The conditions are always changing... Out in the waves. Here on dry land. While we breathe and sweat on the yoga mat. The world around us is constantly moving through seasons and cycles and transformation. And we are much the same. So while we can't always control the conditions, the question becomes, "How can we respond?"
You may surf the same beach every single day. But day after day the waves will show up a little differently depending on the swell direction, the wind, and the tides. And as far as I know, none of us have control over those three factors - so how do we adjust to the ever-changing conditions of the ocean? We adapt. We stay present. We watch and observe and learn so that we know how to respond - when to switch up our equipment or when to sit in a different spot in the line up. We learn when to choose our battles and when to humbly step away because the conditions just aren't quite in our favor.
It's a similar situation when we step onto our yoga mat. We may show up on our mat every single day, breathing and moving through essentially the same poses. And while we will gain strength and flexibility with a consistent practice, we also realize that every day, no matter how long we've been practicing for, the poses will show up for us a little different each time. Some days the pose may seem easy and effortless, some days the same pose may seem challenging and uncomfortable. So how do we handle it when our practice shows up a little different from one day to the next? We adapt. We stay present. We watch and observe and learn so we know how to respond - we learn to give up the idea of how we think a pose should look and instead get real about how the pose feels in our bodies in that moment. We learn when to safely push ourselves deeper or when to back off with compassion and modify down.
The same goes for every day life. Shit happens. Things don't always go as planned. Challenges will most likely be thrown your way and occasionally people might let you down. So how do you deal when your world suddenly gives you a shake and throws you off balance? You adapt. You stay present. You watch and observe and learn so you know how to respond - you learn that feelings are not final and that you are a lot stronger than you believe. You learn that reacting will never help any situation and that you have the power to control how you feel, as well as which feelings you hold onto and which ones you let go of. You learn that in the constantly changing conditions of this wild yet beautiful world you are able to remain fluid, calm, and at peace.
So the next time you start to notice the conditions changing - the wind switching, the swell building, your practice shifting, or your world spiraling - remember to pause, get present, watch, observe and learn. Then ask yourself the question, "How will I respond?"