I asked my Teacher this question nearly twelve years ago whilst in the depths of wrangling over the choice of a possible divorce or a move to China (I accept, my life has never offered what we would call easy or small event choices so far..).
I continued to ask this question throughout my training in Yoga, throughout my move to China and back again, throughout the inevitable divorce, house moves and all the other myriad changes life chooses to bring in for you.
In fact, you could say it’s been a quest of mine to figure out the human psychology on our resistance to change, especially when to be resistant often leads to what we now accept as the resulting mental health issues – depression, anxiety and other very uncomfortable and oftentimes destructive thought processes which serve only to attach us even more to the thing that is out of our reach and changing against our will.
What have I learnt? Focus on ‘I CAN’.
I blogged in 2019 about best laid plans. My best laid plans for 2018 included world domination in the arena of movement and other HUGE and amazing ideas all based around the fact I was at the top of my movement game physically and teaching as such. Cue the Universe to put me back in my place and I spent 9 months of 2018 in bed with a chronic scar tissue issue I’ve now been working with for nearly two years.
What got me through? And prevented me from acting on the sometimes suicidal thoughts that crept in? Focus on ‘I CAN’. What CAN I do right now?
“There’s always something. Right down smallest thing that you can do right now to aid yourself in the time of uncertainty and deep change. What can you do right now to support yourself?”
2020 has been no different. Humans LOVE routine, certainty and stability. 2020 has shown us exactly what the opposite of that looks like and as a collective, we are suffering. Our mental health and physical wellbeing are all being challenged as we struggle with constant and erratic change, ongoing perceived threat and devastating disappointment in the face of ongoing isolation and disconnect.
In this photo, you can see what it takes for me to leave my home for 2 nights. I chose a path of non-allopathic medicine, supplements and strict diet instead of more surgery and mind-bending painkillers. But I CAN go away with my Daughter for two nights though and I can’t tell you the gratitude that I flood myself with every day for that. (If you want to know more about the gratitude flood process, pop me a message, it’s game changer).
I can focus on my strict diet and all the things I can’t eat. FFS, it’s Christmas!!!!! No mince pies, no alcohol, no chocolate, no wheat, no gluten, no dairy, no sugar…AT CHRISTMAS??!?! You’re having a laugh and someone shoot me now!
Or I CAN have a pain free Christmas as a trade off. And I CAN choose to focus on the delicious food I CAN eat and the time and fun I CAN have with my family.
I can’t see them in person, but from living in China just 10 years ago when a rudimentary version of Skype through a VPN was all we had a available (that’s right folks, no FaceTime, no WhatsApp, no Zoom!!), I am intensely grateful for the amazing technology most of have at our fingertips right now. I CAN see my family and open prezzies with them over the screen.
There’s always something. Right down smallest thing that you can do right now to aid yourself in the time of uncertainty and deep change. What can you do right now to support yourself?
It might even be mooching downstairs to make your favourite cup of something. Savour the smell, the taste, that fact you have hot water and a kitchen to sit in.. Never before have we needed to focus on what we have rather than what we have not. It’s a practice, not a perfect, but something we need to do every day.
So your mission today is to find the SOMEthing, ONE thing you can do, right now. Focus on ‘I CAN’.
On a side note..have a look at my post on the health benefits of stroking a pet, taking time to snuggle with your cat, dog, guinea pig seriously boosts your wellness.