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Adaptations: navigating change




I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay. Sailing and other water-based activities were a large part of my youth, yet it wasn't until much later in life that I would become familiar with the quote "you can't change the wind, only adjust the sails to reach your destination". It sounds so easy, as if the only thing we really need to do to escape the currents of climate change, Covid, political warring of nuclear proportion and mulitple humanitarian crises, is to pull in the mainsail or ease out the spinnaker. Surely changing a point of view isn't that easy, for the views we hold are, most of the time, not wholly our own to begin with, but rather, continually shaped by cultural and societal conditioning and manicured by the media machine. But more than this, we humans are creatures of habit and feel safest attaching to what we know, even if that thing is detrimental to our livelihood. For most of us then, adjusting any 'sail' is more akin to turning the titanic while it's sinking. All the same, adapt we do. We are one of the most resilient species on the planet, and if there is one thing I can say with conviction, it is that our minds can change, and with it, behaviours, ideologies, and a renewed possibility for healing. Over and over I've written about temporality, change and learning to stay in dialogue, in that dance of negotiation and quest for balance. And even though this ground is not new, I continue to observe newness along the way, micro-shifts through an ever sharpening lens detailing new interpretations of life and its meaning. What is mind-blowing to consider is that what happens for me on this journey of changing landscape in an aging body and shifting mind, is happening for 7.754 billion other humans and probably several trillion earthlings all AT THE SAME TIME. We are born, we live, and die. What a miracle, and what a kaleidescope of chaos along the way. Now imagine, with all that life, the possibility for wonder, joy and beauty, taking into consideration that each being has the potential for goodness inherent in their core and written into their DNA, if only they could see it. If only We could see it. This, for me, is the point of practice. Whether it is yoga asana, sitting on a cushion, singing, dancing, breathing, creating art or nourishment, those moments in the day hold the potential for presence, for that state of acceptance, awareness and authenticity. Encouraging more of these moments is what changes my mind, and, one by one, for each of us, that is what changes the world.


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