Despite the anchors at the Olympic news desks overuse of the term, it's actually not a bad thought. Changing one's place can be a tremendous boon. In my Yoga classes, I often ask my students to move their mats to different positions in the room. This keeps students (and myself) from getting into a rut of behavior patterns. It's amazing to teach with regular students in new spaces in the room. For those students who normally arrange themselves in the back, they often find class is a new experience moving up front. Conversely, students who are normally right next to me, find that moving to the back of the room can also bring their practice more personal and internal, rather than keeping an eye on everything that I'm doing. Today, I had the blessing of being able to teach in a completely different building. Only half my regular students came, which was unfortunate. Our temporary space was beautiful and had a lovely view of the waterfall on the river. Yet, some people just do not feel comfortable with change, even temporarily.
Change is very important to our continuing development. Some people embrace change in all areas of their lives. They love to move, and create new lives in new places. I had friends that moved houses 4 times in 8 years....not because of work, financial or family related needs, but because they genuinely found the creation of new homes to be invigorating and exciting. I know others who have lived in the same place nearly all of their lives. They eat in the same restaurants, and they take the same vacations. They have enormous comfort in their safe zones, and this gives them the satisfaction of knowing where they will always be. And yet, I can't help but wonder if these people are selling their lives short by not experiencing something, to quote Monty Python, "completely different".
Change is good for the soul. While we need routines to help flesh out the framework of our every day lives, little changes can bring about vast implications. Routine is important to help us pay our bills on time, get to work and take care of our basic needs. But, beyond that, looking for a bit of adventure can bring us a sense of freshness to the ordinariness of life. If you normally only read one genre of book, or watch one genre of movie, how about exchanging your chick lit for a bit of a spy thriller? If you only run on the treadmill, what about heading outside for a run on the road? If you typically eat rice or pasta, how about trying something new, such as couscous or polenta? There are small changes we can make to broaden our perspectives that aren't a life altering commitment. The fact is, if you don't like the 'new thing', you can always change back to the old way.
Changes can also be brought about in larger ways than the food we eat or the movie we watch. If you have extra time on your hands, and tend to use that in your home, how about making a one time volunteer commitment? You could volunteer at a library, an elder care center or at an animal shelter. You could serve a meal at a soup kitchen or work in a food pantry. You can mentor a young person or read to someone whose eyesight is failing. Just by changing the use of our own time, even if we can't commit to it regularly, can change your own life, and that of someone else.
One of the most important aspects of change is simply being open to it. In our very quickly changing world, it's also vital to our well being to find the adaptive nature that lies within each of us. Resistance to change can bring about great harm to our bodies, minds and spirits. While we don't need to embrace every fad that's out there, being open to new possibilities, new locations and new ways of being can both powerful and necessary. And, if changing your venue helps you to be open to other changes in life, ride the journey out and see where it takes you.
Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful, it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful, it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident, it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better. ~~ King Whitney Jr.