Change has always been a challenge for me. The uncomfortable fear of the unknown, insecurity that seems to shake the ground beneath, not knowing where you stand in the midst of intensity, being exposed to the rawness of your own self, your brittleness as well as the stubbornness. Yet at the same time, there are moments in life when one seeks out and grasps for change with great enthusiasm and courage, just like a chrysalis breaking its own hardened outer skin-shell to transform into a butterfly.
Life Altering Journey
For me, the moment of life-altering change, or series of moments to be more exact, took place in 2007, when I decided to leave my six-year career in advertising as a strategic planner, and began the journey that has led me to where I am today, as a partner with Para Impacto and Baseworks . It was not that I was particularly unhappy with my life at that point in time. It was more that there was a sense of empty unfulfillment, unable to feel the sense of truly delving in experiences that made me feel invigorated and alive at the very essence of my existence.
It all started with my choice to be part of a one-month long yoga teacher training experience in Bali conducted by Radiantly Alive, an immersive experience of daily practice and theory, supported by a completely raw food program with juice fasting combined. Fully focused on the body through physical practice and diet, observing how not only the body but also the mind is affected by the quality of practice, what we eat, the environment we are in, the interactions we have with others, shed light onto the limitless options and possibilities of what I have not yet dared to explore experiencing in life up until then.
Making the decision to leave my previous career and embark on a journey of change was in some ways the easiest part. It was an extremely liberating experience as well, which gave me an enormous sense of autonomy. In fact, tackling the ripple effect of my change within me, and among the people and environment around me was far more challenging than the actual decision itself. As change can be often perceived as something different from the known, initially hard to understand or grasp, I find it quite natural that the instinctual reaction is to harden with hostility, rejection, and/or indifference.
Like any animal trying to protect itself, I experienced this reaction both within myself and in the relationships I had with people around me. Yet at the same time, the challenging endeavor to step into this unexplored realm outside my comfort zone with persistence, gradually familiarizing myself to the extent that the change no longer was alien but rather a part of me, was an extremely rewarding process.
Experimental Incubator for Change
Since then, I have been involved in the production and coordination of a variety of different training programs, courses, and workshops conducted in Asia and Europe, periods ranging from weekends to month-long intensives up to one year residential. In a way, I see the material we have taught as an experimental incubator for change, especially for those who wish to utilize the experience in this way. It allows one to immerse into one field, deepen one’s understanding, transmit one’s experience through interaction with others, in a safe environment with a sound support system.
What makes our programming an ideal incubator for change, comes from the fact that it works on the body first and foremost. Being able to have the support of a studio that offers 50–60 Baseworks Practice classes a week, 7 days a week from six in the morning to ten in the evening, allows participants to build a solid practice foundation, at the same time keep their regular lifestyle commitment and make the entire experience sustainable in the long run. As Movement is Transformation, the simple act of building a regularity in practice sets a perfect base for change to sprout out.
Combining these with theoretical understanding on how the body works anatomically, the thinking behind the practice in relation to biomechanics, how diet and nutrition affect our body and state of being and working on methods to effectively present one’s accumulated learning through the interaction with others, is an excellent microcosm of society for one to experiment their yet unexplored potential.
Choice To Feel Alive
At the end of the day, whether one decides to take up the opportunity to use it as a catalyst for change, to relentlessly work on the process of converting the uneasy to something familiar, a part of you, is totally up to the individual, especially in today’s era of too many choices. On top of this, there are thousands of medium for change that one can delve into.
Perhaps at times, the overwhelming plethora of choice and medium is what stops us from venturing out into the unexplored discomfort zone and freezes us with perceived fear. Yet what I can say from my personal experience is, is that if you are experiencing an empty unfulfillment somewhere inside you, perhaps exploring new areas that connect with what invigorates you and makes you feel alive, could be an amazing catalyst for facilitating something you have longed yet have never yet dared to explore.
Photo credits: Ken Nakagawa, Patrick Oancia
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