Change is Just a Six-Letter Word

July 7, 2010
 I recently spent a week at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY where, in addition to spending time in nature away from the city, I was enrolled in a workshop entitled “Coaching the Artist Within” with creativity coach Eric Maisel.  Becoming a health counselor and all that it entails had become just one more reason for me to avoid making art and I wanted to get to the root of the problem. We talked about a lot of things – anxiety, consistency, showing up, etc., but for some reason I kept thinking all week about change (too much or too little) and how it affects our lives.

Change – just the word alone can strike terror in some people. We can become paralyzed from the thought of it and avoid it altogether. On the flip side, some of us are constantly in change mode and never take the time to enjoy where we are in life or to develop anything in depth. Change can be about speeding up or slowing down (a change of pace), but mostly it’s about transformation and it has a tremendous impact on our happiness.

Certainly there is a sliding scale when it comes to change. There are major life changes like marriage or divorce, moving, changing careers, having a baby, etc. and there are the smaller changes like cutting your hair, changing your diet or altering your daily walking/riding route. If you’re someone who is absolutely in the “can’t change” category, baby steps might help to free you from becoming stuck or unable to move forward. Take something from your “small change” category and be brave – cut your hair (it always grows back!), try some new healthier foods, or take a different route on your next walk or ride.  Observe how these little changes make you feel.  Perhaps they will empower you to make that bigger, life-altering change you dream about.  It helps to keep the mantra “nothing is etched in stone” in your mind.  Making a change, big or small, doesn’t mean you can’t ever go back.  Sometimes going back can be a way of moving forward in your life as well.  The important thing is that you keep moving so as not to stagnate either physically, mentally or emotionally.

If you are at odds with someone close to you when it comes to change, it helps to understand why each of us are the way we are and how we can help ourselves, and each other, to move forward or step back. In Ayurveda, Vata is the dosha which most represents change because of the very nature of its predominant force – air/movement.  It might be easy for Vatas to move forward with things, but they are the ones that often need to slow down and settle a little. On the other hand, Kapha is the dosha which has the hardest time with change. Their stellar long-term memories often keep them stuck in the past and stand in the way of moving forward. Remember that we all have aspects of the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) and just being aware of which is dominant can help us to recognize why we are having difficulties with change.  I think I help to keep my Kapha partner moving while he helps me to stop and smell the roses.  A little understanding goes a long way for both of us!

We often hold on to the belief that some people never change.  Not true – every cell in our body is changing every second as well as the energy flowing inside us and around us. Why not embrace that wondrous fact and stop fighting against moving forward?

Once we are able to free ourselves from inaction, it will be easier to effect change that reaches beyond our personal lives. Changing our habits and the way we treat our planet is perhaps the kindest and most important change of all.

Getting back to the impetus for this newsletter, I was able to implement one small change that has miraculously put my art making back on track. Had I not followed my intuition about signing up for the workshop and ignored all of the mind chatter (too much money, not going to make a difference, etc.) I would be stuck in the same unproductive pattern. Lucky for me I took the plunge.  As Eric Maisel so positively put it in his book Sleep Thinking – “Go to bed with wonder rather than worry”.  I’ve slept like a baby since I returned!

Recipe of the Month:  Complete Breakfast in a Jar

Why not break out of your breakfast rut and try something different for a change?  Use your imagination – as long as you include some protein (i.e. whey powder, chia, hemp or ground flax seed) and a healthy fat (i.e. coconut butter or oil or avocado) along with the fruits and vegetables, you will have a complete, delicious breakfast smoothie to start your day out right. Your drink might be bright green, purple or brown – get over it!  Close your eyes if you have to and picture the yummy fruits and vegetables infusing your body with energy and nutrients!

Here’s an easy recipe to start with before you venture out on your own:

  •  1 small box of coconut water (or 1 1/2 C filtered water)
  •  1 small ripe banana
  •  1 cup berries, fresh or frozen (any will do, even in combination) or cut up soft fruit such as   mango, pineapple or peach
  •  handful of fresh spinach, kale, purslane or other green of your liking
  • 1 T chia seeds (or other protein)
  • 1 T coconut butter or 1/2 ripe avocado

Blend on high until smooth. Here’s a tip: If you have a blender with a screw-off bottom (like the old Kitchenaid model) you can put your ingredients directly into a quart size Mason jar, remove your glass blender pitcher and screw the blade directly onto the jar.  Fasten to the blender (the Mason jar will be upside-down) and turn on high.  You will have your smoothie ready to drink without dirtying the pitcher.  Or you can check out the Magic Bullet.

The Ghandi Rap “be the change” by MC Yogi:

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