‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’ – Gandhi
Gandhi wasn’t wrong, you know. If you want to change the world (and yes, we all can), we’ve got to change how we choose to see it, how we play a part in it, how we want to live our life.
This became more apparent to me within the last six months. I just finished my 200-hour yoga teacher training and it has opened my eyes. Looking back to weekend one, sitting in a circle with 28 strangers and our course leader, I was nervous.
Nervous as to what I was getting myself into, however I knew that I could handle it and that six-months later I’d be even more ZEN than I’ve ever been before. Little did I know that it was harder than I ever imagined. But even with the struggles and bumps along the (long) road, I made it and here are some things I learned along the way that I have become more aware of and tried to adopt more into my life.
One of the hardest things for me to do (and I’m still working on it) is patience. Before I start anything I always think, ‘how long is this going to take? How long do I have? Do I really want to do this?’ Within my lifetime I’ve made time my enemy. But accepting that we can’t control time lifts a big weight off our shoulders. There are enough hours in the day to make our dreams come true, it might not take 7 days to get there, but patience really is a virtue.
Always be kind. You don’t know what another person is going through so don’t be mean. As humans it is built in us to be kind towards another person. Living in a dog-eat-dog city has somewhat blurred this, but it’s important to dig deep and find that empathy and compassion inside. Throw kindness around like confetti.
One thing we forget to do as humans is breathe. Of course we all breathe, but we don’t really focus on our breathing. It’s on autopilot, we don’t even have to think about it. However, focussing on your breath for even 30 seconds to a minute is meditation and can really bring you into the present moment. Remember we’re human beings not human doings, so it’s okay to stop and just be.
Create space within your body and your mind. With balancing our jobs, home life, social life and everything else in between it can feel like our mind in particular works in overdrive. Take a step back from everything, especially technology. We’re expected to be available all the time, the pressure of answering that text or call or checking our Facebook newsfeed to see what’s new is clogging up our minds. Turn it off and do nothing. It’s become a habit that we need to fill the spaces of nothingness, how about if we just embraced it?
I love laying around and napping. But there’s a time and a place (usually a Sunday for me). But when I have a lazy day, I seem to feel even more lethargic and tired. I realized that moving my body everyday – whether that’s going for a walk and getting some fresh air or doing 10 sun salutes in the morning made me feel more energized and healthy. Even if it’s for 10-minutes a day, get up and move. Do 20 star jumps, listen to your favorite music and dance around your room – whatever it is, move your body and see how you feel.
As I said, we can all contribute in changing the world. We’ve just got to work on us and take each step at a time until we reach our goals. These are some of the few things I’ve really been paying attention to in my life and I know it’s a positive step forward in me playing my part in changing the world for the good.
Original article published on Thought Catalog.