Tag Archives: changes in life

The Life You Always Wanted

Have you ever been awake to a time of transition in your life?  Where your surroundings, both human and environmental, seem not quite enough to take the edge off the angst of change.  What is that?  It can be difficult to part the curtain and see clearly what this transition is all about.  So often we are caught by this emotional shift without being altogether certain what triggered it or really what it’s about.  So, there you are, wondering exactly what shifted and why.

When I have a moment of clarity (literally a moment, not more than that), I can smile and acknowledge that my concern stems basically from the mistaken assumption that my life will remain the same as it was yesterday or last week or five years ago.  And, combined with that thought is the sense of having to get to another time, place or situation where all will become clear.  As if I’m looking for some form of perfection that lies ahead of me, or is it to the side, or perhaps I passed it and left it behind me.  In any case, it’s the sense that something else is needed for it all to fall into place.

What “place” is that anyway?  Actually it’s the place where you think you have all the clothes you need for winter and then you see a jacket or boots (best if on sale), and you are tipped forward into another place – the place of wanting.  Or relationships are going well and a word or phrase or attitude interrupts and you’ve shifted to a place of hurt or anger.  Or today the job is going well, you’re feeling good about what you do and a person or situation challenges or provokes you, sending you to the place of wondering why you ever thought this work was for you.  We are, in fact, always on the point of shifting to another “place.”

So, thinking back to being in a time of transition, I wonder why it is so difficult to accept that we are always in transition. We simply fool ourselves into thinking otherwise.  With half our energy wanting things to be the way they were yesterday or last week or maybe even five years ago, we are still tipping forward, feeling out of place when a shift happens.  Most of these shifts involve creating a longing, even if we are unsure what it is we long for.  My sense is that a place inside has been touched – the place that says this isn’t the life I always wanted.  Something about what’s happening now is unsatisfactory and needs to be changed for me to have, once and for all, the life I always wanted.   Whatever that may be.

This is the path of most of us.  It takes great courage to step off the path and acknowledge that the life you have now is the life you always wanted.  Try it – you needn’t make a mantra of it, but let yourself experience the intention in these words throughout your whole body.  Feel your shoulders relax a bit, your mind clear, stand or sit a little straighter, and prepare yourself for the next shift.  It’s coming anyway – and when it does,  who knows, you may again find yourself with the life you always wanted!


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The Weight of Loss

There has been some space since the last writing.  Weeks have gone by with life reflecting an unsettled, at times, refusing-to-be-named, inner experience.  It wasn’t until walking meditation this morning that the name surfaced and clarity ensued.  It’s the Weight of Loss.

How is it that changes in life that result in the loss of a person or place or familiar role, or an event that changes forever the idea we have of our world, can leave us carrying such a burden?  How is it that loss can be so heavy?  Isn’t there an oxymoron in there somewhere?  And even as the weight of loss shifts and becomes lighter over time, how is it that it can get so heavy again at the time of the anniversary of that life-changing event?

Perhaps, in part, because we unconsciously feed this loss and nurture it, thinking that we can go back to what was.  All the practices that support our awareness and acceptance of change, our experience in meditation, doing or being yoga, becoming mindful of the present moment again and again, don’t often shift the core of loss that we carry.  We walk around it, observe it, sometimes challenge it, rage at it, but almost never do we greet it with compassion and gratitude.

What would that even feel like?  Does it seem possible to be grateful for an experience of loss that we didn’t ask for or welcome?  Perhaps one needn’t appreciate what happened, but in order to take the next step, to move forward in life, there must be some letting go.  Otherwise, what happens is that weight accumulates, and with each loss, the burden becomes heavier.  Then, at some point, there is no going forward, and letting go is more and more difficult.

Consider that compassion and gratitude may be as light as loss is heavy.  Maybe instead of putting on the heavy overcoat of loss today, one could try (or even simply imagine) wearing a coat woven of compassion and gratitude.  It doesn’t have to be gratitude for the whole event or experience of loss.  It can be compassion around one small aspect of it.  A kinder, softer way of relating to that one piece.  It would be akin to having an intention of being kinder and softer towards oneself – toward the one who carries this burden.

That might be a beginning – a next step down the path of lessening the weight of loss…

This post is dedicated to all those who carry the weight of loss – especially from the events of 9-11-2001.

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Filed under Meditation, Mindfulness, Yoga, Yoga therapy