New Year, new you? Why do we wait all year to make resolutions or initiate change in our lives? Why is it that we don't just embark on growth and change as it enters our mind to do so?
I guess the first day of a New Year triggers a 'fresh start' or a 'new beginning' and perhaps a good time psychologically to decide to hit the reset button. Whether it be to exercise more, to be more present, to find a better work/life balance, to see more of the world, to get out of a toxic relationship, or to step out of our comfort zone, change always comes with an element of fear. Why? Because change is scary! Human beings are creatures of habit and as best we can, we like to have things stay the same... because staying the same feels safe.
So January marks a month of discussing the concept of change - and today I want to share my personal views on it and what I have come to learn (and try my hardest to implement) since finishing my yoga teacher training.
Over the past 16 months, I have gone through a hell of a lot of change - to summarise, I have:
- Ended a long term relationship
- Moved house
- Closed my cafe / business
- Faced a really challenging financial hurdle
- Merged my business with another business and built a totally new concept
- Moved house again
- Created new friendships and let go of some which weren't serving me
- Became a yoga teacher
- Moved country
A lot huh... was it scary? Hell yes. Did I come out the other end alright? Also, hell yes. And sure these have all been huge milestones in my life but when you think about it, change shouldn't actually be that scary, because change happens all the frickin time. Literally.
So many of us have this affixation to knowing exactly how things will pan out. Predicting what our job will be like, what 'mr/mrs right' will look like, where we will be in 5 years from now. The stronger our attachment to these predictions, the more we suffer when they don't turn out exactly as we had expected. We long for the reassurance that comes from remaining the same. Did I know that my year would pan out the way it would and that I would be living back home in Indonesia come 1st January with no real clue as to what I'll be doing or where I'll be living? No, I had NO idea. But do you know what? I wouldn't want it any other way.
I personally believe that life will throw us curveballs when we become too ignorant of what is not serving us for our greatest potential - the same lessons/problems/challenges keep popping up over and over again until we are literally forced to see it from a different perspective. Otherwise we tend to live a life of denial or even sink into the realms of anxiety and depression.
In Yoga, there is a focus around the concept of impermanence and an understanding that everything changes. With this focus, comes the importance of living in the here and now - because there will never be the same moment twice, ever. In fact, one of the only things that we DO know for sure is that we all die - and yet this seems to be the thing that we try to prevent the most and be so shocked by when it happens. Human life is impermanent - this is a reality.
“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.” - W. Somerset Maugham
Becoming attached to thoughts, or feelings, or things seems to happen quite often - I know for me it did. In relationships you often see two couples growing apart yet holding onto and longing for what the relationship was when it first started. Accepting that we change, situations change, and that life is impermanent might sound really depressing at first but in reality it allows you to actually enjoy each thing for what it is in the present. I tried to hold on to relationships, on to business ideas, on to plans - I resisted change with all my might until I finally gave in to it all and just allowed it all to be what it is. And you know what? It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders - everything just fell into place and life still kept on going.
So January's thought from me to you is to reflect on this idea of change and impermanence - it doesn't mean you don't set good intentions, nor does it mean that you don't plan for the future as best you can - but you plan with the knowledge that anything could change it all within the blink of an eye.
Perhaps this year, you can set an intention to be more grateful of the here and now - of what you are experiencing at any point in your life (whether it be good or bad), knowing that within a few minutes the moment will be gone. And that's nothing to be sad about... in fact, I think it's one of the most beautiful parts of being alive. x