Ask yourself this: What are you willing to do differently in your life, if change meant growth?
What part of your daily routine are you wedded to, that you could shake up somehow?
What habit would you like to ditch, and which new one might you adopt?
Growth is uncomfortable. From our first teeth cutting through gums, to love and loss – where we grow, we often feel pain. Yet, the difference as we grow older and wiser lies in our ability to practice witnessing our discomfort, to de-invest in our judgement of change as painful. That is, it’s always there, we always experience one form of pain or another, but we are able to bear it, to feel it less, not to make of it an idol, or ourselves victims.
One of the foundational statements of Buddhism is that life is suffering. One of my favourite statements by Matt Kahn in his book on love and awakening is that it’s important, at a certain stage of growth, to accept that there will always be pain. There is freedom in acceptance.
Growth is a process of death and birth. We birth the next stage of life, and we die to the old ways, and our old selves. Our boundaries expand beyond what we knew before. They must.
Sometimes, what growth requires of us is change, and pushing boundaries, going beyond what is known, is a very deep form of change. If you have been doing yoga, try weightlifting. If you are a visual artist, try your hand at poetry. Ride a bicycle to work, instead of walk. Change is movement, energy, that can create new neurological pathways, rewiring our system, growing our capacity to be, do, and create.
Learning a new skill outside of our comfort zone may seem an odd way to fuel spiritual awakening, yet if you heed what you are drawn to, you may be shaking up energy, patterns, giving your system a chance to upgrade and reset.
I once did Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for several months, well nearly nine months. It was far beyond the ballet of my youth, my beloved yoga, and so on. I broke a finger, a toe, and a ribcage. I overcame my fear of sparring (wrestling chaotically with many sweaty men), and aligned with and integrated a quality of masculine, fighting energy I hadn’t experienced. I believe the experience recalibrated my lifeforce energy! You might conceive it as gaining confidence, but I saw it more as fine-tuning my energetic imprint, so that I could marshal that fighting spirit to pursue my entrepreneurial endeavours, like Plan Be!
What might you learn, to shake up your system, push your boundaries, and grow?