Shift Happens

Trina Campbell and Darlene Hicks of Sacred Space Yoga Centre

Shift happens.

I (Trina) know, what a statement; but a true statement. When life changes around us, shift happens. When our health changes, shift happens. When you get married, shift happens. When you decide golf or marathon running is your favorite past time, shift happens. When menopause happens, shift happens. When a mid-life crisis hits, shift happens. When grief stings you, shift happens. Before, during, and after childbirth, shift happens.

OK, so you get the picture, shift happens. Fortunately, your YOGA mat can support all your life's shifts.

Shift is merely a change in position, direction or tendency.  I'm sure you have heard that the "only constant is change." It is important to keep in mind, most shifts are good. And needless to say, there are some inevitable shifts we must deal with: those shifts that can turn your world upside down. On the flip side of that, there are some shifts that we deliberately need to make.

Everybody handles their life's shift in different ways. While there is no right or wrong way, I invite you to try some of the non conventional ways of dealing with your shifts. Some of the ways are eating a rainbow of colors and eating more herbally, indulging in a therapeutic massage or reflexology session, enjoying a gentle or an exhilarating yoga class, finding some calmness through a meditation session.

While yoga is ONE of my ways of dealing with life's shift, I do indulge in massages, long hot essential oil baths, as well as regular meditation sessions. Sometimes all you need is a chance to catch your breath and find your balance again. Guess what, your yoga mat is always there to catch you.

A More Personal Perspective - Trina 

I need to let you in on a secret, I've badly handled some of my shifts in the past. I allowed the pain of some of the shifts to totally knock me off my square. I totally forgot about my breath, my mat, as well as my faith in God.  

In some cases, I waddled in the sorrow, allowing no one to enter into my space. On one occasion it took my Jersey BFF to remind me to exhale. The turn around didn't happen overnight. But gradually as I returned to my prayer life, meditated more, practiced more, exhaled more, resumed my massage schedule and returned to the outdoors, my shift shifted.  

Years later, I still have to remind myself to come back to the breath when facing a shift, even if it's a good shift. So while I'm always reminding my students to breathe, I constantly remind myself to breathe as well.  So what am I saying, I'm saying shift happens. Start with the breath and keep breathing. The breath will allow you to enjoy the shift tremendously or gracefully get through it.

Yes, I talk about the many benefits of yoga.  Yet I've never said yoga was a panacea.  So yes, I will fall to my mat in a minute, but only after I first fall to my knees.

Another Perspective - Darlene

Merriam Webster gives a couple simple definitions of the word shift. 1. "To move or to cause (something or someone) to move to a different place, position, etc." 2. "To change or to cause (something) to change to a different opinion, belief, etc." What really strikes us when we think about "shift" is change!

So many of us, me included, often fear the thought of change! Very often, when faced with a life shift, we shrink away for a lot of reasons. A couple reasons may be "Will this take me outside my comfort zone?" and "What will other people think if I make this "shift"?" We may be faced with the prospect of a new job, a new relationship, moving to another state ... the list of possible "shifts" is endless!

Very recently I have consciously decided to embrace change in my personal life and look at it as a good thing. I am "seizing the shifts"!! I'm ready to open my mind to new ideas and adventures. I'm ready to read some new and different books and magazines. I'm ready to learn some new things. I'm ready to really listen when others talk so that I may understand and grasp their point of view. And ... I'm ready to take my yoga practice to the next level!!

It is very important to "seize the shift" in our physical and personal life! It may be easy to get comfortable with your daily yoga practice and not push yourself to the next level. Actually ... it's not really a push! It's "seizing the shift" and moving on to a different place. This can be very healthy, not only on a physical level, but also psychologically, and yes ... spiritually!! The Bible tells us in Philippians 3:13-14, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (King James Version).

One of my favorite quotes by Max Depree states: "In the end, it's important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are ..." With that said, as I move toward the second half of 2016, I am determined to accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be! Won't you join me?

Peace and Blessings! Namaste!

A Recipe for dealing with “SHIFTS”

Ingredients:
3 cups of prayer - Luke 18:1
1 stick of patience - Romans 12:12
3 Tbsp. of wise counsel - Proverbs 9:9
A sprinkle of humor - Proverbs 17:22
6-8 cups of sleep - Proverbs 3:24
A plan - Psalm 20:4
A 24 x 74 yoga mat

Directions: All ingredients are necessary. Yet, the may be used on different days
and in different ways. Savor the moment of each ingredient.
Pairs well with a BFF, your yoga mat, or just a warm cup of tea and a hot herbal bath.

This post was originally published as an e-newsletter by Sacred Space Yoga Centre on May 13, 2016. Reprinted with slight edits with permission. 

Image credit: "Shift" (2010) by C Slack, creative commons license