Tag Archives: Purpose

Ask Deepak Chopra Your Questions on Help Desk Filming in LA on Feb. 16!

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 “HELP DESK” with

DEEPAK CHOPRA

 *** A NEW SHOW TO AIR ON THE OWN NETWORK ***

WHEN:  February 16, 2014

LOCATION: Grand Park (fountain between Grand Ave and Hill St.)

1:30PM-3:30 –     Help Desk open to public

3:30PM-4:00PM  –       Group Activity

Description: Help Desk is a television show on OWN that features renowned teachers, authors, and experts making themselves available in public spaces to provide advice to anyone who needs it. Help Desk is a deeply substantive series that grounds some of the great wisdom provided by today’s top experts and helps people live better and more fulfilling lives.  

As a global leader and pioneer in the field of mind-body medicine, Deepak Chopra transforms the way the world views physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social wellness. Known as a prolific author of more than seventy-five books with twenty-one New York Times best sellers in both fiction and non-fiction, Time magazine has described Dr. Chopra as one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century and credits him as “the poet-prophet of alternative medicine.”

Instructions:

1. Remove any hats with logos

1.  Sit down, introduce yourself!

2.  Give some basic background (age and profession).

3.  Explain your issue/problem and ask your question!

4. After you’re question is answered get up and allow the next person to step forward

5. Share any final thoughts and reactions in our “testimonial area”

What we are looking for:    Deepak Chopra is looking for people seeking advice to help them with a specific life issue or circumstance.  Below are a few examples, but we are open to hearing about any particular issues you would like to discuss:

-Dissatisfaction with career/feeling trapped

-Questioning faith or belief in higher power

-Overcoming addiction

-Difficulties with weight loss

-Overcoming specific anxieties or fears

-Divorce or breakup

-Coping with job-loss

-Issues revolving around sexual identity

-Financial hardship

-Sex and relationship issues

-Loss of a family member or friend

Stumped?  Here are some sample questions: (Keep in mind you must briefly describe a life story or circumstance that relates to the question).

I have a deep fear of “…..” .  How do I overcome this fear?

How do I deal with a family who doesn’t approve of me leaving the faith I was raised with?

How do I get over my breakup with my boyfriend/girlfriend?

How do find balance between my family life and my work life?

How do I cope with loss in my life (divorce, financial loss, job loss)?

Can I be truly happy – and what does it mean to be truly happy?

What steps can I take to discover my purpose and find meaning in life?

How do I forgive someone who hurt me?

I keep repeating the same mistakes – how do I get out of an unhealthy pattern?

How do I find passion for life?

How do I reduce my stress level at work?

10 Ways to Make 2014 Your Best Year Yet

Fireworks Say it again, “I AM a powerful creator!!!”  Yes, you are.  The super cool thing about this new year, is that we are also starting off with a new moon on January 1t!  The last time this happened was 19 years ago.  New moons bring powerful energy for change and fresh starts.  Combine that with the energy of a new calendar year turning over, and you have super manifesting powers!

With that in mind, here are 10 tips to help you make 2014 your most amazing year yet!

  1. Ditch the resolutions and create real change that lasts by writing goals with soul!  Instead of the typical, boring goal list that you feel obligated to write because everybody else is, dig really deep and listen to the calling of your soul.  What is your big intention for the new year? How do you want to feel? What impact do you want to have in the world?  By aligning with the feelings you desire, your deep-rooted intentions, and the impact you want to have in the world, there is a much greater likelihood of you staying interested, motivated, and totally engaged.  For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose 10 pounds (and this year I’m really going to do it), a goal with soul would sound more like this: “I want to feel more alive and more energized!  I want to feel divinely feminine and sexy in my own skin.  I want the sense of accomplishment and rush of self-confidence knowing I finally did it.  I want tons of energy to enjoy chasing after my kids and still have enough left over to start that really amazing project.”  See the difference?  Which do you think has more staying power?

  2. Follow your bliss.  Whatever you have going on in your life, make sure you are doing something that makes you happy every single day!  Passion is the internal fire that lights us up and keep us going through the tough times.  Don’t put yours on the back burner. Instead, make sure your flame is kept healthy and strong by spending time nourishing it each day.

