Enjoying The Process of Change

Every meditation I do starts the same.  I sit comfortably, relax the focus of my gaze, and take 4-5 deep breaths before I close my eyes.  What happens after that can depend on the prompts in my meditation app or my self-guided experience for that day, but the beginning never changes.  I do that on purpose.  I want my body and my mind to know what’s coming.  I want them to both relax, settle in, and return to the present moment.  For a long time those 4-5 deep breaths felt like I was tearing my attention away from what I really should be focused on.  It felt hard to relax and focus because I knew that this type of personal transformation is hard. I knew because I had been taught that it’s hard.

Then, one day, as I was feeling my lungs filling up with air and my body settling in for another 10 minutes of practiced presence, I realized something.  I had been wrong about this all along.  In that moment I was able to separate from my thinking mind which loved to tell me how hard this was for me and I slipped into the actual experience of my body.  What I felt wasn’t difficulty. What I felt was enjoyment.  Enjoyment in the sensation of my mind and my muscles surrendering to the present moment.  Enjoyment of the truth that, for the next 10 minutes, I really had nothing to do except “be here now”. It wasn’t hard. It was easy.

The idea of personal growth and transformation is often approached from a place of effort.  We see the journey of becoming the person we long to be as one of steep uphill climbs and the occasional scramble over uneven ground back down to where we started.  We believe that, if it’s not difficult, then any change won’t be worth it.  After all, if we don’t walk over fire to prove our fearlessness to ourselves, then we don’t really know that we’re fearless.  What I’d like to offer you, however, is the truth that change can be easy.  The secret to achieving that is as simple as believing that it is.

Imagine you’re at the beginning of a hike and there are two paths.  One is 10 miles long and you’re going up and down over difficult terrain the entire time.  The other is 2 miles long on flat ground.  They both arrive at the same destination.  Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes I will CHOOSE the more difficult route, but, let me tell you, the difficult hike is way more enjoyable when I know it’s a CHOICE. 

The process of personal growth is always that.  It’s a choice and that means you can take either route on your journey.  Neither one is wrong, but, once I learned that the easy one was available, I did begin to choose it more often.  If you want to be more punctual, start believing that you’re a person who always shows up on time.  If you want to find more joy in your life, start to challenge your brain to look for opportunities to feel joy.  If you want to feel more love, look for people to love (I’d suggest starting with yourself).  I promise you that this is possible for you too.  If you want to learn more, I’d love to work with you.