Change – just the word alone can strike fear into our hearts. Change is both inevitable and constant. Yet, as humans, we tend to either resist it or run from it. Sometimes change is planned and exciting like a marriage, graduation from school, taking on a new career or moving to a new place. Whether we view it as positive or negative it has the potential to create fear and stress, even when we have initiated the change ourselves.
Gil and I have recently taken a leap. (If you haven’t heard we are relocating and expanding the studio!) More on that below. Along with this decision comes big changes. Throughout the process of making this decision I have felt a roller coaster of anticipation, excitement, fear, stress, overwhelm, peace, calm, and back to fear. As well as the ever looming life question… Am I making the right decision?? This question and all the feelings that come up when we face change have the capacity to paralyze us. As I go through this experience I recognize, once again, that in times like these Yoga is like a wise old friend, not there to take my feelings away, but to support me in them so I don’t get lost. Whether you are in the midst of radical life change or just the process of everyday evolution here are a few things that I have found helpful:
1. Recognize Impermanence as a part of life:
We are all a part of an ever changing and evolving cosmic web. Change is happening within us and around us in all moments. All we have to do is watch nature to see the continual cycle of creation, sustenance, and dissolution. Resting into this cycle within ourselves creates flow and ease.
One word… steadiness. Change can stir the emotional and mental pot. Meditation allows us the opportunity to be with what is as it is. As we sit we watch the rise and fall of all the “stuff” and recognize that it is just that. Through practice we are able to connect to a steady presence within that is untouched by all that is moving.
3. One step at a time
In Yoga we talk about Krama. Krama is the natural evolution/progression from simple to complex. When facing big decisions or life changes we tend to get overwhelmed by all there is to do. The concept of Krama teaches us to take things one step at a time moving logically from smaller tasks to those that are larger and more involved.
4. Trust and learn to let go
This is often the hardest. Change brings up our need for control and order. It can create gripping and clinging. Often, the more we grip and cling the more things seem out of our reach. The truth is no matter how hard we try we can’t control everything. And believe me, I try! Use your breath. Let every exhale be an opportunity to release some holding and feel the spaciousness that comes from letting go. In the letting go we create trust within ourselves and the larger workings of the universe.
Practice. Again and again.