Making Some Sense of Words

April 7, 2011 § 8 Comments

“If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.”

-J. Krishnamurti

I stumbled on this quote sometime in the middle of last year. At the time, I didn’t even know who Jiddu Krishnamurti was, and I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the meaning of his words. I don’t get it… Isn’t yoga about change? Everyone goes on & on about change, transformation… It seemed somehow meaningful, so I hung onto it anyway and put it in my pocket with numerous other notes & thoughts & sutras that were beyond me but felt heavy and comforting in my hand.

I think now, after months of turning it over, that I begin to get it – the importance, the weight that made it feel so reassuring. I want so much to write clearly and eloquently on this – to explain what it means to me now – in a way that makes sense, maybe to you too. Maybe it makes sense already (awesome!) and I’m just a little slow to digest – but learning that I’m not so unique has me thinking I can’t be alone in needing to hear and understand this.

But I don’t want to wait until I find the right words, metaphor or story to explain. So here it is for me, right now:

It’s about listening openly and kindly to ourselves. I am not broken although there are times I have felt that way – I am not a mess, not cruel, not awkward, not in need of fixing. I am not my behavior (or my body… or my thoughts). Approaching my practice with this openness allows for easier honesty to uncover truths about myself and my default patterns. There have been so many changes in my life over the last year – and though most of them are subtle, internal – they add up to a big difference in how I view the world and myself. It goes sort of like this: Oh, I see now that I do that – more importantly I see WHY, the fear or need or ache behind it, and I see that I’m ok*. And I breathe. And then the ache dissolves, and the behavior it prompted is no longer necessary. Until I forget – some habits die hard, no?

When I label or judge my experience is when I get stuck. But acknowledging my behavior without labeling or judging it, I find that it does in fact begin to shift.

Please discuss, expound… I would love to hear your thoughts.


*And yes, I know, there is WAY more to the process of understanding and believing this than the phrase indicates. More expounding later, mehbeee?

ETA 04202011: Michelle at blogasana has a beautiful post – with another great Krishnamurti quote, which brought this home for me even more. Reward the slightest try (part II) – on horses, and humans, and releasing self-conflict. I will need to come back to these concepts again and again.

§ 8 Responses to Making Some Sense of Words

  • Heather says:

    I am sure there is something to be said for breaking a habit. But we are only human, and a practice of acceptance like this is exactly that – a practice, something we must do regularly and often, even if we think we’ve got it. I suppose it must always be the goal to eliminate the negative thinking, but I see this idea as a more achievable solution, akin to meditation: have the thought, acknowledge it, and then let it go.

    • Mel says:

      “even if we think we’ve got it” Yes! I would say that meditation has been pretty central to this for me, because it is that act of acknowledging without judgement. Practicing it with my thoughts, and trying to apply it elsewhere (and forgiving when I fall back into old patterns!).

  • tini says:

    The quote is awesome. I need to think about that.

  • Kylie says:

    Mel, that’s such a wonderful quote. The more studying I do on coaching, and how to change your life, and all that jazz, the closer I feel to…myself. It feels like the shift isn’t so much about changing the landscape of my life as it is about delving deeper into who I am.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    • Mel says:

      Yes! I feel this way too! It sounds so very cliche to me to say, but it feels like coming home somehow…. Or at least visiting, when I’m in that space of acceptance 😉 Thank you so much Kylie. I so enjoy your writing on some of these topics.

  • blogasana says:

    wow, mel. that is a doozy. what an amazing idea. i might have to sneak it into a post that i’m planning in a similar vein.

    what i feel from this is the truth that we cannot change until we accept ourselves as we are. and that maybe we don’t even “change” ourselves actively. i don’t know… even as i write that it doesn’t make sense — of course we need action and will and discipline to change.

    i’m in awe and agreement… this one will have to steep for a while.

    thank you!!!

    • Mel says:

      I know! I mean, I really don’t have a clue! But I think I get what you are saying and it’s why I could write and think and expound on this for another 6 months (or years maybe) and still not really be able to articulate it. It’s these ideas of not being in conflict with oneself, of releasing the need to be something OTHER THAN… And I’m sure there is something in there about the will and action it takes to put that into practice (or to just let go and come back into ourselves…) I’ll be steeping too, probably forever, right? Let me know when you’ve got it sorted would you?
      Thank you for coming by!!!

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