Planting seeds of change for yourself

Patrick OBrien
Apr 20, 2014

I’m a bit of a green thumb. I have to be with the big yard I have that is full of trees, flowers, grasses, ferns and veggies in the summer.  It’s a great space with rich soil, critters and lots of ever changing greenery. Without tending it the yard would quickly turn into a jungle. Just like our bodies, it takes a little maintenance.

I plant few seeds in my yard, it only takes a handful.  The rest grows naturally without the need for human intervention. Just one seed produced the gorgeous sunflower pictured. That one seed blossomed and grew so tall it reached the roof on my house vibrant and colorful.

Planting seeds for yourself could mean poking a hole in the ground and literally exercising that green thumb, or it could be a metaphor for change in yourself.

Embracing change in your life, or making change happen. It’s spring, a natural  time for change in nature and ourselves.

I’ve learned that the more I embrace change the happier and more balanced I am. My job especially requires almost constant change, my body changes daily and Lord knows we can’t trade our bodies in, as much as sometimes we would like to. It’s the attitude one takes about this that makes the difference. Are you proactive, or reactive? Do you dread the fact that your body is aging everyday, or do you accept it and work to feel better and healthier? 

I decided to change my life and planted my own seed. What germinated that day back in 2006,  changed my life forever. Something many think is weird, intimidating, or just not their cup of green tea. It was yoga. Not just stretching to try for some chronic back pain relief that I could not get shake loose. After about three months of taking the yoga classes at various places around town I wondered what the heck I had gotten myself into.  It hurt! I experienced a lot of  physical discomfort! 

I had to come to terms that my body wasn’t as flexible and was really suffering from stress and what seemed like very early stages of arthritis. All those awkward asanas (postures) and strange Sanskrit names for the practice was a lot to embrace. Did I have to become a ridiculous pretzel in order to feel better? What the heck, what was Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) and Chaturanga Dandasana (stationary pushup)?

But I realized the yoga was helping to greatly reduce stress levels and I was actually starting to feel better, a lot better. I felt more at peace and began to leave the yoga classes feel downright fantastic. 

Indeed, that practice of odd postures, meditation and breathing had brought so much positive change in my life that it no longer felt so awkward, but flowing with a new sense of mental and physical balance I’ve had never experienced before.  

 

“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” ~ Peace Pilgrim

 

Do you have some seeds to plant for yourself? What are they? Maybe you haven’t discovered what they are, maybe you will experience a bit of serendipity and find what you need without having to look any further than inside.

About the present….so after teaching yoga classes for five years at the House of Yin I realized it was time to move on. Change was upon me again, and I wondered where I should take my practice knowing I had to continue. Some call it synchronicity, others call it coincidence, I like the word karma.  I struck up a conversation with the peaceful minded folks at Converging Paths Meditation Center in downtown Sandusky after attending a meditation class there recently and lo and behold, I will now be teaching yoga in downtown Sandusky just two blocks from my office at work.  Change indeed, just in time and the right place….

I’ve tried to avoid getting preachy to you about how you need to try yoga, it’s not for everyone. My next blog post we’ll cover a bit about some specific things you can do and we will explore yoga in more depth. But for now, when you’re out in the your garden or yard working stooped over for more than five minutes, help your back out by standing up slowly, being gentle on your spine, and give yourself a well deserved easy back bend arching backwards. Look up at the sky, take a deep breath and be happy your body allows you to walk this Earth.

 

“Healthy plants and trees yield abundant flowers and fruits. Similarly, from a healthy person, smiles and happiness shine forth like the rays of the sun.” ~ B.K. S Iyengar 

 

Upcoming yoga classes Patrick is teaching in Sandusky at Converging Paths Meditation Center in the Feick Building:

Mondays: 6:00-7:30pm

Saturdays: 10:00-11:15am

Get more info:  http://www.atpeaceyoga.net