During my career as a Thai Massage therapist and teacher I have met many, many people who wanted to change their lives. Some wanted small changes, but then other wanted big changes going into totally new directions.
Of course, the reason to this is that they felt unhappy with where they stood; they wanted to have things differently. Some were in a difficult relationship with their partner, others felt unhappy with their job and career, and again others wanted less big city-stress in their lives, and such.
In fact, it doesn’t really matter what the reasons are, but what many people don’t understand or want to accept is that changing their lives comes with a price. You cannot expect to keep your financial security, your house, your environment or friends, and at the same time make a change.
When you change your life, your lifestyle — go into other directions, all the things mentioned above may change also. They will probably do. Often it means less money, less certainty, less comfort, because you will need to learn something new, go into new situations, you will often be abandoned by your former social environment, and yes, you will hit on a lot of rejection and misunderstanding.
It’s the reason why I have seen many people NOT make a change. Or only a very superficial change keeping for themselves the illusion that they are changing … are actually doing something about their situation. But then in fact, nothing really changes.
Changing your life needs courage — real courage to let go of the old and welcome the new with all its uncertainties. Because you feel it’s necessary for your self-worth and happiness. Feeling that you WANT and NEED to make a change despite of it maybe bringing you in a worse position, depending on how you (or others) describe “worse.”
Often, that type of courage isn’t there. Fear, indulgence, phony excuses, public opinion, and wanting the best of both worlds prevent people to really make a change. Strangely enough, they’re willing to pay the price of their indulgence, but not willing to pay the price of freedom and authenticity.
Perhaps the worst excuse I find that of throwing in responsibility. Responsibility for the children, the husband or wife, the community, or for the company. But what about response-ability for you, your own needs and happiness? That sounds of course “selfish,” but then — how can you be really responsible for others if you’re not even able to be it for yourself?
Anyway, this all has been an important motive for me to stop treating or teaching people Thai Massage. To me, Thai Massage was a life-changer, a whole new way of life for which I payed a high price — in money, in social circumstances, in comfort. And at some point, I was not willing to be an “example of change” any longer for people who didn’t really want to change, but only imagined so.
Changing your life is a lonely path. At best you will find encouraging stories from or about others who did so. In the end, you will need to do it yourself, on your own strength and conviction. I can only say that the reward is in its genuine effort to do so. And sometimes, it also pays out in actual, practical life.