At the end of last year, a yoga teacher whose class I had grown accustomed to found herself in a bind. Most of her classes at the studio were being cut from the schedule and, like so may of us, she found herself dangling on that precipice of one door closing with the ever burning question of ‘would another open’? Yet, unlike the first thoughts that might have popped into my or many of our heads, she was heading in search of that open door on the other side. You know, the one so many of us try to get to but the one that often seems stuck, locked or out of reach? What’s your perspective? Are you a witness to the ‘door slamming’ or a seeker of that ‘open door’?
“Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day” – Dalai Lama
For me, awareness was a big part of 2016 and I’m hoping it continues onward. That aspect of noticing things, observing actions and finding what works for you trickles into far more than I ever expected. Whether it was saying yes to a client, saying no to an opportunity, letting in a new idea or changing a decade long thought-pattern, awareness was present. In the wake of the madness of 2016, for me, 2017 must be about kindness and joy. Finding a way to embrace the positive, create a forcefield to repel the negative and open up to the space where learning happens – that’s how we’ll grow, that’s where the good stuff happens.
There’s wisdom in change – some I refused to see, others I refused to acknowledge and still others I refused to process. That’s over now. I’m continuing to see the world through a new lens. One that deflects negativity, disregards the ‘everything’s a crisis’ approach, welcomes the holistic view on wellness, incorporates the alternatives and deflects the crazy. Noticing things, seeing opportunity where I never before did and becoming aware of more plays a role in the general demeanor of happy and that’s the one I want as often as I can get it and in the other times, will continue to strive to reach it.
I have a friend from Long Beach who changed her career goals. She needed to leave the place she knew where she was thought of in one light to have the time and brain space to cultivate this new part of herself. Upon return to the old stomping ground, it’s taken awhile, but most can now see her in this new role while noticing that she maintains a lot of the person she has always been. That’s the stage I’m in. A shift in geography opened up a new environment in which to cultivate something that was always there but might not have had that need or push when living in my comfortable bubble of the east coast. A shift in profession and finance opened up opportunities to see different ways to save, give and spend. A shift in the medicinal mindset opened up a possibility to work on health changes in a different way than solely the prescription kind. And a shift in acceptance opened up room for new friendships, new ideas and new additions to a wellness and workout regimen.
“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” – Carrie Fisher
Growth happens when you least expect it, but what you notice or observe afterwards tilts the playing field. Those who strive for happiness or fun in their lives don’t like the feeling of life without it and are constantly finding ways to extract the giggle from ordinary situations. Once you’ve tasted it, why go back? I find it to be the same with growth. Channel that inner guru and focus on generating goodness, growth and gratitude. Find a way to let it in and you will never be the same. Whether you’re channeling your inner child, focusing on meditation, jumping on your trampoline, finding solace on your yoga mat, climbing up a rock wall, giving back to community, trying out a new tea, laughing with a friend or sharing a smile with a stranger – if you let it, it can light you up from the inside. Head towards that open door and find your joy – you’ll never see it as out of reach again.