  3. Show up!  Often, the most difficult part of creating a new habit or practice is having the discipline to show up each day.  But, on the flip side of that, if you can just commit to showing up for it, the rest will happen naturally.  In other words, get your booty to the gym, the classroom, the meeting, in front of the computer typing feverishly, or wherever else it needs to be to make good things happen in your life!  In doing so, you’ve already covered the tough part.  Next, make sure you are showing up mindfully and without distractions so that you can be fully engaged in the activity.  Stay committed and you are pretty much guaranteed to see progress and success over time.  So, no excuses or compromise.  Show up!

  4. Make self-care a priority.  If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anybody else very well either.  And, the world needs you!  So, make sure you are loving and nurturing yourself regularly.  This includes your physical fitness, health, mental well-being, spirituality, relationships, finances, career, personal goals, and anything else that needs attention to ensure you are healthy, happy, peaceful and fulfilled in your life.

  5. Say “no” to anything that doesn’t totally excite your soul.  Our most valuable resource is our time.  We only have so many hours in each day and we can never go backwards to get it back.  Spend yours wisely!  Often, this means saying no, and possibly even disappointing others along this way.  But, this is your life and these are your dreams.  If your time is filled up doing stuff that you don’t absolutely love, than there isn’t going to be enough space for your true love and calling to seep in.  So, before saying ‘yes’ to something, ask yourself if it lines up with your vision and your goals with soul.  Sit on it for at least 24 hours. If the answer is not an excited “Hell yes!!” than consider taking a pass on it.

  6. Help others.  When your goals and dreams include more than just helping yourself, they seem to come alive that much quicker and more vibrantly.  It’s just one of those unexplained laws of the Universe. Bonus: it feels good.  Whether it’s sharing knowledge and wisdom, your time, or allocating a percentage of sales or income to giving back, consider some ways you can help impact the world with your gifts in a positive way.  It all comes back around.

  7. Practice humility and grace. When you achieve some amount of success in your life, always remember where you came from and how hard you worked to get there.  Also, be mindful that there is an ebb and flow to these sorts of things.  Be grateful and enjoy your achievements in the moment, but be ready and willing to continue to work hard to keep them up.  Success also has a way of sometimes bringing up adversity.  Make it your policy to embrace the positive, disregard the negative (with the exception of any valuable lessons you can extract), and handle any difficult situations or people with dignity and grace.  You will go far if you can master the art of this!

  8. Savor and celebrate.  Sometimes in our day-to-day routines, we don’t realize how far we’ve come.  Any progress is good progress!  Check in with your goals often and be sure to celebrate all of the big and small accomplishments along the way.  You deserve it!  It feels good to treat yourself and also serves as a reminder of the hard work you’ve put in to make steps in the direction of your dreams.  Life is about the journey more so than the destination. So, enjoy the ride!

  9. Don’t give up! When the going gets tough, so many people want to throw in the towel. This is when you’re passion and devotion is put to the test as you will need to dig even deeper to keep pushing along.  You wouldn’t train for a marathon and give up a mile before the finish line because you are tired. No way!  You push through it.  A spectator sign that I’ve seen in a couple marathons that I’ve ran is “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”  So true! Change out a couple of words and apply it to chasing your dreams, and keep trying.

  10. Have fun!!!  Don’t take life so serious.  Nobody gets out alive, anyway.  Laugh. Be silly.  Dance.  Forgive.  Let go.  Embrace. Smile. Enjoy.  With two businesses, two young children, and a beautifully chaotic life of my own, embracing an abundance of unbridled joy is one of my biggest intentions for next year.  I hope you will join me, let loose a little, and let the corners of your mouth turn up more too!  Let’s change the world with smiles on our faces.

I hope these 10 tips will leave you feeling inspired at the start of this new year!  Revisit them any time you need a little extra boost.

***

If you are looking for a little more help, visit the Dawnsense.com page and sign up for the email list to learn about the upcoming group coaching programs that will help you dig in and make 2014 your best year yet.  And, please also join us on the inspiring Dawnsense Facebook page.  I’ll be  cheering for you!
xo, Dawn

photo by: Amani Hasan

Why Do We Search For More in Our Lives?

shutterstock_69910780What is my purpose?

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people say this, to me or other people recently.

