Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Everything is impermanent
All of this is temporary. Yoga teaches us non attachment, it teaches us impermanence. It shows us, through our practices, the nature of existence is change. Whether we are moving through the meditation of asana practice or indeed sitting in contemplation, with practice, we become skilled at the art of witnessing.
Becoming a witness allows us to see more clearly the facets of our life, it allows us to move more freely from one moment to the next, no longer trapped in the eternal struggle of chasing what we want and running from what we don’t. In this way we can appreciate those things that have passed, look forward to all that lie ahead and revel so deeply, so exquisitely, in the very moments as we live them.
The only constant in this world is change.
Seasons change and then change again, days, months, years, they pass with or without our blessing. The wheel of the year turns and turns. We will all age, we will all have struggles, we will all have triumphs, we will all experience awe, have moments we wish will last forever and moments we disassociate from, our emotions, thoughts, our outlook, our perception it is all subject to change, this is humanness, this is life.
Buddhism suggests that we suffer in this life for two primary reasons; we fear not getting what we want and losing what we have. When we dig into any one of our stressors, we will find that these roots are indeed true. Our false motivation in this modern life is to accumulate and never die. We chase material and success, we grip, we strive, we struggle but we don’t have to. If we can see that this is all impermanent and accept that fact, then turn that perspective into passion, how significantly can we transform our lives? What would we truly live for then? Perspective and energy are everything and the great news is; you have control over both of these things. You are not fixed to the ways in which you have behaved in the past, you are not doomed to your history, you are the wisdom and resilience that rises from these lessons.
Life isn’t necessarily long or short but it is fragile and finite.
I can only relate these concepts through my own experience. I can only test the value and truth through the filter of my days. I can see beyond my borders, I can feel my way into your perspective, but I cannot live there. I can only relate my view through the telling of my experience. I can only attempt to understand your world through the listening to yours.
I was in love and this concept was a contentious theme in our relationship. If “all of this is temporary,” why do anything at all? He saw this as evidence of a pointless pursuit, “if it's going to end anyway, why try” his words broke on me again and again. I knew better than to try and convince anyone of this truth so I just lived it as best I could. This value became so important to me, living this lesson, this axiom with such perfect timing. Through the process of starting my business, the struggles I was experiencing felt insurmountable, the pain and fear I was living through were so necessary for my growth. Rubbing these concepts against one another was vital, his perspective was a strong test of my resolve. Through my fears I saw the future, through the suffering I saw my ease, this part was temporary, all of it was, I just needed to live and relax right through it. I learned that no matter how much I struggled it wouldn’t change a thing, I had to live to my best energy no matter what. I’m not perfect, but I always try my best. I would seek out simple pleasures and revel in the quiet, I would be kind to myself when the stress of single motherhood and new business ownership was blinding, breathe deep and try again.
One night late in September, riding on the back of his bike, my heart pressed against his back, racing down Riverside Drive after a particularly stressful event, I felt it so purely. It could end right now, it could end at any moment but either way I will live and love. As the crisp wind whipped around me, the sad emotions coursing through me dissolved into tenderness, I felt secure in the fleeting nature of this world and was more sure than ever that all of this is temporary and that is to my benefit and yours.
Create a comfortable position, if possible sit outside, quietly. Connect to the energy around you, feel the hum of the world, the steady, ever present energy that supports and swirls around you. Feel the nature of your history, of your past. Breathe steadily and call to mind a moment you had anticipated, recall how it felt to wait, the energy you experienced. Was there fear? Longing? Sadness as it passed? Feel the grip of anticipation, of hope and then free yourself from it, draw yourself back to now. Feel the simple pleasure of this ordinary moment this is the beautiful stuff of your life.