Monday, October 17, 2011

Dissatisfaction Invariably Causes Change

The above statement is a quote from a book that I wrote 4 years ago, “Gringos in Paradise: Our Honduras Odyssey.” However, this morning as I began to stretch into my first yoga posture, those words from the past floated through my awareness again. Perhaps it was because this was the first time in 3 weeks that I had made any effort to practice yoga. I was making time today because of pain.

The influences of our culture seldom teach us to move toward pleasure. Since change is inevitable, unplanned alterations are bound to occur which clash with our personal desires. The resulting conflict creates pain. In my situation, preoccupation with an upcoming trip and the resulting hours of restriction in planes and airports kept me uninterested in the usual practices that offer me pleasure. Things like quiet stretching and focused breathing. 

I could have set aside time during my travels for those practices but I chose to surrender to the week. It was a week of eating for fun and living within the lifestyles of others. The sciatica and joint pain that returned due to those choices now leaves me faced with another decision. I can move from pain with shots and pills, or recommit myself to the personal practices that restore balance and bring about the pleasure of good health.

I once heard, “Nobody likes change except a baby.” Yet I have listened to plenty of babies cry while their diapers are changed. That leads me to believe that it is probably not the course of change but the feeling that we have no choice in the matter. When change comes from our admitted intent, we feel empowered. When ‘fate’ hands us change we feel victimized. Was I a victim of air travel and family practices or was I paying the consequences for placing my needs second? In not practicing the personal habits that make me feel good, I had surrendered my ability to cause positive change; the continued healing of my body.