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Yoga Journal: Beginning the Process

We've known for a while now that the world is going through some major changes. All of us are being forced to look at the world in a different way. Recently, my hometown of Haverhill, Massachusetts was deeply affected by torrential rainfall causing the Merrimack River to overflow and flood many homes and businesses. People's lives have been turned upside-down because of a flood that has not been as severe in over 70 years. I began thinking about last year's Tsunami and other natural disasters around the world. Once again, I have felt helpless and sad. I wonder about families who are torn apart, homes that are destroyed and lives that are forever changed.

Even though, these past weeks were not nearly as devastating as last year's events, as a problem solver by nature, I still ask, "why?" I have a difficult time accepting that this is just the way the world will be. What does that mean for my children? Will all the children have to learn how to survive in a turbulent world? Accepting this cannot be the answer. I live here. I use the fuels from the earth and I am angry about the state of the world. I am choosing to be an active participant in positive change and have started with my Yoga practice and meditating daily, traded my gas guzzling van in for a Hybrid sedan, and try to face each challenge with loving kindness. I believe that I deserve Peace; my family and friends deserve Peace and you deserve Peace. There is something we can all do. It starts with the individual who needs to decide to be active in making changes.

Everyone has choice. We can look at our neighbor, our community and all of what makes up our beautiful world and view the changes, hardships and devastation as something that is beyond our control. It can be overwhelming and seemingly too big for one person to take on. Recognizing that there is a problem with the world brings to the surface a decision that we each need to make. We can choose to stay inside our individual cocoon, waiting for the outside world to miraculously and automatically become a better place or we can take some responsibility for why we are where we are. It will be difficult to avoid being affected or getting involved because we are touched by things like gas prices that are soaring. Acceptance of the situation and not taking action is a choice we could make. On the other hand, we can realize that we do have some power to turn things around. Positive change is within our reach. We just need to find our individual role in making changes. Choosing to be a part of the change is very empowering and helpful not only to ourselves but to our families, communities, and rippling through the world.

As we begin the process of change, we need to look within. It is important that we each have a strong and supportive relationship with ourselves. We can start by being aware of our surroundings. It is almost like imagining that we are outside ourselves looking in on our lives as an observer. What do we see? Do we like what we see? How do we interact with our environment, our peers, our family and friends? As we become more aware of how, as an individual, we affect the world around us, we can take responsibility for our part in the big picture. Our goal is to find peace within and treat ourselves with loving kindness.

While observing how we live our lives and interact with whomever we come in contact, we begin to notice an interesting thing happen. Coincidences come more often and they seemingly tie situations in our lives together bringing us closer to our goal. Our efforts, thoughts and vision toward positive change begin to attract situations and people who will help us reach our goal faster and easier. We also begin to attract like-minded people.

We should take note of coincidences and how they play a part in our lives. These seemingly random things that come up, are not really so random. We can watch and see and be fully aware of where they come from and where they are bringing us. Wouldn't it be nice to have a trail of M&M's leading us in the direction that we need to go? We do just that, in a sense anyway. The M&M's or coincidences, are bringing us closer to our role, as an individual who can participate in making positive changes with loving kindness.

You are invited to think about a few things that you can begin today to make a positive change in your life. Remember, that even if it seems like a change you've made for yourself or your family, a beautiful environment brings joyful and loving energy to those who come in contact with it and those people will pass that joyful and loving energy to those whom with they come in contact-Like cleaning up your yard, those efforts will ripple out to neighbors, the community and further. There are so many things that we can do to make changes for ourselves. They can be a simple as practicing yoga everyday or a bit bigger, like trading in the SUV for a Hybrid. Whatever you choose, it will make a difference. It will help families who have been affected by the tsunami, floods, hurricanes and all the discourse in the world. It will bring Peace.

This article was originally published in Sacred Pathways Magazine

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