Change your story….

What does that mean? Have you ever noticed that each and every one of us creates our reality with judgments and preconceived ideas based on our past experiences? Have you considered how those judgments may alter or co-create your reality? Can we then change our thoughts, our judgments and therefore, our reality?

Yes we can. We can observe our physiological and emotional states while our magical life is presented to us, and we can notice, if we choose, where our preconceived ideas and often, our misconceptions, lie.

Let it Go….

How many times do we tell this to ourselves, or give this advice to someone else? I know I’ve said it many, many times over the years, and have received these same three words from others. We offer this advice in response to a reaction of disappointment, loss, anger or sadness. We know that if we could just “let it go…”, we could get on with our life, leaving the unpleasantness aside. However, I have found that letting go is just never that easy.

Why do we form such strong attachments to ideas, opinions, relationships and people? What is that connection, conscious or unconscious, that orchestrates our emotions, desires and actions? When the attachment is to a person, or a relationship, love is often involved. It can be romantic love, parental love, sibling love, love for a friend or a cherished pet. Just the thought of losing someone, or something, can create emotional and physical stress that is incredibly powerful, especially if the loss becomes real.

This week I brought my youngest child, my son, to college for his freshman year. Having a child turn 18 and leave home is the quintessential milestone for any family to experience, but until I actually arrived at this stage in life, I didn’t quite have a grasp on how that would feel. Now I do.

Even though I know my son is healthy, happy and extremely ready to live on his own, it is still a loss for both of us. It is a loss of what once was; my kids childhoods and our family memories have been flooding my heart and mind for months as I count down the days until he moves across the large state of Washington to his new home, his new experiences, and his new life.

Each time I feel my stomach backflip at the thought of him leaving, or of him being sad, scared, hurt, (or any myriad of emotions and imaginary scenarios that my overly mothering tendencies dream up), I notice the immediate physiological responses that follow this fear and sense of loss. My heart rate quickens, my chest tightens, my belly aches, my hands sweat and I notice my lips begin to quiver as tears escape from my eyes. My baby is leaving…. I experience what amounts to a small scale panic attack until my more level-headed side steps in for the rescue.

Several times this past summer I heard myself say (or think), thank God I found Yoga. Yoga saves me each and every time. I remember to pause and take a deep breath. And then a few more… deeper, fuller and more relaxed. I honor my feelings, notice my physical state (smiling sure beats frowning, especially the long term benefits of less wrinkles), and step back to look at the big picture. Yoga reminds me that life is dynamic and changeable, that I have all the tools to cope with the big stuff and the small stuff, and to know the difference.

Finally, yoga reminds me to learn to just let things go that don’t serve my higher good, or the good of others.