Change…of seasons, of life, of anything can bring up all kinds of thoughts, emotions and experiences. I actually like change, or so I say. Until something unexpected happens and I want things to stay the same.
One of my earliest lessons related to change was watching The Brady Bunch. I’ve written about this before and it had a real impact on me. Do you remember the song? “When it’s time to change you’ve got to rearrange, move your heart to what your gonna be” followed by a lot of sha na na nas!
Do you remember those lyrics? Bobby’s voice change? The Brady Bunch Band? I realized it was one of my first lessons about change. They had written a new song. Then puberty hit Bobby, hard. There was a some frantic teens but then they pulled together and wrote a new song that just wrapped around the reality of Bobby’s squeaky voice. The message I took away was that sometimes unexpected changes can make things turn out even better than what had been planned.
But that does not mean in the middle of it that it is easy. Change is hard. And we resist. Often fear of something different ahead is bigger than the ability to see new beneficial opportunities that could be revealed.
This is where that pause and ability to observe in a mindfulness practice can come in handy. Can you watch yourself shrinking in the shadow of impending change? Can you realize the thoughts of the worst case scenario are just thoughts, not reality. Can you realize you can be with the fear, give that inner child a hug and then know that you can move forward with love toward yourself and others in a courageous way.
Sometimes it’s not the change that is hard but the ability to be courageous again after the change. Especially when the change is big and sad. I just read a beautiful book by my teacher Maria Sirois, A Short Course in Happiness after Loss ( and other dark, difficult times). We’ve all experienced loss and change and dark times. And those times make it even harder to be brave when change is ahead.
Maria has a beautiful metaphor for what happens when we’ve been broken. The story is about a Japanses shogon who asked for a broken tea bowl to be fixed and was given the bowl back with ugly staples. He sent it back to the Japanese craftsman the second time and asked them to look for a more aesthetic means of repair. Kintsukuroi, or golden repair, was born. A process of joining shards of broken pottery with laquer laced with powered gold. Suddenly the broken bowl became richer and more beautiful because of the mending.
For us that process is the healing and ability to be courageous again. Last week in Maria asked our group, “How will you find your way to the golden repair? ” For me yoga is the way.