The Chinese word for crisis is comprised of two symbols – one for danger and another for opportunity. Seemed appropriate during the global pandemic. Did the COVID-19 experience function as a teaching moment for society? We all worked toward restoring the world back to the way it was before the Coronavirus outbreak, but did we put enough effort into building a whole new world?
Our typical response to change is to either resist it or fully step into it. Let’s face it, we are creatures of habit who like to live within our schedules and routines. Our schedules and routines help us navigate our daily experiences with a sense of comfort and safety. Eventually we settle into the changes that unfold in our lives, create new routines and once again life feels comfortable and safe. Until we stir it up that is or someone or something stirs it up for us.
A lot of our lives are habitual, and habits are highly effective in helping us work, look after our families and pursue our goals. All our habits had been disrupted at the onset of the pandemic and what a shock to the system it has was. People are working and traveling in a different ways, our daily routines and the very rhythm of our lives have changed. When we are forced to do things differently, new habits begin to form. This doesn’t have to take long – it could be as short as a few weeks or a month.
Take a moment to notice the changes unfolding in your life right now. Some will be obvious and feel BIG while others more subtle with less significance and worry about their impact. Changes in our workplace and careers, finances, changes in relationships, physical changes in our body and appearance, the list is endless. For the most part we’ve all come to understand and accept that change is inevitable and constant and yet most of us are still uncomfortable with it. Are you resisting the changes unfolding in your life or are you meeting them with joy and excitement? Try to answer this question without judgment of yourself or in believing there is a right and a wrong answer to it. It’s just about noticing where we are at so we can then look at what’s underneath the fear and resistance or even what’s underneath the joy and excitement.
Sometimes we welcome or even invite change into our lives. We may choose to make changes for better health and well-being, to shift our financial situation, or our relationship status. It is always easier to navigate the change that we mindfully choose ourselves but what happens when change is forced upon us? Losing the job, divorce and separation, death of a friend or loved one, these are the experiences that become our tragedies and adversities. Should we choose the paths of healing and releasing these experiences in healthy ways we can triumph or be transformed by them. If we choose to stay in resistance, anger, sadness, or any low vibrating emotion for too long, they become the means of our suffering.
As an inspirational speaker for over a decade I have been asking audiences this question; ‘If you knew that your time left on this planet was only a few months, how many of you would choose to live your life differently than you are now?’ Easily 60% or more of each audience puts up their hands claiming that they would live their lives differently. My next question to them and to you; ‘what is stopping you from making those changes right now?’
Sometimes we really want to see change in our world. We want people to see what we can see or what we have learned. We want changes in our political structures, in our environmental stewardship, or in whichever systems and structures you are passionate about. Are there ways for you to advocate these changes that you would like to see, or can you make changes within yourself to move closer to the global changes you desire?
Crisis reveals what is already broken in a system or structure. What has COVID-19 showed us about our political structures, our healthcare systems, our economic systems? It has been showing us where there are imbalances, it has been magnifying all the parts that are no longer serving us. Do we really want to return to the ways things were or do we embrace change to create a whole new world? There is an opportunity to create lasting changes in our habits, our values, and our priorities. Opportunities for stronger global trade and reduced inequality. Opportunities to remove the veils that separate us and move towards a more open, loving, and supportive global community.
In the traditional yoga community, the Hindu deity Shiva is revered as the God of Change. The idea is that something must die for there to be a rebirth. Another way of saying it is that something needs to be let go of in order to create the space for the new. Is there an old story, belief, or wound that you need to release in order to create the space for what you really want or who you really want to be? Are there old stories, systems, structures, and ways of doing things that we could all let go of in order to create space for an entirely new human experience?
If you take a moment to reflect on your life story, you will see that the biggest personal growth and expansion that you have experienced have been birthed out of the biggest change stories that you have successfully navigated yourself through. Perhaps this perspective will help us navigate the current change unfolding in all our lives. The Coronavirus has created separation, but it has the potential to bring us closer together.
Would you like support as you navigate the change? Join me for a three month coaching program. Click here for the details…
These blog articles are inspired by the themed yoga classes that I teach. Being a musician myself and a lover of music, I put together powerful playlists to support my students in their inner reflection. I invite you to have a listen to the wisdom of these poets and storytellers to support you in your own inner reflection. This link will open up in YouTube Music. CLICK HERE to take in the playlist.
Shri Ananda is a certified Kripalu Yoga teacher, musician, and spiritual filmmaker creating music and stories to help us awaken to who we really are. Shri is a grounded and joyful yoga teacher who invites you to journey inward. His classes promote self-understanding, intuition, and transformation from the inside-out through mindful movement and breath work. Ananda is known for his themed ‘Gentle Spirit Yoga’ classes – combining gentle yoga with spiritual exploration through music. He is presently instructing at Perfect Balance Yoga in West Kelowna, British Columbia and hosts retreats around the world.