Change creates possibility
Vail, CO, Colorado
Impermanence “is the nature of the human condition” ” Buddha
We like for things to stay the same. While we know intellectually that all aspects of our life are fleeting, even the gift of life itself, we crave solidity, reliability, rocks on which we can rely, people we can count on. We resist change in our age, body, diet, jobs, families and rituals. Most of us resist change and are angered, frustrated and even shocked with one of the most predictable elements of life.
The Dalai Lama said that “The very fact that something comes into being makes it possible and indeed necessary for that thing to cease. Its origination is the primary condition for its cessation. So when we understand the impermanence of all things, we understand that they are going through this process of cessation in each moment.” Through this process of transformation, all things become possible.
There is story of a baby elephant tied to a tree and unable to free itself from the rope. When the elephant becomes a huge adult, it still feels bound by that same rope. The elephant has the power to uproot the entire tree, let alone break the rope, but it has been conditioned since childhood to this bondage. This is exactly how change works in our lives. We prefer to be bound in the same waters as before. We prefer to stay in the ‘safe zone’ ” the predictable place. Change brings about uncertainty, fear, vulnerability and unpredictability ” but also great possibility. My teacher Baron Baptiste says: All growth occurs in some place of discomfort.
Things are changing all the time, therefore we are given the opportunity to acknowledge the impermanence of life in every moment. If we can release our bondage, our attachment to our story, we will begin to allow the flow of transformation to arrive. Once we become aware of our tendencies to hold on, and also to our reactions and our habits, we can begin the process of letting go. The concept of letting go is extremely profound. In a way it means letting go of a part of ourselves we were dearly attached to and, perhaps, even defined by. Carolyn Myss, writer and doctorate on energetic medicine, speaks of a term called “woundology,” a process by which people are attached to their pain and their story of why they are stuck in their current predicament. They use this attachment of their past pain to keep them in this state, as opposed to acknowledging the situation, then letting go and releasing the attachment to that pain, tension and story.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
As we begin to let go, it allows for a great opening and expansion of space internally and externally where action can arise to transform our lives ” true Freedom.
Just as in a yoga practice it is so easy to loose focus of the breath, the same is true in our lives. It is easy to become stressed and reactive to any given circumstances as opposed to retaining a state of peace and opennesss no matter what situation. Yoga teaches us that to deny all things must change is to sentence ourselves to a lifetime of unhappiness. It is not change that’s the problem, rather our reaction to it ” clinging to the ankles of that which is cherished even as it strides out the door.
Instead, cultivate gratitude and appreciation for this precious life, exactly as it is, as well as non- attachment and equanimity. If we can do this, not only do we truly liberate ourselves, but all that our hearts desire becomes possible!
Kelly Major Heath is the director of Moutain Lotus yoga in the Vail Athletic Club. She writes a monthly yoga column for the Vail Daily. Send comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.