I began taking a yoga class (see link to Catitutdes Yoga Studio), called “Foundations of Yoga”. It is deemed a beginners class because the instructor concentrates on teaching the fundamentals of each pose – the proper alignment, etc.. The instructor is also a proponent and instructor of zen; and she has a real knack for saying things that I really need to hear.
So at my most recent class, we are in a pose that involves standing on one foot with the other leg stretched out, one arm bracing us (on a yoga block) and the other arm extended in the air (I actually managed to achieve this pose for a few seconds!). From this pose we go back to a simple “mountain pose”, which is just standing, both feet straight ahead, arms at your sides. She remarks very quietly when we’ve returned to mountain pose: “just think, a few seconds ago you were standing on one leg with one arm in the air and now here you are with both feet on the ground, everything changes, everything changes”.
Everything changes. That simple phrase hit me like a freight train. I’ve read and researched so many philosophies that talk about how the only thing certain in life is change, or that change is the only constant in the universe – but somehow connecting this thought to the action of the yoga poses drove this concept home to me in a way that I had not previously internalized. Everything changes.
Everything changes. One day you are a child living with your parents, the next you are married with a home of your own. One moment you are a couple, the next moment you a step parent. One moment your parents are youthful, vibrant people, the next your father doesn’t know what day it is thanks to dementia. One moment you are married to a wonderful man, the next day he is dead and you are a widow. One moment you have a successful business, the next you are scrambling to find a job and make ends meet. One moment you are living in Pennsylvania, the next you are in Bar Harbor, Maine and writing a blog. Everything changes.
Everything changes. Every moment of every day, something is changing. The cells in your body, the clouds overhead, the smell in the air, the view before you, the people around you. Some changes are large, some are small, some changes have positive outcomes, others negative, but the inevitably is there staring us in the face……everything changes.
Everything changes. But we are not alone in this universe of change. Just as “our” world is changing, so is the world of every other living thing changing. Our family, our friends, our stranger on the street, our pets, our plants, our ocean, our desert, our planet. Every living thing needs to react and adapt to those changes – be they subtle or not so subtle. Everything changes.
My personal response, I realize is to try to control the change occurring all around me. An impossible task, but still I try. Of course these attempts are a valiant if ineffective coping mechanism. I label change – good/bad, positive/negative, large/small, manageable/unmanageable. When in reality change is none of these things, it is what it is – just change, just different than before. The labels we apply to change, our reaction to it, our resistance to it is where our suffering begins. Everything changes.
This revelation will make for good contemplation as I continue my “soul excavation”. Everything changes, go with it.