Spring: When Everything Old Can Become New

bloomsSpring is finally here! And that means it’s time for new beginnings. I’m excited because I’m ready for something new. It’s been an especially difficult winter on the east coast and for me personally, due not only to all the cold weather and snowstorms, but also some of those pesky storms of life. The universe does have a way of nudging us toward a place that we need to be, and that’s probably why I forced myself out of the house at the last minute to get to a yoga class today despite my inner protests (I have all this work to do; I’m tired; I can practice at home).

The teacher’s theme was, not surprisingly, spring-related. She spoke of doors and opening our hearts to new things; she asked us how we intended to greet the spring. Well, maybe that’s not exactly what she said, but you get the point. Earlier, I’d been wondering why I wasn’t being strongly drawn to practice at any particular studio these days. I’ve been more or less bouncing from place to place for the last four or five years. Maybe the problem (if it’s even a problem) isn’t so much the choices out there as the plateau that I’ve reached within myself. I seem to be hearing (and saying and doing) the same thing over and over again no matter where I go, and none of it is resonating the way it used to.

So it seemed that this would be a good time for a new message, or so I was thinking as I unrolled my mat on this particular spring morning. I don’t mean an “out with the old, in with the new” kind of message. I mean that I need to deepen my practice (my yoga practice, my spiritual practice, and my entire practice of life). Perhaps this has to do with the fact that I recently reached a milestone age. And I would like very much to be new.

So there I was in class waiting for something new. But there was really nothing new. Instead, the teacher invited us to experience the poses as if we’ve never done them before! That was a powerful approach because this was in no way a beginner’s class. But then again, maybe it was. Maybe they all are (or could be). We do a lot of things in life so much by habit that it can become difficult to truly experience them anymore. And what happens? Sometimes, we get bored. And we start complaining about how we want to do something different or experience something new. We get tired of the “same old, same old” of our daily lives.

But what if we just started to think of the things we’re already doing in a different way?

This is especially challenging, I think, in our relationships. My husband reminds me of this all the time. We get so used to each other’s habits and ways of interacting that we think we can anticipate everything the other is going to say or do. Often, we can…but not always.

So this little insight in yoga class was not exactly what I expected in approaching this new season of spring. But it’s a valuable one, because the key to renewal may be simpler than we think. It may very well be that we don’t need to do anything new, but just that we need to do old things in new ways. In a sense, there is only one thing worth doing anyway (and that’s whatever it is that you happen to be doing right now). We’ve all heard that it’s not what you do (or say) that matters – it’s how you do (or say) it.

So when you find yourself blaming your circumstances or this or that person or yourself for the lack of excitement in your life, try taking a deep breath and embracing whatever you’re doing right now. Do it as if you’ve never done it before. You may be surprised at how new old things can be!

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Maria Kuzmiak, M.A. is a health and well-being writer with a background in nutrition, psychology and education and a passion for yoga. Over the last 10 years, she has written hundreds of articles, blogs and newsletters for clients in health-related fields, particularly those specializing in yoga, natural medicine, nutrition, and spiritual health and healing. Maria has also worked as a nutritionist, teacher and technical editor. Learn more about her writing at www.wellbeingwriter.net.
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