Embracing Change


embracing-change-300x185 Embracing change opens your world up to endless possibilities. Yet people resist change in a big way. The Buddha, one of my favorite players from history, was disenchanted with his life and spiritual quest forever searching for a truth that was difficult to grasp. At a certain point he meditated under a bodhi tree for forty days and forty nights. When he was done he was enlightened and making his way down the mountain he ran into a group of friends. Right there he delivered his first talk/sermon to them, known as the four noble truths, and they too became enlightened. If I might paraphrase the Buddhahe said, “Life is suffering. And suffering is due to an unbearable resistance to change.” But then he threw in, “If you want to sit and meditate like me you might be able to transcend this suffering and become enlightened.”

Thousands of years later we are still stuck in a cycle of craving permanence in an impermanent world. We resist embracing change of any sort, good or bad simply because we fear the unknown or something like that.

In the work I do, the worst part of it is a resistance to changing things that are profoundly fundamental to our health and well-being, simply because we have a skewed vision of ourselves. If you knew how poorly you walk and stand there would be a greater incentive to change.

I start all of my initial sessions by asking clients to stand up straight and then tell me if, when standing in their version of straight, their shoulders line up with, are forward of, or behind their pelvis.  Ninety-nine in one hundred tell me that their shoulders are rounded forward of their pelvis and ninety-nine in one hundred are wrong. Almost every person that stands before me for the first time is leaning backwards with their shoulders falling behind their pelvis.

And not only is everyone standing poorly, but they think they are standing correctly, and consequently their perception of themselves is incorrect. It is a triple whammy. Where are you to begin if your fundamental concept of where you are in space is off?

And then I tell people they are welcome to change. And that change has to happen from within because while I am a handy guide to help you along on the journey, the journey of change is a profoundly personal one and you are the only person who can make it happen. Embracing change in the physical body can also lead to changes in the emotional body. We are how we stand.

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4 Comments
  1. Hi Jonathan,
    Thank you so much for sharing your insight. I am a yoga teacher and a follower of Jean Couch’s Balance™ method and after reading through many of your blog posts, I feel like your work is similar to what I teach. This is very refreshing because there are so many teachers of yoga/pilates, personal trainers, even physical therapists that do not have awareness of postural alignment. It is very clear to me that modern posture is not healthy posture. Almost everyone I work with has a chronically tucked pelvis and is literally leaning back from their hips. The first step involves repositioning the pelvis and getting the legs and spine more vertical. To do this I tell my students to 1) look at the ankles (this moves the pelvis back and brings the legs more vertical, 2) to put 90% of the body’s weight in the heels (when the pelvis is tucked the weight is always in the toes, which are not designed to bear much weight), and 3) to soften their knees (which prevents hyperextension). People always feel awkward and resist these instructions until I have them stand in profile to the mirror. They are finally able to see that the heels, knees, hips, and shoulders are on a vertical axis. I am eager to read more of your posts and greatly appreciate your detailed and informed anatomical focus. Check out http://www.balancecenter.com for more information on Jean Couch and her work. I think you will find her story compelling.

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