A brief history of When Everything Changes, Change Everything.
By Neale Donald Walsch
It was August of 2008, a few months after release of my book Happier Than God, and my wife, Em, and I were traveling to present a one-day program somewhere. I’ve actually forgotten where we were headed, but I know we were at the Phoenix airport, passing time between connecting flights, when Em said, “I’m going to browse the bookstore. Be right back!”
“Great,” I replied, relaxing with a newspaper on a bench in the middle of the airport mall area. “I’ll be right here.”
When she came back a few minutes later, Em was fairly bouncing with energy, her eyes dancing. “You know what?” she said. “All the books in there — yours included — are about ‘How to Be Happy.’ They’re all about putting a band-aid or a smiley face on things.”
“Uh-huh,” I said, “so?”
“So life isn’t that easy…people really are going through deep grief, and huge changes, and I don’t think positive thinking is what people are needing to hear right now.
We need techniques on how to deal with great change and deep grief that is very real to people.”
I said nothing.
“That’s the book you should write,” Em then announced with authority. “What’s the good of all the messages in your Conversations with God books if you can’t apply them to all that’s going on in the world? Look around. People’s lives are falling apart. You need to write about that.”
I knew immediately that she was right. And what she’d said moved us both into immediate action. We started thinking up book titles then and there, on that bench in the airport. I wrote a few down on a napkin I found in my pocket, snatched from someplace where we’d stopped to grab a bite. None of them fit, none of them jumped out at us as THE title, but the process of that brainstorming got my mind going on what would be in between the covers.
I was committed to another book.
The Book And The Avalanche
As we move into the second half of the opening quarter of the 21st Century we are entering a period of extraordinary change.
We are seeing the beginnings of what I call The Shift right now as we witness the wholesale rearrangement of our planet’s economics, its politics, its religions, its art, its culture, its communications, its entertainment, its education, its science, its technology, its medicine, its resources, and all of the understandings and expectations its inhabitants have held regarding relationships, sexuality, marriage, parenting, careers, health, retirement—even death and dying.
Everything is changing.
Everything. Our lifestyles, our social constructions, our philosophical outlooks, our moral compass, our psychological mainstays, and our entire cultural story—indeed, every idea we currently hold about what it means to be human
And it is all changing at once.
Change is the nature of life, but the speed, the ubiquity, and the enormity of it that we are experiencing is not. What we are seeing is unusual. It is epochal.
The avalanche has begun.
The last time we experienced anything close to this was during what we have come to call The Renaissance—a roughly 300-year period in our history (from the late 1400s to the 1700s) when every aspect of life on the earth was reshaped. This present undoing is just as sweeping, but ten times faster in its unfolding. This is what social scientists are calling The New Renaissance, and its redesigning of everything human is expected to be complete in three decades, not three centuries.
The Book And Our Daily Lives
The biggest impact of all this change is going to be the change itself. The process, and not just the product, of these days and times will affect these days and times—and the people living through them—in significant ways.
Peoples’ savings are being wiped out. Careers are being destroyed. Homes are being lost. Marriages are being ended. Lives are being disrupted in a hundred ways—and our thoughts about how things were “going to be” are having to be abandoned.
Are we ready for this?
Most of us are not. Some folks are, but for most people the answer is no. For most people, change—unbidden, unexpected, unwelcome change—produces a sense of injury, and the anxiety, fear, and even anger that often accompanies such an experience can be overwhelming. Enough to stop you in your tracks. Enough to paralyze you, freeze you in place, throw you into self-isolation, self-recrimination, and self-hatred.
Yet there is an antidote, there is a healing. There is an approach that one can take in the face of unremitting, unrelenting change…
When everything changes, change everything.
This hair-of-the-dog-that-bit-you response can be a Godsend when everything in one’s life is shifting, falling apart. The idea here is to change, completely, one’s perspective, one’s perception, one’s beliefs, and then, one’s behavior.
This shift is what When Everything Changes, Change Everything is all about. This is a just-in-time book, and it is about our daily lives. It encourages using what it calls the Mechanics of the Mind and the System of the Soul—a blending of modern psychology and contemporary spirituality that “brings it all together” for many people, giving them for the first time a powerful tool with which to move through major life upheaval. This, plus the Nine Changes That Can Change Everything make up the WECCE Technology.
The Book’s WECCE Technology
The WECCE Technology is a multi-step but rapid and simple approach to meeting the emotional challenge of unbidden, unexpected, and unwelcome life changes. The approach is divided into two components. The first deals with the physical aspects of how we experience life—and particularly that part of life we call “change.” The second part deals with the metaphysical aspects.
In other words, we must look first at how the mind works, then at how the soul works. It is important to understand both if we are to enjoy a truly rich and satisfying life, and if we are to extract from life all the peace, joy, and love that we were meant to extract—to say nothing of achieving what physical life was designed to allow us to achieve.
By mastering both aspects of our being we remember not only how to think, but what to think. In this way the first tool of creation—thought—comes entirely under our control, rather than we remaining under its control (which is where most people are now).
This dual approach to change actually changes change itself, and the affect it can have on us. And that’s the challenge that all of humanity is facing as we move deeper into this century: How can we “change Change” so that it doesn’t change us?
There are tools with which to do that.
The Book’s Nine Suggested Changes
When Everything Changes, Change Everything suggests nine specific changes that any person can make relatively easily—especially once they understand how the mind really works, the true nature and mission of the human soul, and the way to harness the power of both.
The Nine Changes are:
- Change your decision to “go it alone”
- Change your choice of emotions
- Change your choice of thoughts
- Change your choice of truths
- Change your idea about Change Itself
- Change your idea about why Change occurs
- Change your idea about future Change
- Change your idea about life
- Change your identity
Some of the detailed explanations behind this list offer
startling concepts that most people may never have embraced before.
The Book’s Perspective
The book’s point of view emerges from the nine Conversations with God books written between 1995 and 2007, condensing the messages found there and rendering them applicable to daily life in a functional, practical way.
For instance, one of the boldest thoughts expressed within these nine changes is the idea that “all change is change for the better.” Most of us experience this—after the fact.
Most of us have experienced events which we have called, when they were happening, the worst moments of our lives, only to find as time went by that what occurred was one of the best things that ever happened to us.
The fact is that this is true of everything that has ever happened to us, but we do not know this because not enough time has passed to put all the events of our lives into their largest context.
On a human level we may find it difficult to accept the “perfection of the past” because some things have turned out for the worst—according to our definition. Yet When Everything Changes, Change Everything tells us that our definition is distorted, constrained as it is by the Mechanics of the Mind and their inherent limitations.
The mind may very know all about what has gone before, but is does not know why. The mind may very well hold all of life’s Past Data, but it does not hold all of life’s information (which is another thing altogether). The mind may very well contain knowledge, but it does not contain wisdom.
Wisdom lies outside the mind. Wisdom resides within the soul. That is why we need to hold both handles of this magnificent tool of creation that should now be called by its proper name: YOU.
The Book And Why We Need It Now
Change will be the major sociological challenge for humanity in this century, and neither religion nor philosophy nor psychology are giving us much to go on as we confront this hurdle. Yet we need something to go on. We need practical tools with which to assist people in facing the emotional, spiritual, and mental obstacles that can be thrown in our path by abrupt and unwanted change. One of the greatest tools we could find can, in fact, be summarized in five words: When everything changes, change everything.
This remarkable text is suggesting that we change our entire cultural story; our ideas about God, about the reason and purpose and function of Life, about ourselves and about each other. This, in a time of turmoil, is our pathway to peace.
To read a preview sample of When Everything Changes, Change Everything, click here.