Truthfulness and Change
June 19, 2014
March 1, 2011
Saturday’s all-day yoga retreat, Living with Intention: Virtues That Transform, was an envigorating day with a great group of people. In the morning portion of our program, my colleague Maxine Deutschendorf (www.infiniteyogasc.com) and I focused the participants on two virtues, openness and truthfulness. These virtues brought up much conversation during the rest of the day.
What hinders truth telling? The participants agreed on at least two things: denial and fear. First, it is hard to tell ourselves the truth, about ourselves and about others, specifically those we love like our families and our partners. We don’t want to see things. If we see them or know them we might then have to decide what, if anything, we want to do about that. If we act like we don’t know, we don’t have to make any changes. We can stay in homeostasis.
In family systems theory, we are taught that human systems, including our internal psycho/spiritual system, prefer and seek homeostasis. In other words, we all like things to be stable. So if you change or I change or our system changes, the first thing we want is for things to change back. I would wager that everyone reading this can think of a recent time when a change was looming and we worked to get things to “change back” to the way they were. This is normal human behavior.
AND, we must remember that everything is perpetually changing. I am constantly changing. So is my spouse, my child, my colleagues, my environment, my culture, technology, the world….you get the idea. If we can become more comfortable and conversant in the language of change, more use to it, more willing to welcome it, we might be able to live in less denial and less fear. We can use our creative potential to decide how to respond with integrity rather than our fear-based energy to stay in denial and homeostasis.
I can remember being a new mom. It seemed like every time I figured out my infant daughter’s schedule and needs, she would change. I couldn’t keep anything the same, and she couldn’t stop changing. It is a good metaphor for adjusting to the realities of change.
Change can be difficult, for sure. Begin by just noticing. How are you different from a year ago? A month ago? A week ago? How is your partner different? Your children? Are you able to just notice and name those things? Just that small act of noticing can help. If you can notice, can you then speak the changes? Write them? Tell them to another?
Spring is a wonderful time to become aware of and conversant in the language of change. Just yesterday my daffodils weren’t open; today they are! How boring, yet safe life would be without change.
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