Writings

I am willing to change


When I came across Louis Hay, or rather her book: 'You can heal your life', it profoundly changed the way I viewed the spiritual road. If you haven't read it you should, it's a beautiful, insightful and very useful read.
I am willing to change
She was the first of the Western spiritual teachers that I connected with, and it was mainly because there was so much heart in her writing, so much love and compassion but also because what she described made a lot of sense. She introduced me to the concept of affirmations how you by changing the way you think you can change your life. I had not heard of affirmations before and never considered my thinking faculty a spiritual asset. Before Miss Hay, I thought all those words debating in my mind were a hindrance to the 'inner peace' I was trying to attain. I mean, I was spending hours on that mat trying not to think...wouldn't engaging in any thought be completely counter productive? In the beginning the suggestion that I could actually change my mind through changing my thoughts felt completely foreign and a bit too simplistic, but what she said did make sense so I tried it out. I took the suggestion to stand in front of the mirror and tell Jenny in the mirror that I loved her and approved of her exactly the way she was, an excercise that proved to be more difficult than any asana I had tried to master. First I felt embarrased, couldn't really look into my own eyes, and to utter that proclamation of self love was impossible. I cringed, blushed and tried to dismiss it by saying it was only mental masturbation and it was stupid, but I couldn't quite get over the fact that I couldn't do it so I tried again, got a bit more real about it and felt so vulnerable, there was really no way I could mask it, that stupid mirror told me exactly how much of myself I didn't love and approve of. All that needed to be upgraded before that could happen, my eyes, my skin... my whole face in fact, and then of course also my diet, my judgementality, my tendency to hide, my proficiency in asana... Oh boy, it seemed like I needed both extensive plastic surgery and a lobotomy to feel happy about myself.

It was a good wake up call though, to realise how much of me, I did not accept as lovable, so I started to look closer at these affirmations, started to incorporate them in to my life. Tried all her suggestions and the one that resonated most loudly was: 'I am willing to change'. Maybe because it was the only one that I felt I could fully subscribe to. I was willing to change, after all that's why I started this whole journey in the first place.
It did in the beginning sound a bit contradictory to the 'loving myself exactly the way I was' affirmation, but after using it for a while my understanding of it changed. I began connecting it to the teaching of impermanence, and I understood that me being willing to change in the bigger picture meant that I was willing to accept impermanence and that I, all my ideas, ideals and feelings was also subject to it. That my inability to love myself was not a chronic condition, I could change this incessant self critizism and learn to love myself exactly the way I was, if I was willing to do so.

'I am willing to change' is an eye opener and a nod to humility, By confessing to it you admit that there are some of your ways that don't work out the way you want them to, that you are not always right in your ideas and ideals. It is recognizing honestly how you really feel about the person in the mirror and it's your opportunity to change that harsh opinion about her/him. It's admitting that sometimes in order to feel how you want to feel and do what you want to do, you actually have to change your mind. Understanding the absolute certainty of impermanence means that there is not one single moment when it is not changing anyway but if you resist this movement, if you refuse to see the consequences of your actions and stick to your 'old' ways, chances are that you'll end up in the same place again, feeling that you are not enough the way you are or that life is unfair and is happening to you. 'I am willing to change' signals an initiative that you are open and ready to do your part in whatever arena of life you feel needs changing. It is admitting that you are the main conductor of your life experience and the manager of your mind, that you are in fact in charge of your own happiness.

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