My son is away at camp this week and my daughter is taking swimming lessons. We finished our homeschooling for the year and it seems summer is under way – but my mind is leaping ahead to September and the start of the new school year.
It will be a year of changes for us, because I will be leaving my job as Homeschool mom to be a full-time teacher for the intermediate class at the Living Wisdom School here. My husband will be taking on the teaching at home, and trying to continue his computer work as well.
Such a big change for the whole family was approached with a great deal of prayer and consideration – and the inward guidance I feel is that it is the right direction for us to go.
But what is it about change that grabs our hearts and minds so – even when we feel it is positive?
I think part of the answer is that we crave change, and daily existence in this world grows quickly monotonous. We look for new stimulation and new ways to expand our experiences, because then we feel like we are growing. But yogic teachings, and all great religions, tell us that all we need is within. Yogananda describes the soul’s experience as “ever-new joy”, when we discover our eternal connection with God.
As my mind leaps from one detail to another and I make lists and plans for a job that is 3 months away, I’m finding it difficult to focus on the inward reality of ever-new joy.
An opportunity to pause and contemplate the deeper reality that is always present came, ironically, while teaching – this time in Sunday School. The affirmation for the lesson was “I am like the ocean deep, untouched by storm or change.” (We often use affirmations adapted from Swami Kriyananda’s Affirmations for Self-Healing.)
The children and I repeated the words of the affirmation many times throughout the morning, starting loudly and playfully as we ran and crashed on the beach (pillows and blankets) as restless waves. Then we were underwater and moved around the room like fish and slow moving kelp. We darkened the room and got quiet and still, as if we were in the deep ocean, far below the surface storms.
With each repeat of the affirmation I tried to let go of my concerns for the future and the changes that life brings, and tried to feel the inner calmness of God’s presence that never changes.
Swami Kriyananda teaches that affirmations, when rightly applied with concentration and will-power, have the power to change our consciousness. I have kept repeating that affirmation as I make all the preparations for the year ahead, reminding myself that the truth of God’s love and joy never changes, regardless of what life looks like on the surface.
I’ll let you know how the teaching goes.
I am like the ocean deep, untouched by storm or change…
In joyful friendship,