It’s not the rhetorical question Shakespeare’s Hamlet posed but it comes pretty close as a ‘biggie’ we have to work out in life.
I believe that change is a constant (and the universe concurs), yet I find myself drawn to calm contemplation lately. To stillness rather than going somewhere (anywhere?). I’m in ‘yin’ deep reflection mode right now, getting ready for yin yoga teacher training in a fortnight (can’t wait – mmm, not very yin), so I apologise if I’m even more ‘woo’ than usual.
When is stillness good for the soul and when is it stagnation? When is it peace and when is it just procrastination? When are you finding space and when are you simply staying stuck in the same spot??
I love this one, and so did a lot of you when I shared it on facebook.
I’m also reminded of my coffee cup wisdom:
Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.Unknown
We recently marked our 20th wedding anniversary (thanks for all your comments of congratulations) and it struck me that what we celebrate is the milestone of a marriage that is enduring, a constant in life (and 20 years is a bloody long time).
Sure we’ve both changed over the years – all successful partnerships will cope with change, but what we celebrate in marking a milestone is not how much we’ve changed but how we’ve remained in love, side by side, constant.
We don’t call it stagnation – we celebrate consistency. Against the winds of change we’ve been able to maintain the wind in our sails, so to speak. We acknowledge our steadfastness as victory over change.
In the months leading up to the big anniversary I slimmed down, thanks to lots of yoga and a nutritional cleanse. But I needed to lose 2-3 more kilograms to fit into my wedding dress. I didn’t quite make it (although I can actually fit into the dress I wore for our 10th anniversary, when I did fit into my wedding dress).
I wore this for our anniversary lunch as part of our romantic getaway (Tallaringa Views was just beautiful).
Of course I’ve aged in 20 years, and it’s probably unrealistic to expect to be the same weight I was as a trim 26-year-old bride. Like most women my weight has fluctuated over the years and I just have to be happy (and I am) with the way I look right now, wrinkles and all. It’s better than the alternative of not being happy (and yoga keeps you stronger as you age, which is the main thing, as I wrote about for DoYouYoga).
When it comes to aging we don’t like to think we’ve changed too much over the years – the ultimate compliment when you see someone you haven’t seen in a long time is to say: ‘You haven’t changed’. Even better to be on the receiving end. But aging, like change, is a constant and is much better than the alternative.
So how do we find that balance between steady and enduring and being too scared or too rigid to change?
How do we find space for nostalgia (eg 20 years ago I used to be a television news presenter) and keep on growing (and challenging ourselves)?
I suspect we let our soul guide us to acceptance and gratitude for where we are now, we stay open-minded while holding firm to our values, we allow ourselves sentimentality for the past and learn its lessons, and we face the future with hope and courage.
We understand there is no definitive answer to the rhetorical question – to change or not to change. Life just IS.
And in 20 years you’ll look back and realise……. (let me know your answer).