Beyond a number: change the being to be the change

How often do we give up on something because we’ve felt limited by a number? Whether it be weight, an athletic PR, a job goal, or a mental expectation that we should fulfill a certain number of requirements in our daily lives, it is easy to get fixated on a measurable outcome. For example, at the climbing gym, I typically stay within my comfort zone of trying routes up to an 5.11a rating. But the other night, I was encouraged to try an 11.c because really “I had nothing to lose”. And although I didn’t make it all the way up, I did much better than I originally anticipated, AND I felt empowered about the fact that I tried it in the first place. It was a lovely reminder that sometimes it’s not the task that is the most challenging, rather it is the details that complicate and ultimately turn us away from tackling the obstacles around us.

By breaking down the numbers, uncalculating the equations and erasing any connection between ratings and worth, we are left with natural effort and enthusiasm — my two favorite E words! The simplest equation amounts to the largest gain…My coworker and I are planning a workshop for an upcoming staff retreat. We are focusing on both global and personal change. In the midst of our brainstorming of how to fuse the two, we both exclaimed, “change the being to be the change”!

In today’s world, there are a lot of things that could change/improve for the betterment of Mother Earth and our humanity. I think it gets easier to point fingers than to actually do something about it. But if we really want to see change, we have to change the parts of ourselves, whether that be thoughts, habits, plans, or relationships, that get in our way of positive transformation. It can be so easy to stop ourselves at the end of our line of comfort; once we hit our peak number, we know that the next level up is only for those who can do better. But really? In a great article from YOGANONYMOUS  about fear and abundance, I tapped into the reality that finding equilibrium between fear and abundance is a daily challenge to measuring the change we are willing to invoke to stretch the comfort zone.

When I stepped away from the more challenging climb (normally a route I don’t even look at), I did not care that I did not finish it, rather I had gratitude I got as far as I did. It can be the small successes that empower us to take risks and make change in our lives and potentially the lives around us. This video illuminates how change can be a simple, unique expression of simplicity. But it does not come from thinking someone else is going to do it for you or that just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it is not a problem.

Equating our lives to a number minimizes our chances of exponential growth. We get subtracted and divided by our biggest fears rather than multiplied by abundant love. What do we really have to lose by applying for a new job or training for a triathlon or getting up the courage to communicate with a not-so-friendly coworker? What do we really have to lose by changing our being?

Nothing! What we gain is far beyond the loss of staying nestled in comfort. The moment we take a risk and stop identifying with a figure, fact or chart — the #1 thing in our lives becomes ourselves. And not the look at me, I have it totally figured out self. The I am trying my hardest, never getting it just right but always being right where I need to be self!! We must change our personal being to encompass a myriad of passions, skills and offerings, so that we cultivate the tools and compassion large enough to embody the change we dream of at night. Trash the statistics of injustice and bring IN justice to your life.


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