By Cheryl Hansen
Change is hard! I used thrive on change—I was always looking for my next adventure. I moved from Iowa to Florida without looking back, then from Florida to California and ultimately to Colorado (thankfully, this is home). Something must’ve changed along the way, ironically, because now I seem to thrive on comfort and familiarity.
We’ve been struggling with the idea of our 9-year-old son changing schools this fall. It came as no surprise that he found countless reasons to stay put—he’s not a big fan of change. In fact, when we took his sister to Recycled Cycles to get a new (used) bike recently, we offered to upgrade his at the same time. “No, I’m good,” he insisted, completely uninterested in acquiring a bike with more than one gear. We may be the only parents in history to have to convince a 9-year-old to get a bigger, faster bike. So selling a school swap was going to be tough—no matter how strongly we felt it was the right move. “It’s easier to stay where you are,” I’d say. “It’s familiar, comfortable. You know what to expect. But that doesn’t make it right for you, right now. It takes courage to change.”
I completely missed the parallel to my own life until today. As I work through my own changes (aka transformation story), I find I can be successful for days, even weeks. But when something shakes up my routine—it can be significant like an extended business trip, or decidedly insignificant like a platter of chips and guac at a friend’s house—and I revert to the “old me” faster than I can say “what transformation?” It’s as if I’m on auto-pilot: See chips, eat chips. Beer? Sure!
Don’t get me wrong. I have no intention of living life forever without an occasional beer (hello—Fort Collins!). And guacamole is – well, guacamole. Enough said. That’s not the problem. The problem is that whenever I’m tested in even small ways, it’s too easy to revert to old habits. Why? Because change is hard. Old habits (by definition) are familiar, comfortable. I know what to expect. But that doesn’t make it right for me, right now.
It takes courage to change.
These were my feelings—both good and unsettling—as I went to class at YogaPod this afternoon. My instructor, who may be psychic, promptly quoted Iyengar, “If you don’t want your world to change, don’t step on your mat.”
And there I was. On my mat.