The Power to Change (Part 2)

Change is a process.  Like waves, a wise old friend once told me – a constant backward-forward motion bringing in the changing of the tide.

The Wave

The Wave, by Albert Bierstadt c. 1880

Last week, I explained how a university’s Positive Education Program revealed my surprising lack of pep when it comes to life change. Being in need of a major attitude overhaul, I decided to try out the idea of a gratitude journal.

It can feel kind of sucky sitting in bed at night writing a list of all the good things that happened in your day.  When I started, three was an achievement.

But slowly it became more natural, and the lists began to get longer.  My breathing eased.  Smiles came more regularly.  Yoga returned.

Then winter came, and everything stalled.

Tellingly, the final journal entry for 2012 was written on 19 June…

Freezing windy day. Got nowhere much…Survived the day.


Fast forward to 2013, and it’s the cyber community who I really have to thank for snapping me out of my winter induced inertia.

It began with a reminder from Bent People’s Adriana, of the power of yoga in dissolving psychic blocks.  Have you ever had a dream in the night that came true the next day?

That’s right, I said to self, I really need to take up yoga again.

But then the excuses started rolling in…

I can’t stand on my head before coffee.
Or after coffee.
After breakfast, ewww…no.
And by that time…

A few weeks later, still trying to combat my excuses, I read a post by Legionwriter’s Lucas, whose own gentle journey towards calm confirmed, again, the power of breath in rescuing our “beleaguered hypothalamus”.

The whole problem is Revenge, I told myself.
If I didn’t need that to put me to sleep,
I’d at least have time to meditate.

Girl in the Hat, aka Anna Fonté turned up the heat with Lies My Body Tells Me, forcing me acknowledge how much I let ‘pain’ tell me that ‘I can’t’.

It’s my lower back again, I whined.
No use starting ‘til I see the chiropractor.

Valerie then added her wisdom on meditation.  Apparently, it’s normal to fidget when you meditate.  And pain, like a child, will actually stop crying when it’s given some attention.

Interesting, I thought.  There goes that excuse…

But it was the question posed by Anna’s Wonder Woman post that finally got my attention.

What if, for two minutes a day,
instead of struggling with the concept of mind over matter,
we gave our bodies power to control our weak willed minds?

In that moment, my resistance faltered.  All the voices, pushing me forward, urging me on, rushed through, finally propelling me to act.

I struck a pose, and kicked the nightly Revenge habit in preference for yoga and meditation.

Water and Fire

Water and Fire, by Franz Stuck

Suddenly, it was no more The Prodigy’s “inhale, inhale, you’re the victim”.  I was exhaling, and it was like all that extra oxygen needed somewhere to go.

Afterburn’s guest post about jogging (of all things) gave me a radical idea.  Daniela Martinez talked about losing herself in the flow of the run, the importance (again) of breath – and of exercising to a playlist.

Honestly.  I’d never imagined jogging before, let alone to a playlist.  But the universe had just delivered a new album from Andrea, a loyal Twitter friend.

It was just the push I needed to finally break a sweat.

I swallowed yet another lame excuse – I don’t have an iP – and uploaded it to my old Nokia 6120.  Dusted off the old bicycle.

And I’ve been pedalling ever since.

Okay.  Winter’s still to come.  And the new tune is not exactly pumping.

But as I pedal, all I can hear is the rhythm of the breath, and the voices urging me to “make your desire’s reality”.

Sometimes, for forward momentum, all we need is persistent, gentle push.  So to all of you who got me there, thank you for giving me the power to change.

Ever had a moment that broke through your resistance?  What gets you There?


  1. says

    Love it Arlarna Rose. Haven’t we all at some time been snapped out of a funk by something that pushes us to change? Is it really that catalyst? or have we reached the point where we think, I don’t want to do that or feel like this? It is the cycle of life that we rise, we occasionally fall and find the strength somewhere to rise again. Keep on rising. Really liked your gratitude journal, and the question What the hell happened? Everyone has asked that at one point or another. Keep moving forward there are no limits to what you can accomplish. 🙂

    • says

      I think what you’re saying is, Change is Life… we can embrace it or we can fight it, but the process will go on. There’s definitely an element of us finally saying enough is enough. But perhaps those two things work together – the outside and the inside ‘push’? Thanks for the encouragement – it means a lot 🙂

  2. says

    well done sister… we may of contributed to planting the seed, but you where the ONE to will it to life. Slumps are a tough pit to bypass elegantly… your grace is remarkable. On another note: I’ve been a little out of the BLOG loop of late and was wondering if you found work.

