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Change the Scenery – Change My Thoughts

changethesceneryAs I listen to many themes of change – changing seasons, the changing colors of leaves, the changing light, the changes in the Fall TV line-up, I think about areas of my life that I want to change. After a very hectic schedule, I decided to attend a Byron Katie workshop at Kripalu – Center for Yoga & Health. I knew that Kripalu was in the Berkshires and would be a nice way to begin this new season of change. I booked the last weekend in September for this getaway out of the city. I was excited that there was a bus that drops participants right at the front door. This meant having time to sit and read, listen to my iPod and even take a nap. I made my way to 32nd Street and 7th Avenue to take the commuter bus and waited, and waited, and waited. After calling to find out where the bus was, I was told the bus had left without me (and two other participants). The staff was going to make arrangements for us to get there in time for the evening workshop and it meant taking a cab to the East Side and getting on a train. After standing outside for over an hour and half, the questions began to surface: Should I just go home? Is this meant to be? Do I feel like spending more time trying to get to the Berkshires?

I let the questions float around for a few moments. I then looked at the two other folks with me and said, “Are you ready to take the train?” Somewhere deep inside, I knew I needed a change of scenery. I wanted a new perspective on some of the thoughts that had been holding me back. After a two hour train ride, we were picked up by Kripalu staff, given goody bags full of delicious snacks, and then dropped off at the front door where we were given an upgraded room and treated with a lot of kindness and generosity.

I had a choice of believing the thought that this would be a miserable experience after missing the bus, or living through the experience and receiving some gifts. As I listened to Byron Katie (whose mission is to show people how to question their thoughts – known as Inquiry), I just sat and listened to the stories of others, knowing I too was holding on strongly to beliefs for dear life. I have been able to use the following Byron Katie quotes as a form of meditation and wanted to share them:

“I see thoughts as children – as the beloved.”

“What are the thoughts that wake you up to yourself?”

“You are the greatest teacher you will ever run into.”

“Ego’s don’t love, they want something.”

“We make our own decisions, but only ALL of them.”

“What story are you entertaining that is denying you from love?”

“We are only as limited as what we believe in the moment.”

After listening to Byron Katie walk people through questioning their thoughts, I began to question my own thoughts about the bus leaving without me. The bus left. I learned another way of commuting to Kripalu. The bus left. I was able to spend more time with two other amazing people. The bus left and I am still here. I realized it was more than changing my physical scenery to make changes. I needed to change my thoughts. By changing the scenery in my mind, I was able to change my thoughts and give myself an incredible weekend experience.


Mary Anne

This is dedicated to Byron Katie for waking me up to ‘myself’. Special thanks to all the staff at Kriplau for their generosity and extraordinary customer service.

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