One of the most valuable yoga instructors I've ever had was a man named Vince. He taught me numerous lessons that had nothing to do with the external experience of the poses. You may even hear some of his phrases in my class like, "You've got nothing to do and no where to go..." The first thing I truly learned from him is that yoga is an internal experience rather than a competition with other students or even yourself to try to get some perfect pose. You see, Vince is a "stiff guy", which is some what unusual in an instructor. His knees would be bent in forward fold and when sitting cross legged they would be way up high off the floor. I started to find a sense of internal peace in his class as I gave up trying to have the best pose in the room or trying to impress some one who might be looking at me and I started to go inside and just enjoy whatever was happening in the moment and do the best I could that day.
I learned something even more important the truly improved the quality of my life. Vince had a comb-over. An unfortunate and obvious comb-over. The kind that makes you a bit uncomfortable because you can't say anything about it since you know the whole reason they have it is because they are uncomfortable. One day I was sitting on my mat waiting for class to start when he walked in....with his head shaved!
First of all, he looked a million times better. Second, I knew it took a lot of courage to do that. I commented how great he looked and his response to me was, "The only constant in life is change, so we might as well embrace it." I was completely floored. He was a living example of having the courage to go with the changes that were occurring in his physical body. But for me it helped me realize that change often brings wonderful results as soon as we get over the fear of it.
I started giving myself permission to change. To discover foods I swore I didn't like (sushi) were actually wonderful once I got over the fear of trying them. I embraced the notion of changing my perceptions, my attitude, my address, my companions. The more I opened up to change, the more comfortable I got with it, the easier life got. There is so much less struggle.
I also find that I value and have gratitude for things as they are know that one day they will be different. A few months ago several alpacas came to live with Happy Hubby and I. Over time we discovered they each had their own wonderful personality, like the quiet shy one, the one that would bound over every time we came out, to the stud-muffin who wanted nothing else but to be with the girls. They loved to eat treats from our hands and some of them were begging to let us pet them.
We had 12 in all, which was way more than the two we had intended to get and we really didn't have the space or time to care for them properly. So a few weeks ago they all moved to a new home on a much larger property. I was certainly sad that they wouldn't be here any more and I miss them all. But things are actually better, we aren't overwhelmed trying to make sure they were all being fed, watered and attended to. Now they are receiving the care and love they deserve. And I'm happy for that. They wouldn't be in such a wonderful place if I had fought the change of letting them go. And we would still be stressed about them being cared for. By embracing the change, life gets easier. Not emotionless...it just flows along a little more comfortably.
“The key to change... is to let go of fear.” ~Rosanne Cash