It is officially spring this week. Tuesday March 20th is the Spring Equinox. This season brings a visible change to the world around us. In Southern New Mexico the wind starts blowing and lasts for days at a time. It sweeps away all the sluggish energy of winter and prepares us for the warm days of summer. The trees begin to bloom, and flowers emerge from their winter rest.
Spring seems to be a time of change in our lives as well. Change is always present. It’s like that old friend you go weeks or even months without talking to and then your phone rings and life changes. Buddhism teaches that nothing is permanent. This may seem quite sad and depressing when you begin to think about all the wonderful things you enjoy. However, impermanance is also true for the situations we desperately want to end. Everything has an ending, but there are abundant beginnings available at any moment.
A recent conversation with a friend revealed that we both currently live in a constant state of change. Big change. Life altering change. We are thriving in this change. It motivates us to learn more, do better, seek out more positive ways to embrace the impermanence of life. But there’s a catch. We were talking about the change we initiated ourselves. We consciously made decisions to make these changes. And it was easy to embrace.
Today I returned to my yoga mat. To a class that was led by a wonderfully talented teacher. This was the first time I participated in a class in 2 weeks. I had a minor foot injury. It was not a change I initiated. The time off my mat and out of my regular practice was not a change I willingly embraced. I fought it and struggled with it on a physical and emotional level. Today on my mat I recognized immediately that my practice had changed. This was not supposed to happen! My practice, my mat, my yoga is my safe space. My home, the place I go when I struggle. Today it was the place of my struggle.
Breathe. Nothing is permanent… my previous practice was never permanent. This injury is not permanent. My struggle – temporary.
Change happens every day. We can initiate it and feel good about it, or we can let it happen around us and resist it. We can decide to make ourselves happier in every situation or let a situation control our happiness. We get to determine our thoughts and our mindset. If the change happening around you is too much, or you find yourself fighting it, breathe. Change your thoughts or change your circumstance. Embrace change as continuous and use it as a catalyst for adventure and manifesting your best life.
A minor injury will heal, and my practice will become my new and different safe space. For now, I take my cues from Mother Earth and her ability to transition gracefully into a new season. I am humbled and grateful for the reminder that I am not in control of what happens, but I am in control of how I respond.