“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
The beauty of change
I love everything about autumn. Those crisp, bright blue mornings that lie in wait behind closed curtains, ready to fill you with awe and the promise of a new day. Nature’s final explosion of colour for the year as the trees once more prepare to surrender their leaves to the soil. Long walks. Roast dinners. Muddy dogs and cosy fireside corners. I could go on. But it’s not just the things that the change of season brings. I also welcome change itself.
Change is inevitable. If there’s one thing we can be sure of it’s the fact that the stuff in our lives will move and shift with time. Nonetheless, allowing change instead of going against it can be difficult to do. We are, after all, creatures of habit and the well-trodden path is far easier to walk down than the one unknown, hidden beneath an overgrowth of grasses and weeds.
But even though change can be difficult, if we take a moment to look around we’ll see that it’s fundamental to everything. The yearly change of seasons, the daily movement of the sun through the sky, the monthly stages of the moon. All these things show us that change is natural, it happens all the time.
If a way of being no longer serves us then we can allow it to fall away and create something new in its place. We can traverse that overgrown path, and the universe will support us in the journey.
The stories we tell ourselves
We all get stuck in patterns of thought or behaviour. We all tell ourselves a story about who we are. Whether a narrative about our lives or our bodies, it’s all too easy to believe that story and leave it playing in the background, unquestioned and on repeat.
“Falling in love is something that happens to other people.” “I hate my job but I can’t quit, I’m not good enough to do anything else.” “My hip has always caused me pain, that’s just the way it is.”
But what if we pressed pause? What if, instead of the same old story, we said to ourselves and to our bodies, “Perhaps I can allow myself to change?” What might that bring?
Working together at the massage table
I recently had a client who said the tension in his shoulder made him feel like it was up to his ear. He was reluctant to allow deep pressure because he couldn’t bear the thought of more pain or stress. This presented a fantastic opportunity to work as a team and explore with openness the best way of treating him in the moment.
I suggested that we invite his shoulder to explore a new way of being, without force but through nurturing compassion and, together, we came up with a plan that suited him.
Using some joint mobilisations and gentle yet dynamic stretches we were able to bring more awareness into his body and his brain. Holistic massage is all about that conversation. It’s not just me doing something to your body, it’s something we create together.
After the treatment he said he’d completely forgotten that letting go was even possible. The habit of holding on to tension had gone unquestioned for so long that it had become unconscious. But allowing space for questioning had enabled change.
Making room for mindfulness
Change doesn’t have to mean a huge, life-altering decision like quitting your job and travelling the world. Simple changes can be just as powerful. As a student of mindfulness one of the first things I learned to do was question my habits by doing a simple exercise. You can do this too.
Over the next week or so, why not try sitting in a different chair to the one you usually do? It could be on the bus, at home or in a café. Making this one small change can give you a different perspective. You may notice things you’ve never noticed before, like the colour of the tree in next door’s garden or the way a new chair feels against your back.
Special offer this November
Small steps like these can help you to release the unconscious and allow for bigger, longer lasting change, if that’s something you’re looking to welcome into your life.
This November I am running a special offer which invites you and your body to do just that. If you recommend a friend you both get £5 off a full price treatment. Please get in touch for more information.