Even though we may say we want change, many of us are actually deeply afraid of it. Though we may outwardly express a hope for something new, inwardly we may be in resistance. Holding on to old patterns in our hearts, minds and actions, we find ourselves too often in the same situations over and over again, without the transformation we had anticipated.
We may blame circumstance, others, even the divine, for the events in our life. Or we may blame ourselves, getting stuck in self-criticism instead of opening to solutions. Try and try as we may, here we are again, right back to where we don’t want to be! So what is going on? How does change happen?
When you want something to change, your tendency may be to see the problem as ‘out there’. So you go out and try to fix the situation or a person to make it to your liking. Sooner or later you discover that this leads to further unhappiness because you don’t have the power to change someone or universal conditions. You can only change yourself, which means being present.
Change does not happen ‘over there’, but exactly where you are. When you pause the ongoing inner wanting for things to be different, you find that the steps to change that you thought were an absent mystery beyond your reach, are in fact right under your feet.
I love the word “understanding”. To me it shows that when your heart opens to what is happening in this moment, you become aware of how you are supported. You are standing under, rooted in the fullness of life. There you find the genuine inspiration, momentum and traction to meet your personal potential for change.
Change happens when you are willing to see things as they are, rather than how you want them to be. Acceptance is not blind and resigned, but active and awake. By accepting what is, you are not giving in, but tapping into the flow of Nature, which is ever changing. You open to the fullness of life that serves your highest good and the good of all.
When you are unwilling to see this moment as it is, you perpetuate your feeling of dissatisfaction and pain grows. By resisting what is, you create a push/pull dynamic in which you divorce yourself from your true source of power: being a co-creative participant within the whole. Feeling separate and mistakenly thinking you are the doer, you become frustrated, feel alone and experience a roller coaster of highs and lows from conquest to defeat. This cycle is draining and does not serve anyone.
Change arises from a place of active beingness within you. When you are willing to open to life as it is and have surrendered to the fullness of the moment, you discover the richness of life, where change is taking place. In every moment, there is a spark that guides you along your next evolutionary step, perfectly created just for you by a loving universe.
The next time you move to inwardly or outwardly criticize someone else’s behaviour, pause for a moment. Practice instead seeing that person exactly as they are. You may not like what you see. That is all right. You may feel uncomfortable. That is all right. You may want to run and hide. That is all right. You may feel alone, angry, sad, etc. That is all right. Whatever is right there, be with it.
Similarly, the next time you experience something you don’t like, such as, getting a bill in the mail, notice your feelings about it. Rather than getting angry or despondent and feeling like a helpless victim, or trying to push away any feelings of discomfort by making a joke of it or setting it aside to “deal with later”, just see it, for what it is. Notice the situation with open eyes. Only then will you find the expansive course of action that will bring lasting joy.
Knee-jerk reactions cause pain. Rooted, surrendered, expansive responses are a win-win for everyone. Only then are you in flow with the very force of life itself. In so doing, you support the good of all beings everywhere, including yourself.
Exercise in Change
Try this exercise to help you feel more rooted, vital and expansive so that you may embrace the possibility of change in your life:
- Find a quiet place to lie on your back, where you can relax without the risk of falling asleep.
- Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, about hip width apart, so that your breathing is easy, deep and relaxed.
- Breathe into your belly, allowing the rhythm of your breath to bring your mind deeper into this moment, into your body, into the feeling of being here and now.
- Go deeper into yourself and feel the connection your body has with the floor.
- Then feel the connection your breath has with the outside air and how it flows into your body.
- Know that the air you breathe, that feeds your being, is also connected to all of life: all animals, all humans, all plants, and all beings on the earth.
- Take a moment to feel that interconnection between you, life and all things. Feel the immense possibility of life itself.
- Allow your being to expand, to open to this life force that is in you, around you, everywhere.
- Stay rooted in your body by still feeling the ground and your breath, as you incorporate this sense of expanded awareness.
- Become receptive to the infinite possibilities this moment brings. Feel them in your breath and in your cells. While maintaining this awareness, say to yourself: I am supported. I am open, ready and willing to receive support. I am. I am. I am.
- Feel that truth in your whole being. Repeat it as though you were feeding your cells with this lush, rich, expansive place. Stay with it and repeat it until you truly feel it.
- Then say: I am open to abundance. I am open, ready and willing to receive abundance. I am. I am. I am.
- Again, feel it in your whole being. Repeat it so that it nourishes every cell in your body. Repeat it until you truly feel it.
- Keep going, making statements that feel expansive and are about yourself. Keep the focus within and on yourself, not on another. Focus on the positive possibilities of being you, not on wanting to change something you don’t like or someone you find challenging. Be present with the possibilities of this moment, because change happens exactly where you are.
- Once you have filled yourself up, take a moment to draw your awareness once again to the reality of interconnection between you and all living things. Send a quiet prayer from your heart, wishing for the same fulfillment to all beings, everywhere.
- When you have had enough, take a few deep breaths. Allow yourself to fully integrate the exercise. Then gently bring movement back to your fingers and toes.
- Inhale, raise your right arm over your head. Exhale, roll onto your right side and stay there for a moment, feeling totally relaxed. Then gently press up from your left hand and come into sitting.
- Bring your hands together in prayer in front of your heart and take a moment of gratitude for the time you have just spent.
May you be inspired by the spring flowers to unfold into ever greater love, joy, abundance and possibility.
—– Author Bio —–
Parvati is an award-winning musician (I Am Light, Electro Yog, Yoga In The Nightclub), yogini (YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine), author (Aonani of Avalon, Confessions) and founder of the not-for-profit Parvati.org. All her work is dedicated to protecting all life on Earth by establishing the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS).