This past week I’ve shared this thought in my yoga classes. It’s a Chinese Proverb: When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.
When things don’t go quite as you would have hoped, or when life doesn’t follow your roadmap, do you find yourself walling in and sitting there stuck? Or do you find yourself being creative and finding ways to use the new surprise to your advantage? It’s all a mindset. Let me share a few examples of building windmills.
My knee was busted open a week and a half ago while being a little too jolly descending a mountain. I got some stitches (my first ever- I’m a big pansy) and was told to not bend my right knee for 2 weeks until the stitches come out. So, my options: 1) Lay up in my place eating bon bons and getting pissed, or 2) Use it as an opportunity to still eat right and to gimp out there and try to still teach yoga, using it as a practice ground for my verbal-only cueing (instead of demonstrating any postures, just talking students through it 100% with words). It was hard, but I’m a better teacher now for this experience. I used the winds of change and built a windmill and reaped the power of it- I made the winds of change work FOR me.
No horn tooting, because I can think of a hundred times where I built a wall instead of a windmill, but I challenge you to be optimistic about the next challenge that comes your way, the next wind of change. Whereas in the past perhaps you’d wall in, try using that as a chance to strengthen, to improve.
Another way of looking at this thought, which is how I shared it in my yoga classes, is physical and emotional. We store tension and stress in our hips and shoulders for the most part. From past winds of change, we’ve got these brick walls build all inside our body. The walls manifest as congestion, stiffness, soreness, tension, or a place where your breath and energy just seem to get stuck. When you work through a yoga class, getting into all your nooks and crannies, stretching out muscles and tendons you didn’t even know you had, then you are breaking down those walls. What is left behind is a more open you physically AND emotionally, having short-circuited the fight-or-flight reflex, cooled off the panic-mode, and allowing the energy to flow through the body better. Breathe in the winds of change, and allow those winds to swirl through the body and blow away all that brick wall dust from one heck of a demolition. What’s left behind is a genuine you. Stronger, more tranquil, and more balanced than you give yourself credit for. Breathe in each opportunity to dance in the present.
What are your thoughts? What’s a way you’ve build walls or windmills in your past? How do you greet new challenges or obstacles in your way? How do you challenge your excuses?