Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I remember looking up at the heavens, angry at God, feeling like a victim and asking, “why me?” I felt out of control and lost in the ever-changing swirl of being human.

In my early 20s, I found myself depressed and suicidal. After a year of drug use, if I was not high, I was down… way down. I was quite literally on a super highway to hell. It was a wake up call ~ time to CHANGE or time to die.

Fortunately, I found yoga. For almost 2 decades, I believe through every change, transition and life experience, yoga has supported me in finding my inner strength, accepting what IS and navigating my way through it.

The Bhagavad Gita says, “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.”

The practice of yoga carried me through an eating disorder, depression, limiting beliefs, miscarriages, addictions, divorce, bankruptcy and more.

It allowed me to change my perspective to a more loving and positive one. I’ve come to know that the only thing I am able to change is how I choose to see, experience and perceive life.

Heraclitus said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” Tell that to your 7 million year old brain. It’s primary function is to keep you safe, which means far, far away from change. Any change, even if it’s good for you.

Sometimes change is a choice. Other times, change seems to be forced upon us. I remember telling my 65 year old yogi friend, “When God’s will and my will are “NOT” ONE… it really pisses me off.” To the ego, change is threatening. To the Soul, change is eternal.

So I get it, dealing with change can be incredibly unsettling. One day you’re healthy, and the next day you’re handed a death sentence. One moment you’re in a loving relationship, all to discover your partner is cheating. Change is full spectrum. From the weather outside, to the clothes you wear, to who and what really matters.

Einstein said, “The world we have created is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed, without changing our thinking.”

Let me share a little story with you. It’s one of a broken heart and betrayal. We’ve all been there before, we all know how painful it can be.

Fortunately, because I’d been practicing yoga for a decade at this time of heartache, I was able to choose a different perspective than the ones I had unconsciously chosen in the past.

I took the broken heart and the anguish of betrayal and turned it inward. I was able to breath into the discomfort. I told myself, “Everything is here to help me.” I began to ask, “How have I betrayed myself?” “How can I love myself more?”

Rather than project my “painful” feelings onto the other as shame and blame… I chose to take a bird’s eye view and begin to tell myself a new story. I was able to soothe myself with the teachings of the Buddha, by remembering, “All things are impermanent.” Nothing stays the same. The broken heart mends. And like a phoenix, we rise from the ashes. Transformed by the experience itself.

I used to feel like a victim.

Now I CHOOSE to be empowered.

I used to think God was against me.

Now I know God is within me.

In every moment, we have the power to choose. The practice of yoga creates space for us to bear witness to our life experience so that we gain Mastery over our thinking, and therefore, the world we create.

Today I am on the super highway to consciousness. The winds of change blow my way and I do my best to remain steady, open, relaxed and alert. When things get a little out of control, I make sure to get on my mat and ride my breath back to balance and clear perspective.

So remember, “Be the change you wish to see in the world!” Live from Love. Live with Trust.

Forever humbled, and grateful.

Mahan Khalsa