his way?

Don’t miss life because you are looking for change but keep your eyes on the path in front of you.

Sure, look up, orient yourself to your surroundings, but then look back down at the path in front of you. Don’t be so busy doing other things that you forget to look directly in front of you.

Value the change you find.

Mostly I find pennies. But I value them enough to pick them up. It’s like the Universe is sending me corroboration that what I am doing for myself (the walking part) is a valuable thing for me to do and encouraging me to keep doing it.

When life presents an open door for change, walk through the darn door. Don’t sit there and study it for flaws, misconceptions, angles or what it’s going to cost. Move through that door, knowing it’s for your highest good or the Universe wouldn’t have opened it in the first place.

So, I challenge you to pick up that first penny. Then the next one you see. Pretty soon, you’ll be open to finding change. It’s this opening up that will create the change in our life.

I have to admit, I haven’t lost a lot of weight doing this walking program. But I’ve figured out that I need this physical exercise in conjunction with meditative music to keep myself balanced. I feel healthy. Everything else will take care of itself in time.

Because I know change is coming, change is happening.

It’s right in front of me, on the path, in the form of a penny.



Don’t start this Daily Practice unless you’re Willing to Change.


Author: Marie Wilkes

Volunteer Editor: Kim Haas / Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: yatoobin via Flickr

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