Embracing Change for Deliberate Transition-Padma Peace
Life is either a daring and great adventure or nothing. The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched-they must be felt with the heart. Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.
One thing for certain is CHANGE, everything changes. For life to continue and thrive, it must change. Life’s’ changes are seen in the cycles and patterns of Nature and in all aspects of life. The very first workshop I taught was on CHANGE and the power of embracing it. Even in my early years, I knew that change was both a source of joy and of suffering.
Change, and the need to transition, brings with it emotions on the grandest scale. With change, there is loss and gain. Consider the bride who gains a wonderful husband only to let go of her single life or the parents of a beautiful child that must give up their freedom as a couple for the greater needs of the child. I worked in both the Intensive Care Unit and Labor and Delivery as a young woman. This afforded me valuable life lessons as I experienced the process of death with many people and paradoxically, the chance to see families gain a new member with the joys of child birth. I saw the person leaving this life often being in a place of peace that truly surpassed my understanding at the time. I also experienced where the birth of a new human could be the source of huge emotional highs and lows. In essence, the experience I gained at that time in my life truly created a foundation of wisdom and inquisitiveness that has served as an insightful guide throughout my adult life.
Change is at the center of potential, transformation and growth. However, it is also a power that, when we hold regrets of the past or grip toward the future, can capsize us and cause extreme emotional and psychological suffering. This suffering shows up as grief, fear, doubt, depression, anxiety and shame.
DELIBERATE TRANSITION is a masterful skill of the yogi and empowers one to embrace change. Deliberate transition is an antidote to the suffering that comes from what I call destination addiction. Destination addiction is a state that reflects one’s attachment to the past and an aversion to change or being in a state of limbo. Destination addiction, the bargaining, “one-day-when” frame of mind, shows up as follows:
- Denial and isolation through building strong defenses through analysis, seeking to create a suitable story.
- Blame and the tendency or need to find someone to judge and point the finger, as “the other” is responsible for the suffering in this change.
- Escalating need to control the outcome or other’s behaviors. This can also be characterized by a series of “if only they would have…” or “what if…. the worst” thoughts, only bringing on a heightened experience of aversion to the present and what is actually occurring.
- Resistance and the need to create an illusion that things are not what they seem; this will show up as depression and/or anxiety.
- Fear, doubt, lack of faith and low trust in Nature and the Intelligence in our Universe lead to low energy levels and lack of vitality.
- Leading to “wishing” things could be different, leading to deepening grief or anger. Wishful thinking will only strengthen the ability to wish for life to be one way and this process can be extremely disempowering to anyone!
- Procrastination and a feeling of immobility are a natural result from all of the above, which only feeds the process of destination addiction where the individual’s perspective lives from “one-day-when this will all be ___” and you can fill in the blank with a number of once hopeful yet shattered dreams of something great.
If you recognize any of these characteristics, there is a way out. It will take some work and the process brings about such great return and will set you on the track of living a passionate life that is filled with vitality and love. The most important antidote is ACCEPTANCE of what is and learning to totally drop into the present moment, to live fully in the NOW. The only reason we leave the NOW moment is because the ego, our personality, will have us believe that we can somehow change or rectify the past and control the future. If we are feeling pain, physical or psychological, or if we are vehemently attached to a person, place or thing and have a desire to seek only pleasure and our own way, this often erroneously validates a departure from the present. The pain felt in any given moment, when allowed will be the strength that shows up tomorrow. By Nature, we are guaranteed that everything will change, things simply do not stay the same. Learned acceptance is the allowing that will bring freedom from bondage of destination addiction and empower one to live a life thriving.
Acceptance is the ability to see life as it really shows up. Not a story that we make up or the illusory way that our perceptions will cloud our view. It takes great courage and is the noblest of all pursuits to see life, ourselves and the world as it really is. The deliberate path to clarity of perception can be an arduous one that requires a desire to evolve and grow in body, mind and spirit. Acceptance is in no way giving up or a relinquishment of power but instead is learning total responsibility as an empowered creator. This is the purpose for Yoga and Ayurveda, to develop the capacity to move beyond our primal mind, personality and ego to reach the heights of higher consciousness and optimum brain functionality.
Acceptance and the experience of allowing the fluidity of life shows up as follows:
- Taking responsibility and stop making excuses to gain the capacity to respond totally in the flow of what is needed and helpful.
- Ceasing the need to explain away or creating a defense for actions. Alcoholics Anonymous describes insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Defensiveness is a mask for insanity.
- One who embodies acceptance will look to face the issue and see where he or she has failed. Being willing to look at one’s own dishonesty, betrayal of self or others and seeing the subtle little fibs made to support instant gratification and false security. There is such a nobility in this characteristic that I am personally drawn to it and have found it a great impetus for conscious evolution.
- Acceptance knows gratitude and the profound power of prayer, faith and hope.
- In the field of acceptance, there is a coherence with the body, heart and breath what gives rise to clear reasoning.
- To train toward the field of acceptance and allowing, one must learn the Kriyas of Purification, reframing one’s perspective to run clear and innocent.
- Finally, the voice of acceptance has the capacity to listen with the entire body, to really “hear” others and their response to presence and an enthusiastic yet dispassionate interest on how you affect the space and to know what type of residual trails behind.
I am not about to sit here and say any of this is easy, nor do I look for things to be easy. I will share that the process is quite simple. The challenge is sustaining the motivation and focus to live in a state of DELIBERATE TRANSITION. The payoff however, is a beautiful place where love trumps fear and forgiveness is the basis for relationships. This is the surest route to living in joy and gaining vitality and longevity. We need to be real, to love with abandon, to plan our lives with intelligence and to choose a path for conscious development and growth. Choose a teacher, a true guide to support you in stepping toward your fear, not running from it. Be vigilant in cultivation of a clear and present mind, releasing turbidity and chaos.
Learn to allow the grandeur of what is seeking to unfold and the greatest thing you can do for yourself is to establish a grand vision of your own, one beyond what you think is possible, and get after it. The world is your playground and change is what makes the adventure possible.
Love to you all,