Last week, a local celebrity died. He was well loved and he made a pretty big dent on this earth! I admired his kindness, passion and love of life. He always reminded me of my dad. Losses remind us of the impermanence of everything.
We know that life is change. Nothing stays the same. But it’s an easy thing to forget. Sometimes it is the passing of a loved one or some tragic event that reminds us.
Change can take you out of your comfort zone
Change is often unexpected. It may sneak up on you when you are going about your day. Just doing your thing. Suddenly it feels as if the carpet has been yanked from under you. Big change can come into your life at any moment so we have to learn not to take things for granted.
Change can also be very exciting. Sometimes I crave it. I want to jump on its back and go for some crazy long ride into the unknown. I want to feel the thrill of something new, of not quite knowing where I will end up.
Lessons from yoga
Fight or flee?
I am sure you have felt the urge to flee during some big (or small) upheaval in your life. I have. But it may be just the time to fight. Not a physical battle or even a mental battle. But simply stand up, be still and acknowledge what’s happening.
In yoga, this takes the form of staying in a pose. I know I talk about Yin a lot these days but it is what I have been practicing lately! So pick your least favourite yin pose (pigeon is a common victim …) Hold it for 5-minutes at least. Notice how you react and how you feel. Resist the urge to come out of the pose. See if you can lean in and touch it, feel it. Make the choice to stay.
It really is about the journey.
Yoga is not about reaching a particular state. It is not about achieving a certain pose. It is about the process. The practice itself shapes you. It squeezes and stretches and challenges you physically. Along the way, your body changes. Yoga will also stretch your mind and challenge your perceptions. And your way of thinking will change.
Focus you efforts on what matters to you. When you are on the yoga mat, don’t just jump mindlessly into your practice or even into an individual pose. Ask yourself why you are doing it. What is your primary intention? And bring that to the forefront throughout your practice. Your intention will shape the entire process. It will determine the poses you choose, their effects on your body and mind, and ultimately how you show up in the world.
Go with the flow
Don’t force your yoga practice. Be ready to change it up depending on what you need. Maybe you planned challenging and energetic postures but what you really need is a half hour Savasana! Do it.
Nothing in our lives is static. Flux. It defines our very existence, a constant ebb and flow. Sometimes it is a trickle and feels predictable. Other times we are swept away by the intense, strong current and wonder what the hell just happened?! Can you embrace it?
I read a quote on Facebook:
One Life. Just One. Why aren’t we running like we are on fire towards our wildest dreams?”
Maybe impermanence is a gift? Use its energy to drive yourself forward towards whatever greatness is meant for you. (By the way, check out William’s article Gut Check on this topic)
Actually don’t just embrace change. Flirt with it, seduce it and caress it. Welcome change with crazy abandon. It is both inevitable and great opportunity.
Have a wonderful week and Happy Thanksgiving to any of my Canadian friends celebrating this weekend!
Image courtesy of Ian Sane
RIP Max Keeping. Thank you for being you and inspiring us with your generous heart.