New Beginnings, New Opportunities: 5 Ways to Embrace Times of Change

Over the years many of you have heard me talk about my dog Kiki; her name means crisis/opportunity in Japanese. I really didn’t want a dog, but my family was very persistent about their desire to have her. They sent me all kinds of pictures of her that they saw online and kept on me full court press! When I finally broke down and agreed to get the dog, I had one condition; that I could name her.  I had been working with the philosophy of kiki in yoga class for years and since I didn’t really know if she would be a crisis or an opportunity, I decided to name her Kiki. She has turned out to be the best opportunity to practice unconditional love and I am so happy that she’s part of our family now.

As this is the beginning of the year, it’s a perfect time to make a change in your life if that’s what you want.  To be open to new things is to practice yoga.  We need to stay open to the possibilities that life is constantly presenting to us and I am going to offer you five simple ways to help you with the inevitable changes that life brings along.

1. Wake up each day and before you get out of bed, think about something you are grateful for.  It’s a positive way to start the day and you don’t even have to get out of bed to do it!

2. Do something physical every day. When you move your body, it settles you mind. This has been proven scientifically over and over again. So take a walk outside, do some yoga, play with you kids, or do whatever it is that you enjoy. It will be easier to maintain if you actually like to do it.

3. Take a few minutes a day to sit quietly and listen to the voice within. Paramahansa Yogananda called this developing our 6th sense, or intuition. It takes time to cultivate it but it is there and you can hear it if you become quiet enough. Once you can hear it, start to learn to trust it.  The expression “go with your gut” has some real truth in it. Your body and your mind are inseparable. Start to believe in yourself.

4. Try something new every once in a while.  I highly recommend singing kirtan, which is devotional singing call and response style. It opens your heart in a beautiful way and everyone can sing!

5. Remember your friends are there for you when you need them.  I was having a tough time a couple of years ago and I felt very alone.  The more I isolated myself from my friends, the worse I felt.  When I finally reached out to them, they were there for me and I felt so much better when I let them love and support me.  Many of us live far away from our immediate families and our friends really do become our family.  So use them when you need them and be there for them in return!

Good luck and let me know how you’re doing out there…

In Peace,

Nicki Doane