Growing through change

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Have you ever had one of those experiences where you’ve been fully changed? Something experienced, transpired, or happened and on the inside, you no longer feel like the same person, yet on the outside, to the world at large, you’re still you? It feels so obvious to you yet this new you is foreign to those around you. It seems you now react differently, respond differently, make different choices and have different insights to the same old questions or actions of those you’re around. To you, these changes seem positive – almost as if you can’t imagine going back to the way things were – but to others in your life who can not understand what’s happened, they’re frustrated. What happens now?

“Life is change, growth is optional…choose wisely” – unknown

Some of those experiences may not have been easy while they were happening. Perhaps you’ve been struggling with anxiety for years and have finally gotten the courage to reach out to find your way to the best you. Perhaps you survived a natural disaster and are working towards the striving place. Perhaps you had an incredible travel experience that opened you up to life in a different way. Perhaps it’s a newfound adoration of meditation or love of rock climbing, a change in family situation, a move, a retirement or career change, a desire to change your circumstances, a change in attitude about health, a volunteer experience or a connection with a new or old friend that has switched your mind – no matter what, you see yourself in a new space, a new way, and working towards an even better you.

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“Never let anyone dull your sparkle.” – anonymous

What then? How do you fit into the world around you now? Are you willing to work to fit this newly rounded peg into that familiar square hole or do you need to find a new niche? Do you bang your head against the wall when others don’t see this new you or understand it, or do you find a new way to fit, work with and find acceptance? Do you find yourself frustrated by the difficulties while experiencing the exhilarating new feeling of this new and better you or have you realized that you can be you and the world will have to figure it out?

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out!!” – Dr. Seuss

One of my yoga instructors often talks about time she spends with her teacher. A yoga instructor, meditation guru and psychotherapist, her interactions with his classes and teachings seem to truly strike a cord with her and resonate throughout her yoga offerings. With a focus on opening to impermanence, embracing change, showcasing less reactivity and finding acceptance, she channels her learning into intuitive yoga classes for all bodies and minds. Your day to day may not include yoga or mediation, but at some point in the 24 hours we all equally share, there are without question, matters of change. It’s not easy, not always pretty and takes each of us a different amount of time to get to where we’d like to be – but when you get there, your perspective shifts and there’s no going back. This is the new you.

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My friend Lauren has changed paths many times. From formal educator to restauranteur to anti-gravity yoga instructor and all things in between. She’s eliminated old habits, embraced open-mindedness and loves all things unicorn. In any class I’ve ever taken with her, she strives to modify to each learner. To those who have injuries, need a greater challenge, are struggling or can’t believe they’re in a hammock for the first time – no matter who you are, she reminds us all to do what we need for our practice. For some, that might mean sitting in a hammock the entire time and just being while for others it’s trying the most advanced version of each pose at every possible opportunity. The goal is to do what you need and find the best you.

“The only person you are destined to become, is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whether you’re on your way, beginning your journey, taking a few steps forward and a few steps back, figuring it out, aren’t quite certain yet or have found the you you want to be right now – you’re not alone. Our paths may be different, our struggles personal and our triumphs shared, but each time we choose growth and acceptance from change, we are all a little bit closer to our best selves.

“Be you, the world will adjust.” – anonymous

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