I have been contemplating change recently. The ability for people to change and grow and evolve, and the likelihood that people will actually change. What I keep coming back to, is, most people don’t change. The find a rut that is comfortable enough, and they stay there. If this isn’t entirely true for you (as it is for at the majority of the population) then I would suggest that it is probably true for you in at least one small aspect of your life. I know that I have places where I don’t grow.
I have also been contemplating the requirements for growth, should one have the interest (wouldn’t you rather watch tv), and the ability (you might lack the discipline and commitment) to change their life into something more wonderful. There are those of us out there who do change and grow. Some of us to creep, turtle speed towards our potential. It occurs to me that it takes constant work. I personally, have to do a metric ton of work to experience a tiny bit of lasting and significant change. I am incorrigible. It may take you slightly less work to grow a little bit more. Lets hope so. To perform this work, of course takes energy. Lots of energy. For the most part, people have enough energy to get to work, eat some food, and maybe have a hobby and some friends. They simply don’t have the energy required to do transformative work. To bring awareness to the unconscious and to overcome deeply ingrained patterns without avoidance or violence is intensive labor. Gratefully, we practice yoga. Yoga provides us with a chance to source greater amounts of prana, so that it is useable by our psyches in service to greater self awareness and skillful action. Our poses can help, our pranayama can certainly help. Our meditation can really assist once we have cultivated our prana. Our meditation practice can shed light on our habits, provide insight into the best use of our prana that is possible. If we are unwise, we will practice and practice, and then use all of our newfound strength to continue chasing our tails. It is my sincerest hope that this is not our fate.
With this intention, I would like to offer you a subtle practice, one to bring your consciousness to your behavior.
Pick a habituated statement that you make several times a day, something that you ay on auto pilot: “oh, I’m pretty good, thanks”, “Have a great day”, “You would say that”, “that’s a laugh”. It doesn’t matter what it is, it just has to be a robotized, automatic programmed response that saves you the burden of being conscious and creative. Got one? good!
Now: Stop saying it. Be aware of what is coming out of your mouth. Become creative, attentive, and present.
Also: Enjoy noticing how many times you forget and say it anyway. Practice forgiving yourself without giving up.
photo credit: Samonberry