The Inevitability of Change

by Kino MacGregor

Can there be any doubt that we are in the midst of great change? From the historic campaigns waged by both American political parties to the rise of China as a superpower to the generational shifts in the workforce to catastrophic weather patterns to changes in the face of yoga, everywhere you look the tides are turning in some form or another. When Shiva as the great destroyer dances on the small ego we all have, it is change itself embodied the great equalizer of the Hindu deities. Resist change and you resist the law of life. Fight it and you will only hurt yourself. No matter how angry you are at the present, how sweet your nostalgia is for the past or how hard you try to deny the inevitability of change, you simply cannot stop the powerful thrust forward that defines life.

Things change. Even the things that you want most to stay the same. No amount of fighting, denying, sarcasm, depression, resistance or maneuvering will stop life from delivering you into the future. Bodies grow old, generations shift, leaders evolve, technology becomes obsolete.The acceleration of the rate of change in the last decades is perhaps even more shocking to us all. There is nothing more frustrating than buying a computer only to find that it is a dinosaur one year and three thousand dollars later.

Change is the inevitable reality everywhere you turn and resistance, anger and frustration are evident in almost equal measure. Yet in the midst of such seemingly devastating circumstances you have a unique change to dig deeper into the teachings of yoga and ultimately into yourself. The basic teaching of yoga is to cultivate strength and steadiness of mind alongside the flexibility of spirit that allows you to move through the most challenging situations with wisdom. Perhaps the evidence that our world is changing with increasing rapidity can be found in so many people’s interest in yoga. Amidst a sea of change-induced stress we are all searching for peace in one form or another.

Yet yoga never offers a definite answer that ends the inner search. Instead its peace comes from reflecting the truth of the inner state of your being and it is in the realization of your highest self that you find a way to literally roll with the punches of life. The holy grail of one era is the bygone relic of another and how you deal with it is perhaps the greatest test of the success of your spiritual pursuits. Your response to change reveals your basic notion of yourself.

I for one can be quite resistant to change at first and then after some period of time I surrender to the power of life that is greater than myself and jump in with full force. There is no dream of the past that can be preserved forever. Vision is a living, breathing thing whose very inspiration depends on spontaneity and a museum of dreams is not the future. In a Darwinian sense the ability of a species to adapt to its changing environment is the hallmark of species survival. The Earth, along with everything else, has been changing since its birth and it will continue to change along with everything else. It is the flexible, strong mind of a dedicated yoga practitioner that will have the humility to let go of the past when appropriate, move forward when necessary and accept the bell of change when it rings.

We are all in our own processes of transition, release and surrender, yet in the midst of such intensity there is a reflection of hope amidst a sea of doubt and disbelief. You will see in the world what you have cultivated within yourself. Yoga teaches you to have faith in your own ability to change and grow, to know and evolve your own values and literally to become the change you want to see in the world. Accordingly what change you can believe in is a direct reflection of your own strength and grace.

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