With the deep heat of mid-July in full swing and many people taking vacations and time off of work, I figured that now is a good opportunity to offer something to those of you who have a moment to sit and reflect. Every so often, I encourage people to take a break out of their day or week to sit in silence and reflect on what they’re doing in their day-to-day lives. I even encourage my students to take a break from their yoga practice every so often. I’ve spoken about how pausing my own yoga practice for a week or two has given me incredible insight and reminders about why yoga means so much to me and why I keep coming back to it. I’m a big fan of the perception and clarity that comes from pausing to breathe, evaluate and re-assess the state of one’s life and habits, because the potential benefits are immeasurable.When we spend the majority of our time doing something, from our professional career to keeping ourselves healthy and well, we get so caught up in the routine of it all that we lose sight of the initial reasons that brought us there.
I’ve been working a lot this year, adding a handful of projects to my already busy 2012/2013 schedule of classes, retreats, education and workshops, all to keep myself focused and stimulated. In the midst of all the planning, scheduling, and communicating, I took some time this week to unplug from all my outlets to ask myself the simplest (but scariest) of questions: why am I doing all this?
It’s very easy to lose sight of the initial reasons that led me to make the decisions I’ve made to teach, mentor and put myself out there, just as it is for anyone to lose sight of why they spend their time the way they do. The opportunities for reflecting on how we spend our time are infinite. I know that the measure of one’s success is very often based on the degree of positive feedback and reinforcement that one receives as a result of one’s efforts, and it’s even easier to allow the ego to flare up every time that occurs. I also know, however, that the more one buys into the illusion of validation when it presents itself, the more one is affected by the lack of validation when it seems like no one is paying attention. To substantiate one is to substantiate the other, and both are an illusion. They can be indicators of possibly veering from one’s intended path, but they ultimately aren’t real.
After really giving it some thought this week, the fact of the matter is this: I do what I do because it’s the most authentic extension of myself. I do what I do because I am in a state of perpetual wonder at the possibilities that are available to not only me, but to us all. I work as hard as I do because it’s not work for me – it’s personal development and exploration. I push forward in this life to inspire others to push forward in their lives, because the possibilities are more wondrous and inspiring than anyone could imagine. I definitely feel like I face challenges and risks in having chosen a path that ultimately depends on whether or not people want to listen to what I have to say, but I also have unshakeable faith in the knowledge that nothing of any value is accomplished without taking risks and barreling through challenges.
And so I now find myself re-focused, with clear objectives in all areas of my life, objectives that I know will bring me past the boundaries of what I thought possible. I want you to do the same. Essentially, I’m doing it to show you that you can do it. I am doing everything possible to demonstrate how the doors we have always believed were closed to us have been open the whole time – we were just standing in our own way. Push past your limits of what you thought you were capable of achieving/doing/being. Don’t pay any attention to the voice of doubt or fear that will inevitably pop up, either from your own thoughts or from those around you. Do what’s right for you, and know that you haven’t figured everything out yet – keep pushing and exploring, and I’ll do the same. Let me know your findings when you get there