Turbulence is Life Force

Turbulence is life force. It is opportunity. Let’s love turbulence and use it for change.

Ramsay Clark

With COVID-19 moving at warp speed across the globe, all of us are united by pangs of fear and anxiety. We’re worried about our families both here and overseas. The tension is palpable on the street as this invisible germ threatens our health and our livelihoods, and it’s forcing change.  Some respond to the call for change by hoarding food and supplies.  Others scoff at the call for change and gather in mobs at beaches both here in Australia and abroad.  Either way, massive change is here, and it’s not easy for any of us.

What makes change so difficult? When you ask people that question you get a list like this

  • It’s hard
  • I’m afraid I’ll fail
  • I’m afraid I’ll lose face somehow
  • I’ll be giving up something good

When we choose to change and perceive that change as a good thing, we ignore the list of reasons it’s difficult. The real challenge comes when the change isn’t of our choosing. When circumstances outside of your control force change, you have no choice but to go along. This is what we are dealing with now.

Change is a shift in circumstances. Transition is the internal shift that we make in response to changing circumstances. Life is a made up of a series of these transitions, though admittedly, few as seismic as the one we are experiencing now.

So instead of focusing on the hard parts of the changes we are being asked to make right now, here is a list of positive things that happen when things change:

  • Change makes you more flexible. Being resistant to new things can make a stressful situation even more stressful. Change helps you be more fluid, and the ability to go with the flow lessens the pain of change.
  • Change makes you smarter. If circumstances never changed, it would be hard to learn anything new.  Every time you learn a new skill – even if it’s something as simple as how to adapt – you are that much smarter.
  • Change reminds us that anything is possible. It’s easy to believe that anything that is stuck will always be stuck (i.e. a career that won’t lift off, or a marriage caught in neutral). When you see change happen, whether it’s in your life or someone else’s, it helps you believe that things don’t have to stay the same forever.
  • Change reveals your strengths. If you’re never forced to shift with changes, you may never understand how strong you really are.
  • Change makes you more compassionate. When you become ‘too comfortable’ in your own situation it can be more difficult to understand what others are experiencing. Change reminds you to be kind, and consider the impact of your choices on other people.
  • Change creates opportunities. Altering how you live, even in much smaller ways than are happening now, can present opportunities that have a domino effect, providing you with more choice than you ever imagined.

The current changes across the globe require us to deepen our ability to be adaptable, even in the unknown. Through yoga, we have a practice that teaches us how to be in relationship with a world that is constantly changing. Instead of looking at stability as something fixed (or stuck), what if we looked at stability as the ability to shift? What if we looked at stability as dynamic – a combination of thousands of tiny shifts we make to maintain our own equilibrium as things around us change?

The turbulence we are experiencing IS life force. Thinking of all of us as we navigate our new reality, together.

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