When we find something that brings us joy, we have a tendency to do the same thing over and over again in order to get that same feeling. But often, whatever it is we’re doing, becomes more routine than joyful.
There’s a story of a woman who walked into a church one evening at a quiet time and sat down. She was feeling very low and she felt this immediate sense of peace and comfort as she sat there. She thought it was the church that gave her those feelings. So, she kept going … every single night. At some point, going to church became so routine that she lost the joy. So, she went back to wearing the same clothes and the same shoes as she had that first night. That same feeling did not come back. Then she tried eating the same food as the first day and walking the same way into the church … well you get the picture. The same exact feelings didn’t come back. Why? Because those feelings were really inside her, not the church, and she was looking outward, not inward.
Why do we think we can’t pivot and feel the same great feelings? Is that my Italian superstition?
For two months now, I have been doing morning sun salutations. At first, it brought me a sense of peace (it still does at times). I did a certain number and each one was for a particular reason. Then one day I realized I was not feeling the same peace in doing them. I was lamenting this to a good friend who looked at me as if she couldn’t believe I was complaining and said “Just pivot. Do something different.” I didn’t know what to say. Wouldn’t I be a failure if I pivoted. So many of my friends, including her, meditated religiously each day. Why couldn’t I do these stupid freaking sun salutations and have one life routine like everyone else I know? 🙂
Then one morning I got up and made my coffee first, before my sun salutations. It was a slow start to my morning, and it was glorious! Then another day I skipped my sun salutations, made my coffee and watched Lily sleep. That was amazing too! I had pivoted and it was totally fine (in fact, better than fine!). Just letting myself off the “hook” was far from the failure I feared, and I still had that same feeling of peace.
Transitions are universal, inevitable and important. As we get old(er), we’re constantly evolving. And while change can, at times, feel messy and uncomfortable, it’s through these metamorphoses that we learn new things. My greatest lessons have (and continue to come) when I pivot. Even when pivoting brings some initial pain or fear.
So, my loving friends, find a little different path today. And know that peace and comfort will find you there too.