People often come to see me when they are in their 30s or 40s and say, I have done what was expected of me and had a career doing the right thing, now I want to do something else. Something that makes me feel whole/complete. Something that brings me joy and fulfilment and helps me fulfil a personal quest. But, I’m not sure what my purpose is.

Is there a shift in the energy of the universe that is making people question this more than before? Is there a shift in me that I am hearing it more that I did? These are questions I have been pondering for a while.

 My question is why is there such a quest now for understanding this age old adage? When I ask people to tell me more about what they mean, they explain that they want more out of their lives. They seem to want to dig deeper, feel more intensely, taste more flavorfully, see and really observe more clearly. Maybe we are listening with more intention?

Surely then our purpose is to do just that, be in the moment and experience the moment for what it is? Eckhart Tolle says, “Listen to people’s stories, and you’ll find that they could all be entitled “Why I Cannot Be at Peace Now” The ego doesn’t know that your only opportunity for being at peace is now.” Is my purpose to be right here, right now?  I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have goals or ambitions in place. I am simply saying that if I just concentrate on this moment I might find that it is full of opportunities that I might miss if I focus on the tomorrows.

I have come to understand that there are some “action steps” that help us make light of that question, “what is my purpose?” Action step one, I have to acknowledge that I am a creative being. We all have creativity within us no matter what we do or how. The second action step is to recognize it and develop it further. The third action step is to follow what feels right in your heart. To stop pleasing other people or doing what is expected of you. Now it is time for you to do what it is that you want. The fourth action step is to enjoy who you have chosen to be.

Paulo Coelho sums it up beautifully when he says:

People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of

- The Alchemist.

Live Life Like It Matters

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. ~Lewis B. SmedesBy Jay Forte

At the grocery store yesterday, while buying some great ingredients for a dinner with friends, I watched a dad walk down one of the food aisles with his daughter and son (probably about 7 and 9 years old). They picked up box after box and can after can and read the nutritional ingredients together. I overheard him say, “You have to know what you are eating and only eat the great things – this will help you be strong to live life like it matters.” Wonderful lesson for his kids. Wonderful lesson for me. Live life like it matters.

Most days we get out of bed unaware of the gift of getting out of bed and having access to an entirely new day. We have a blank day just waiting for us to fill it in with the things that matter to us – our families, our work, our hobbies, our passions, our beliefs. We can choose what goes in the day. We can make the moments of our days matter.

Many of us, however, take life for granted – that it will always be. That one day is like any other – nothing special. But talk to those whose lives are affected by loss, illness, age and fear and we quickly see how fragile, important, fleeting and precious life is.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, author many great books on mindfulness and consciousness, talks about being present to our lives. When we take the time to be present to and in our lives, we start to really connect with all that life is (and can be). But we don’t get this awareness if we don’t pay attention – if we don’t actually show up to the moments of our lives. These moments have everything for us; they have excitement, adventure, passion and opportunities to help us celebrate. They have pain, struggle, challenge and loss to help us learn. Both come to those who connect with life – paying attention and living life like it matters.

I routinely coach retiring Baby Boomers – people born between 1946 and 1964. More than 12,500 boomers are turning 50 every day; that’s about one every 7 seconds. By 2030, the 65-and-over population will be around 71.5 million; by 2050 that same group will grow to 86.7 million. Retirees are being confronted with relearning how to make life matter after so many years of work and routine; they are finding it is not easy, without some help, to reinvent ways to feel relevant, vibrant and valuable in retirement. Living life like it matters is about purpose – about having something important to do, contribute and be part of at every age.

We all go through this. As we move from high school to college to employee to married to parent to grandparent to retiree, we are the same people; we have the same talents and passions. What changes, however, is our world and our place in that world. At each stage in life we have to relearn how to show up to our lives and make them valuable and important. That is just how it works. But with the commitment to wake up each day focused on making life matter, we have the ability to find our way each day to be happy, engaged and living our potential.

I just did the calculation – I have been on the planet 20,333 days (almost 56 years). Have I lived each day like it mattered? Not at all. There were many days that I just took for granted – that when this one finished, many more will follow – uninterrupted. I had no respect or regard for the preciousness of each day. But seeing the number 20,333, I now see that life is finite and that the more successful way to live is to choose how to show up to each moment in life. I have a choice in how I value and spend my days. I have a choice to align what I do best to meaningful places in my world to feel connected to life. Writer and theologian Frederick Buechner, says it best, “Our vocation in life is where our greatest joy meets our world’s greatest need.” Connect what gives us the greatest joy to things in our world that need what we do best. This is how to live life like it matters.

