Sudden Changes

” All is connected like a chain. Nothing is permanent. Everything changes.

If we do not accept that fact we will always suffer. “

                                                                                                              – Phra Saneh Dhammavaro


I was drawn this morning to a handmade book of four poems I wrote years ago. I created the poems and a friend made a beautiful book to hold them and to share the movement and ideas through art. The books title is In the Sand –  book of permanence and change. The book is not of importance but the idea of accepting change is.

There are moments in our lives that come suddenly and unexpected. Moments of great sadness, sometimes anger and fear. These emotions tumbling together, rolling like waves. Often when caught in these moments our instinct is to dig in and hold tight. We latch on to this sadness or anger and begin to fight. We get stuck and are pulled down into depression and fear.

I understand that so well but have learned that it does not help or heal. It leaves us tumbling over and over not moving forward. So with lots of yoga, meditation and help from friends I have slowly begun to learn how to let go, how to accept change.

As I have taken on change, both physical and emotional, I have found the need to step back, to watch closely and hold on to those parts of my life that can remain the same, let go of parts that are painful and embrace change that moves me forward in a positive way. It is a process and it is difficult. This is far easier to slip into the negative space that change can open up.

This does not mean that I don’t feel sorrow, sadness, fear, or anger. It doesn’t mean that I don’t act when action is needed.

It does mean I listen and watch. I try to let go of the negative and look for a positive way to help or an action I can do to help me or others understand the change that has been placed before us.

Change is a daily occurrence. It happens in small ways – to much sun and the flowers wilt, the waves wash over the beach washing away the foot prints of those who have taken the early morning walk, There are the big changes – cancer, heart attack, a job change or sudden death of a friend or family member.

In our interconnected lives changes are all around us. Each day we face the positive and the negative, the small and the large changes.

Take time, be still, breath and let go – moving with the emotions that surface and find your way forward. Change happens – nothing is permanent. beach.JPG



This reflection was written to help me handle and think about the recent tragedy that has happened in our neighborhood and yoga community. We lost Justine Damond, a yoga teacher and life coach, in an unexplained shooting by police on Saturday night. We are saddened, angry and confused but are looking to find ways to celebrate the light and gifts she brought to so many in the short time she had with us.

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in Reflection. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Sudden Changes

  1. Adrienne says:

    So sorry to hear that your life has been touched by this tragedy. It sounds like you are being positive in a situation where one could easily go dark and negative.

  2. arjeha says:

    Letting go is so important. So often we hold on to the negative letting it fester until we end up saying of doing something we regret. Yes, tho only thing constant is change, I had seen this story on the news. My thoughts and prayers go out to a community trying to find answers.

  3. rdicarne says:

    I am sorry for your loss. Your post gives me hope. I have been going through personal changes – health – husband’s job loss and it is so easy to let yourself sink down in the depths of despair, but looking for the positive is what keeps you moving forward. Thank you!

  4. mbhmaine says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughtful reflection. I’m so sorry for the tragedy that has touched your community. My thoughts go out to all of you.

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