    • says

      Thank you, Adriana! I think of you a lot and wish you were in Melbourne so I could take your classes 🙂

      I’ve given up on the job hunt momentarily, as I’ve committed to a small video project for a local animal hospital. The universe works in strange ways, but more on that in future posts 😉

  3. Andrea says

    Oh, you are so my hero. I say this as a compliment but more importantly as the voice I hear that tells me what it really is, as opposed to what I can sometimes want it to be. Thank you, Alarna.

    • says

      Andrea, I have to tell you, my superpowers are pretty limited! But in all sincerity, thank you for being such a huge support of me and my writing. It’s a privilege to be part of your universe…

  4. says

    I admire how you broke this down and shared the excuses and then the solutions. Drawing strength from others and feeling inspired is ongoing until it becomes such a part of you that others will look to you for strength in not just accepting the power of change but pursuing it. Love the gratitude journal.

    • says

      Beautiful way of describing the process, Lynne! I have a long way to go, but it’s great to connected to others in the process. And you’re right – in the end, it’s up to us to pursue it 🙂

  5. says

    What a good attitude you have.

    I did have a moment that broke through my resistance. I woke up one day in 2010 with an idea for a story and decided to try to write it. I remember thinking, I’ll just write a sentence or two, maybe a paragraph, and see how it goes. That first sentence opened Pandora’s box and I’ve been writing ever since.

    • says

      Wow, I wonder what it was that got you to that point? Many stop-starts before that, no doubt… I read somewhere that repeated attempts to do something creates insulin in our brains that eventually improves performance – making us unstoppable as we get older! At least, that’s my interpretation 🙂

  6. says

    It is indeed a process, and a lot of “1 step forward, 2 steps back” work. There are a lot of people who give up in the middle of working things through, and I think that the Universe actually makes it harder when we’re about to make a breakthrough.

    I remember my big moment, when I decided to go to NYC by myself for a writer’s conference. I’m terrified of cities and traveling alone. But I did it because it was important to me, and I have felt empowered ever since.

    Love this post, Alarna. 🙂

    • says

      Thank you, Kate! Those moments we push ourselves outside comfort are so important… Your going to a writer’s conference has to be a very symbolic step in you taking yourself seriously as a writer.

      I can relate to your anxiety… I’m not so terrified of cities, but going alone to a writer’s conference would terrify me. Good on you for pushing through! 🙂

  7. says

    It has taken me a while to comment because I HAD TO click on every link and read/listen to every post and bit of music. My resistance is faltering. Thanks, Alarna.

  8. says

    Love your attitude, Alarna. Whenever I push myself, even the tiniest, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment, which breeds more motivation. And you’re right, it’s an ebb and a flow thing. Knowing that helps too.

  9. says

    It’s a long process to accept change and also something you have to keep working on because life keeps giving you new challenges. I love the way you explained your stages in this post. You can make your dreams come true with time and trust in yourself. Thank you Alarna for your beautiful writing.

  10. says

    Not sure if I’d use the word resistance, just not completely agreeable (so a few guerrilla tactics are always at play in change for me) , as change is closer to a negotiation than it is changing to the strict values of the change that is on the table. Other wise full resistance kicks in, so then what was the point for the change, as each factor slowly becomes lost in the debris of the resistance. It’s all a challenge, that’s what gets me there, that, and finding empathy in the change, what it understands/learns/follows, and what I’ve experienced in return. So that means, challenges and opportunity for experiences, that’s what gets me there (oops, just repeated that). For if the change does not work out, it is in most cases possible to roll back to something that is working, and then seek change in another direction.

    Top post, Alarna 🙂

    • says

      Change as negotiation… That could be it, Sean. We’re always in negotiation with our inner and outer realities. Ever evolving. In my case, definitely guerilla tactics are required 😉 Thanks Sean!

  11. Deliberately Delicious says

    Alarna, good for you for adopting these new habits in your life. I hope they make you feel great! I saw a sign recently that said, “A good habit is as hard to break as a bad habit.” May you come to enjoy your new habits so much that you don’t want to break them.

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