Discover what living life like it matters means for you, then promise yourself as you put your feet on the floor each morning, that today will count. Today will be amazing. Today will matter.

Your Life Can Be Soul-Stirring – Here’s How

another reasonBy Jay Forte

Most of us move through live in “vanilla” mode; things are fine – things are okay – not bad, not good – just okay. Vanilla.

What would life be like if it were soul-stirring instead? What if life were double mocha-chip fudge with caramel (sounds like a Starbucks drink) instead of vanilla?

Life is designed to be amazing. The purpose of life, according to the Dalai Lama is to be happy – to find and live what moves us, inspires us and stirs our souls.

But someplace in our histories we have been told that life is just about surviving – about just getting by. We are taught to fear danger, loss and lack, so we play it safe. We feel it is better not to live too large because that way we can minimize any large hurt or disappointment. We convince ourselves that good enough is the way to do life. We believe that adventure is for those who are not logical or responsible or for those who are brave and courageous – not us. So we perpetuate the view that we should minimize our impact and footprint – that we should live just under the radar.

Every day life delivers; the world meets us where we are. If we want small, sure, we can have small. But here is the great thing – if we want soul-stirring, we can have soul-stirring. It is nothing more than a choice. But if it is our choice, why do so many of us not choose soul-stirring?

It is the events, experiences, and stories that play in our heads that influence us to choose small. Whose voice do you hear telling you to pull back, don’t step out of line, do what others do and basically talk us out of our dreams? I wonder if it is truly your voice or the voices of parents, schools, friends, churches or colleagues. We seem to trust others who know little about the true us to influence how we see the world – our world. We defer to others to tell us how to do life. And for many, this forces us to miss out on what matters most to us.

There is a reason we call a great life soul-stirring; it activates the deepest part of us. We feel it down to our soul, our essence. At this level, everything about life is different – larger – more profound. The more we approach life this way, the more we see the opportunities it creates and more significant life becomes. We are moved just being part of life, instead of moving to get out of life’s way.

What if your work was soul-stirring – how much more significant would it be and what additional opportunities would it create?

What if your relationships were soul-stirring – how much more significant would it be and what additional opportunities would it create?

What if your life was soul-stirring – how much more significant would it be and what additional opportunities would it create?

What permission do you need to allow yourself to choose large over small? Get to it soon because each day we are not living a soul-stirring life is a day that is less remarkable than it could be.

Todd Henry, the founder of Accidental Creative and author of the new book titled Die Empty; Unleash Your Best Work Every Day, challenges us to show up big to life – to know ourselves and use up all of abilities – to “die empty.” Add to this the following perspective from the great Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment; and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” Wise words. Soul-stirring words. How do they inspire you to show up more significantly to your life?

3 Steps to Find Your Perfect Partner

day 55Have you ever stopped to think about how rarely we think about the traits we want in a partner in more than a passing way? Do you find that you seek a physical type and then hope that they have the character traits that you desire? Or, do you find yourself imagining that you can wish the traits into their character once you get the relationship started?

In fact there is a way to ensure that you bring just the right person into your life. Now this isn’t just magical or wishful thinking. Rather, it’s about focusing your thoughts about yourself and your ideal mate in a way that makes you open to the  person you want to meet.

There is a progression of activities to help you get to this point. It does take a bit of thinking and being honest with yourself, but it will be effective in attracting the right type of people into your life. The following tips will help you get started in organizing and focusing in on your relationship thoughts.

Step 1: What do I deserve in a partner?

This is a critical first step. If you don’t see yourself as deserving of that perfect partner, then you cannot expect him or her to walk into your life. You have to believe that you are worthy and deserving of a partner to fulfill your dreams and desires. Good self-esteem is one major factor in meeting the right person, since you have to feel good about yourself to attract someone that will feel good about you too.

Step 2: What do you really want?

