I just went to yoga class this morning, and was reminded of the fundamental importance of both strength and flexibility. How easily can I bend, and how strong am I in my ability to hold that posture.? Its good to be strong, its important to be flexible. One without the other is just not enough.
Change is a constant, and it requires us to be flexible, in order to accommodate new growth, new possibilities and new ways. We can bend, or we can break. And the less we bend, the more pieces we break into. Change calls us to be awake to possibilities, openings, births and deaths on all levels.
Sometimes, we are so desperate for internal change (e.g.- to feel differently) , that we try to create it by making external changes. This is one way to do it, but not the most sustainable way. If we can make changes on the inside first, it seems as if the externals will shift to match the change within. For example, I spent most of my entire adult life wearing clothing that was either given to me, or sourced from thrift stores or clothing exchanges. I used to even limit myself to only things that were discounted at thrift stores(!) If I wanted or needed something, I would comb the second hand stores, hoping to find a treasure that someone else discarded. I was sometimes lucky, but most of the time I felt ragged in my clothing, and unworthy of nice things. A few years ago, I started to consciously shift my identity towards a more positive and loving self image. I worked on enhancing my self worth. I did not consciously take myself shopping, as that is not my “thing”, but I noticed that I was not attracted to thrift stores as strongly. I was not as excited as I used to be about half price day at the Salvation Army, in fact, it fell naturally away from my field of awareness. I began to discard my own clothing that was over used or just plain ratty, and even some pieces that I may have bought at a “real” store – letting them go to the thrift store, hoping someone would be happy to find them. Even though I have been told many times throughout the years that I “should” try to upgrade my look, and experienced a feeling of panic whenever it was time to try to look passably “nice”, I was unable to really care for myself in that way. Once an internal change was made, the external expression of that naturally fell into place, without effort. But I still love the odd thrifting experience, as I acknowledge the fun in it!
Most of the change and improvement that I seek is centered around a desire for deeper self love and self acceptance. If I get a better car or a nicer house or make more money, will it improve how I feel about myself? Perhaps temporarily, but it will not fundamentally get me the change I want. However, if I consciously try to be more kind and loving in my perception of myself and the manner in which I talk to myself, changes will naturally occur in my external life to match that vibration.
We don’t have control over the changes that happen externally, only the ones on the inside. What would we like to change? And how can we shift internally to create the conditions for that? And how can we be stronger and more flexible in order to accommodate the changes that occur around us? We can bend, or we can break.