Sunday, August 9, 2015


Everything is changing...all the time...

That's what they say, though sometimes it feels like nothing at all changes, for long periods of time....

post-16078-Groundhog-Day-Meme-c3X8.jpeg (604×572)

Or, it feels like EVERYTHING changes all at once....

remaincalm-01.jpg (396×361)

When we are in a happy phase, we immediately think, "Well this won't last." For some reason, when things are good, we leap ahead to the knowledge that it will, eventually, come to an end. Even while we are in our happy period, we begin to fear or mourn the end of it.

But when we are in a sad or unhappy phase, we think it will never end! I wonder why it is so easy to believe that a bad phase will last forever, but that a good one won't last for long?

I think about impermanence a lot in my life and in my yoga practice, which are pretty much the same thing now. In fact yoga is, in large part, about coming to terms with impermanence, because yoga is about learning to live in the present, and that is all about accepting that things will change; that things in fact are changing now, and now, and now.

Breath+hold.jpg (400×384)In yoga, we bring our attention to the breath and stay with each breath as it comes and goes. The breath changes; no two are alike. If we tried to hold on to the last breath, or if we pushed away the next one - in either case, we would die.

It is this practice of being with each breath, without clinging to the last or anticipating the next, that is the first step toward understanding how we learn to live with change.

Yesterday morning, we sat on a beautiful beach. The sun warmed us; the breeze cooled us.

Yesterday afternoon, the skies darkened and pummeled us with rain.

Impermanence ....

For many, many years, my parents were healthy. Then, suddenly, they were both ill.

Impermanence ....

For years before they died, I feared my parents' deaths. I thought I could never survive that. I grieved for years while they were ill and after they passed. Now, I miss them, but I do not grieve them every day.

Impermanence ....

frustrated-at-work-008.jpg (460×276)
When I was younger, I worked for many years at jobs I didn't like. I thought it was supposed to be that way; that it was normal to just stay at a job you didn't like because you wanted and needed the money. I thought it would ALWAYS be that way.

Then one day, the company I worked for changed and that offered me the opportunity to make a change too. I leaped at the chance to leave behind this way of working, and have never looked back.

risk-jumping.jpg (437×294)    keep-calm-and-don-t-look-back-28.png (600×700)

Impermanence ....

Once, I was a child. I thought I would be a child forever. Now I am an adult moving into older age.

Impermanence ....

When I write, it often seems like I am getting nowhere. And then, after some months, I have finished a book and I'm not sure how it happened.

Impermanence ...

Our year of living on the road in our RV really heightened my understanding of impermanence. One night we stayed here:

A week later, we stayed here:

Impermanence ....

My favorite quote about change is this one from Faye Weldon:

"Nothing happens and nothing happens and then everything happens."

Change. We can see it as the enemy. Or we can see it as liberation. We can see it as something to fear. Or we can see it as opportunity. I've experienced it as all of these.

Or, we can just see it for what it is: The Way Things Are. Learning to let go of what is past; to stay right here, now, rather than rushing ahead to the future; to accept that "now" is already changing - this is the work of life.

Oasis-Be-Here-Now-Inlay.jpg (1181×921)


  1. I find that the words I use to express my (temporary) reality flavour it.
    Have you notice that we only use the words 'that's life' to express the negatives? The days when we step out of bed into freshly deposited cat puke, the milk has turned and none of our clothes fit?
    True, those days ARE life. But so are the days where the sunrise is sublime, the garden blooming, and we are in the company of friends...
    So I am working at being more conscious of what I say, and feel.

    1. What you say is SO true! I think just being aware of how we think is a positive step.

  2. I love this, Melissa! I also found myself in the middle of quite a few changes over the last decade or so. I can say that, though they didn't start out as changes for the good, they have ultimately been for the best.

    1. Hi Cindy. I think change hardly ever feels good at first - we hardly ever want to instigate our own change. Look how long we would rather staywith the status quo, even if the status quo is not so good! I have found that most change in my life has been for the best - even though I never wanted any of it at the start!!

  3. Great post. I'm thinking about all the changes that I've lived through. I hope there will be more. I know what I would like to change, and I'm working very slowly towards them.

    1. There are definitely things we can change ourselves. I've been through so many changes that I don't even recognize my younger life as mine. There are changes that didn't want but that worked out just fine, ones that were thrust upon me but I could see they were opportunities, and ones I consciously made. It is always in retrospect that I can say that "change in good" because it always ultimately has been!


Talk to me!