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Yoga Me Well Blog

How to Change – Part 1

We know the frustration of living the same circumstances over and over again. How we find ourselves landing in the same dysfunctional relationships, job circumstances, confrontations with family or friends. Or repeating annoying daily behaviours like one of my favourites – carrying too many things awkwardly until they predictably topple and halt my inefficient progress.

“Oh the pain, the pain,” as Dr Zachary Smith would say (Lost in Space, 1965-1968).

Our best support through change 

Our regular yoga practice teaches us the self-awareness to unmask our thinking. Over time and periods of daily quiet we learn to tune into our thoughts, and keep track of the misguided ones. We may begin to suspect that we are contributing to these cyclical events through our own thoughtless action. We become more prescient, aware of those thoughts and actions before delivering them into the world.

Why stumbling helps

“Oh no,” we acknowledge quietly, “I’m doing that thing again!” Hurrumph! We may do that thing again many times more until we muster enough presence in the moment – a pause – to try something different.

In that moment of honesty with ourselves is the birth of, and commitment to, real change.

The big pay off

Genuine change is a continuum. We remember our commitment, we forget, we act on it and then we don’t. But each time we become aware of a poor thinking pattern or response, the neural pathway to change it is strengthened.

Then one day the old thought and response is gone. The ‘breakthrough’ is a huge, quiet achievement  so deeply rewarding that we share it with no one. Instead, we revel humbly in the gathering of our wisdom which required the vulnerability of seeing our errant Self at work. The reward unfurls as we observe how our internal change now allows others to alter their response to those situations too.

Subtle, powerful, incredible this living matrix, don’t you think?

Liv Mitchell

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Liv Mitchell is a senior teacher of yoga, mindfulness and a freelance writer.

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