Can you let go of your expectations, and embrace the unknown?
Accepting ‘What Is’ – is the essence of life, in fact it’s what makes the world go around, life is always going to be unpredictable. Sometimes we crave change. Other times we dread it, either way though, we just can’t escape it. I’m feeling change in the air at the moment with the current political climate in the UK and other countries too, also some of my friends are going through major changes in their lives and I too am setting the wheels in motion in preparation of transition towards a future lifestyle change.
Since yoga and mindfulness have become part of my life, my eyes are now always open to the opportunities that can come from change (the highs and the lows), in the hope of the next adventure, life experience or philosophy lesson to be learnt. A major lifestyle change is what brought me to where I am today and I still can’t quite believe that this is me and my life now – but I haven’t always been this way…
About 15 years ago, I unwillingly got pulled out of the realms of my comfort zone big time and trust me, I really didn’t want it then. My mind was programmed with preconceived ideas and I expected my life to go a certain way, so when it didn’t, instead of embracing change knocking at my door, I became very stuck. I didn’t know how to let go and I didn’t have the self confidence, or the know how, to move forwards. Therefore I was fearful and fought it, I became anxious, I lied to myself, I cried, I got angry, I had sleepless nights, I was very unhappy, in fact, I was feeling a whole load of negative emotion and carrying the world on my shoulders. I desperately tried to hold onto everything secure around me with both hands, I think that I kind of thought that if I could just stay put, it would all sort itself out eventually. I dream’t for the stability and real happiness that used to be, in fact, I was so focused on my need for what I saw as my ideal life, that I was ignoring listening to my inner most feelings – my truth.
Then one day (in fact it was after my first yoga teacher training course), I literally had the most amazing meditation and everything became clear, I realized that I couldn’t pretend to myself or others anymore, I didn’t have to stay in a life that no longer fed my soul, it was my birthright to be happy again. When I eventually stepped out of my comfort zone, it took a lot of guts and a huge leap of faith for me to take charge of my life again with the added responsibility of 2 children in tow. For a couple of years or more, the emotional pain from this huge life change was immense, but it belonged to me and I knew that it was ok to grieve and in doing so I was being essentially human, it was an important part of the healing process.
How I would have got through it though without a regular yoga or meditation practice is beyond me, mindfulness practices helped to reduce the stress associated with change big time. Yoga get’s us more in touch with our feelings so that we can be guided from an inner wisdom rather than our conditioned busy thinking mind. The more peaceful the mind, the more you can let go and the stronger your intuition and clarity will be, which in turn will help you to make wiser decisions. Yoga has taught me to be honest with myself and to really listen to my own desires and truth, its also taught me acceptance of ‘what is’. When we can sit with the present moment and let our mind relax, something in you also releases and a kind of purification or ‘letting go’ just happens all on its own.
I often tell my students to observe how their body feels physically, mentally and emotionally whilst they are holding their poses and to also notice how they react to this level of discomfort. I ask them, what does your instinct tell you to do when something is disagreeable, what emotions or thoughts also habitually come up? I encourage them to stay with it and to resist the urge to leave the pose. Our yoga practice is always an opportunity to notice, to learn and to evolve, so that in the future we can focus, tune in to our breath and find a way to develop a sense of calmness and comfort in a not so comfortable or unpleasant situation. It is a fact that this increases our oxygen flow which in turn calms our nervous system and reduces our levels of stress instantly.
Basically life is unpredictable, circumstances are unpredictable, situations are unpredictable, people are unpredictable and things happen that we don’t always like, therefore ‘letting go’ and ‘acceptance’ are key to being able to gracefully surf through these times. We can plan and prepare and provide for as much security in our life as possible however we can never predict or determine what may happen next, therefore, there is no point in creating negative energy by trying to control something that is beyond your control. You can only change yourself… your thoughts about it and your actions.
What I could never have known when my life changed so dramatically, (as none of us can), was what the future held for me and the positive things that would come from letting go and facing my fear of ‘what is’. However, I did remain positive, I had faith that I would be ok and to a certain extent trusted in a higher power of consciousness.
It is our our ability to meet these challenges in life head on that largely determines the outcome….which can either make or break us. We must learn to never take anything for granted and to know that much as we might hate it, we are where we are and we need to sit with what is happening. Another imperative belief in my opinion is to know that with every door that closes, another one opens, Every time I find myself a little bit lost or coping with life’s latest curve ball, I try my best to turn it in to a positive and see the bright side – its always possible if you look hard enough.
We are contantly in transition. We are never not becoming and mindfulness practices change the hearts capacity to – ‘let go’, ‘move on’ and ‘accept life as it is’.
RELAX, nothing is in your control. 🙂
Love B xxx