If we could see the miracle of a single flower, our whole life would change.
Have you ever found yourself knowing something cognitively, being able to understand it and talk about it quite abstractly and then in a light bulb moment you know it in your body, an embodied understanding of your thoughts???
Well I had that a short while ago in relation to the constancy of change. I have intellectually know that change is always happening and I often talk about changing,- the need for change, wanting to change, wishing things would not change etc. Yet feeling it in my bones only comes every now and again. I was walking on the west coast recently – the first time since the storms. The changes in the landscape were dramatic. Beaches with mini cliff faces as parts of the headland had been swept away, fencing dangling in mid air as the land holding it in place had disappeared, fields covered in stones from huge deposits left in tthe wake of massive waves,and seaweed hundreds of yards inland from the water’s edge.
I was taken aback by the dramatic changes that the sea and the storms had wreaked on the coastal landscape. As I continued wandering the coastline I was reflecting on the way change can be forced on us by dramatic events and how often we only see change in these big events. A few days later I was cycling on a lovely sunny wind free day (a rarity in Connemara) when I noticed I had my head bent, eyes on the road and my mind mulling over the changes at the beaches. With that awareness I lifted my head and for the first time in ages I really looked around at the fields, rivers, and mountains of my almost daily cycle. I was truly taken aback at the amount of yellow to be seen, the daffodils, primroses, dandelions and gorse were like beacons of light in the green landscape. It seemed as if they had appeared overnight. I realised that the landscape had been quietly changing all around me as Spring had arrived. Winter and the dramatic storms were gone for now . The quiet constant change of life flowing by was mirrored by the arrival of the primroses, yet I was so absorbed in the big changes that I had lost the awareness of the changes happening around me on a daily basis.
I realise that a lot of time in my life I have waited for or wanted a big change to occur and in the waiting or wanting I have completely missed the change going on all the time. I sense this has happened in my new approach to the work. I have been quietly studying the ever expanding knowledge on the brain and matching the research on mindfulness with what I have seen happening on the dancefloor over 20 years. As I have added a little shift here, a snippet of information there; a curiosity about a movement or a different way of paying attention; unbeknownst to me my approach, my interest and my enthusiasm have been changing.
I have presented a taster of the way I wish to work in my last few workshops and have received delightfully positive feedback. I have the sense of awaking from a trance of not being good enough in my work to feeling really proud of the new focus and all the background work that has gone into this change. In my mind it is a big shift as I feel so at home, genuinely at ease with the approach. I feel like a confidence crepted into my bones under the radar of my ever critical ego. It took root, spread wings and is now supporting me to experience a change I never really thought would happen. I never really believed that I would get to a place of ease in my work in this life. I kinda thought that was for another time and this time was to be a constant nagging dis-ease within myself- as in the “could do better”….mantra ringing in my ears forever…….
Now I sense I have finally “come of age” in myself and most imporatnatly in my work. Work is and has always been a very important part of my life. At times it has been my saviour as having workaholic tendancies I can get immersed in it when things get rough, use it to keep me away from myself and others. But I truly never thought a time would come when I could put my hand on my heart, look another in the eye and say yes I have done my best and am now enjoying the fruits of my labour!
I feel such an excitement about the possibilities of change no matter how intrenched we are in our habits. I feel like living proof to myself that very stuck ways of thinking and being can be changed. That we can release ourselves from the grip of the past and come into the present moment with courage, confidence and resilience in mind and body.
I sense I can truly agree with the Dalai Lama when he says “The period of greatest gain in knowledge and experience is the most difficult period in one’s life. Through a difficult period you can learn; you can develop inner strength, determination, and courage to face the problems.”
Like the daffodils and primroses that have the courage and resilience to put their heads above the earth and wholeheartedly blossom, even if the weather is not always be kind to them, I feel ready to stand up and embrace the change that has occurred wholeheartedly.