Change In Our Lives
As we begin the New Year
many of us think about change in our lives. Although
we may be interested in making a change or starting
something new we may not always know how to proceed.
The familiar is comfortable and change can appear
to be complicated or intimidating. However, it
does not have to be that way. The teachings of
yoga advise us that there are three primary components
to initiate change. First we must begin, not just
think about beginning. Next, we must practice this
new behavior with enthusiasm. And finally, our
commitment to change must be an on going process.
This wisdom that yoga offers can be applied in
our everyday lives.
For example, if the change we are seeking is
to reduce stress, we have choices regarding how
to incorporate this change in our lives. We could
take a walk everyday and connect with nature,
schedule a regular massage appointment, or begin
a yoga practice. Whichever avenue we choose,
it is important to begin the process. Let’s
assume that we choose to begin practicing yoga.
Finding a class time and location that works
for us is important. Even more important is finding
a teacher we can connect with and one that helps
to move us in the direction we have chosen. But
most important is to give it a try and begin.
Enthusiasm is key to the successful implementation
of our desired change. If we are seeking stress
relief it is important to pay attention to how
our change tool (in this example yoga) is impacting
our level of stress. How do we feel before, during
and after our practice? Do we look forward to
practicing? While practicing, do we feel the
tensions and stress slipping away? Do we end
with a smile on our face? Positive experiences
will naturally build our enthusiasm and encourage
us to continue the change process we have begun.
True change is an on going process rather than
a temporary fix. It is a new way of moving forward
in our lives. Taking this approach allows us
to change gradually and enjoy the process as
well as the result. Returning again to our example,
beginning a yoga practice, working with a teacher,
helps to create an atmosphere of support and
allows relaxing and becoming clear. Before we
realize it we will have incorporated change in
our lives by enjoying the stress reducing benefits
Whatever change our hearts desire we can start
the process with three basic steps (1) simply
begin (2) approach our new change with enthusiasm
(3) make an ongoing commitment to our new change.
This Yoga Spirit article was
originally published in the Transitions Bookplace
Newsletter, January/February 2003