* Originally posted on HuffPost.com
This article has been through many changes.
What if our idea of ‘Change’ is blocking our personal and global ability to create shift and transformation?
Is it possible to create something completely new in the future without full acceptance of the past and present?
It is possible for us to experience a global shift towards new paradigms of embodied freedom, wisdom and respect, once we experience these shifts and changes on a personal level. Like a snake, we can learn how to shed our skin, releasing ourselves from old repeated thought patterns and behaviours, getting unstuck and creating new experiences. This starts from within.
‘All that we are is a result of what we have thought.’- Buddha
Many of us may think ‘change’ is something totally separate and different to the present situation. As if ‘change’ means cleaning the plate, starting from scratch and building our own vision of utopia that has nothing to do with the existing model.
Some of us may not fully accept the shape or size of our back sides; some of us may want to see more digits in our bank accounts, some of us wish we were working in the sunshine on an island in the Mediterranean rather than being sat in a cubicle.
What if we had the power to literally think our way into a new reality?
It seems contradictory to say that: “changing our thought of ‘change’ is a much more useful and easily applicable form of creating ‘change”. Thinking of ‘change’ as ‘transformation’ offers an understanding that the past and present are part of the evolution towards the new – embracing and accepting – including every part of ourselves (especially the parts we deny and don’t accept) to become our dreamed vision.
Neglecting our pasts, the global situation, our exposure to physical, mental and emotional toxicity does not allow us to move towards a kinder and more loving world. In order to move towards this, we must start with awareness and embrace these sometimes unwanted aspects of reality as they actually exist.
Not wanting them makes them more powerful and not wanting things to be as they are, blocks their ability to transform.
‘Being unhappy, dishonest, cruel, lonely, full of rage or anxious is not the problem. Not wanting to be unhappy, dishonest, cruel, lonely, full of rage or anxious is the problem.’ – Andrew Wallas
When we practice these 2 things, we experience deep change in our personal worlds:
- fully embracing ourselves as we are in this very moment
- completely accepting our current local and global situations
As a yoga teacher having witnessed thousands of bodies move, it’s fascinating to observe a physical blockage release and to hear of the changes that follow. It’s just as if a river was to flow freely when a dam’s retention walls are removed. In just an instant, a human being can completely transform their experience of a blockage by seeing it for what it is, feeling it and accepting it fully.
Acceptance of what is and self-love are the most powerful muscles we can flex to release ourselves and allow transformation to take place, real change.
When we practice these simple (and sometimes challenging) exercises for a positive change in our own world, the ripples are felt across the oceans:
- When we look in the mirror and smile, when we look deep into our eyes, beyond our physical body to fully see and accept the miraculous being that we are, knowing deep down that we have always done the best we can, with all our flaws and without any regrets. If we forgive and let go of anything we wish had been done differently, we accept that everything had to happen exactly as it did to get us where we are, which is precisely where we need to be, doing what we are supposed to be doing to get to where we are going.
- By catching ourselves when we judge, we can start to understand that we are misusing a useful tool. Judgement is necessary when it comes to calculating how to merge into moving traffic or the careful placement of a foot climbing up a rocky mountain, but it really has no place towards ourselves or in between one another. Practice, in every moment, keeping your eyes on the larger picture; the reality of birth, life and death. A little glitch and bump on our path will remain a little glitch if we simply let it be and let it go. However, when we chose to hang on to a bump and give it more importance than it deserves, it takes us longer to shift gears and keep moving in a constructive way. We can replace judgement with empathy and understanding of our own and others situations and pain. When we look into another’s eyes and see and accept them fully, we see and accept ourselves fully and vice versa.
- Practicing honesty, especially when it makes our heart thump faster, louder and poses a real challenge for us. Being honest doesn’t need to be rude or hurtful. We can find a way of being honest but also kind. Honesty doesn’t mean throwing daggers, it requires us to be authentic and truthful and to find the softer words so that we can speak from a place of our own experience rather than a place of causation and pointing fingers. There is nothing more liberating than expressing our truth.
Ultimately, we can all keep trying to change the world, however, the only world we have the power to ‘change’ is our own: by accepting ourselves, loving our life and those around us. When we breathe more and do more of the things we love doing, we feel more alive. We feed and nourish our physical bodies to increase their vitality so we that we can connect and laugh more.
When we chose to believe only the kind thoughts, we witness the entire world around us CHANGE.
‘Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.’ – George Bernard Shaw
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