Start by making a list of the traits or characteristics that you really desire. Is it a sense of humor, an intellect or a person that is understanding and empathetic? Think on these behaviors and see yourself with the person. What does the relationships look like and feel like? What are your feelings about the relationship? By imaging the relationship as it is, you will be more clear with potential partners about your vision of a relationship.

Step 3: Bring love into your life

Love is the greatest of human emotion, and it is a powerful tool for attracting the type of relationship that you are looking for. Surround yourself with people you love, including your pets, and also share your feelings of love with others. The more love you put out, the more that will be returned.

 

Originally published September 2012

Don’t Get Talked Out Of Your Passion. Ever.

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By Jay Forte

You wanted to start your own bakery and your parents told you that was crazy – so you didn’t.

You wanted to write a computer app that would help people source jobs that fit them and your college roommates talked you out of it.

You wanted to marry someone who had a great love of adventure but you got married to whom you were dating at the time because your friends were getting married and thought it would be great to all get married in the same year.

You wanted to study writing in college so you could be a novelist; your family told you to stop be ridiculous and get a real job.

We get talked out of things all the time – even the important things. Though others may mean well, they offer advice to help us stay safe; they care about us and they don’t want us to do anything “foolish.” But staying safe frequently translates into living small, and living small means not living your dreams, abilities or potential. As Helen Keller said, “Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing.” But few of us would say life is a daring adventure; we’ve been talked out of it.

See, a great life is one that we define based on who we are – what we are good at, what we are passionate about and what matters to us. No one can fill in this information for us. Only we can define what a great life must be for us. Though we each have the ability and responsibility to choose for our lives, we frequently give these away and blend into life. We weren’t born to blend; we were born to stand out by doing the things that matter and fit us.

Our dreams, desires and unique abilities create a road map for our definition of a great life. They are the clues about the things that resonate with us. Listen to these and we have the information we need to choose wisely in life. Don’t listen to these, or listen too much to others, and we quickly move off our road in life and onto theirs. As I told my kids, if you are on a road in life and find other footprints in it, you are likely on someone else’s road. Check in on you and what is important to you. It is likely you will find a virgin path waiting for your steps.

To help yourself find the courage to say what you want for your life and go get it (regardless of what others say) consider these three things:

  1. Know what makes you unique, different and amazing – your talents, strengths and passions. Embrace your uniqueness as your competitive advantage – your way to stand out and find your way in a world of 7.1 billion people. What is different about you is what is right about you. Knowing this gives you clarity.

  2. Know your world to discover and choose the places that need what you do best or will add to your definition of success and happiness. Find your place and direction in today’s world that needs the “you” that you defined in the step above. This creates possibilities.

  3. Connect the unique you to the real world to find those places that will allow you soar, find your fit and love your life. Define it. Post it. Think about it. Share it with others. Get excited about your vision. Be determined. This gives you focus.

The number 1 regret of the dying, shared in the powerful article, “Regrets of the Dying“, by Bronnie Ware, is “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” Wow. Don’t wait until you are on your deathbed to say what you want for your life and go get it. Know what you want. Find a way to get it. Don’t get talked out of it.

You know you. Trust your judgment. Find places that fit you in today’s world that give you great joy, love and enthusiasm. Dance when others sit. Run when others walk. Sing when others grumble. Come out when others hide. Be grateful when others complain. Live out loud in your way, on your terms, at your speed. Don’t get talked out of it.

So open the bakery. Write the app. Marry who you love. Write the book. Travel the world. Be an accountant. Be a mortician. Be happy. Love your life. Help others learn to love theirs. Don’t get talked out of it. Ever.

Deepak Chopra: Finding Your Path in Life

This is something so many of us struggle with. Who am I? What is my path? In this episode of “Spiritual Solutions” on The Chopra Well, Deepak addresses this major question.

Brian recently dropped out of medical school and is wondering how to find the right path in life. How do we figure out our purpose and what path to take to achieve that purpose? Deepak Chopra provides a few suggestions – by looking at the relationship between meeting our needs and fulfilling a purpose. Needs may include achievement, love, success, higher consciousness, etc. Ask yourself: Who am I? What do I really want?

Are you trying to find your purpose? Subscribe to The Chopra Well and let us help!

Why Love is the Answer to Living a Life with Meaning

Don't Let Go.While at dinner night one night, I had a discussion with an accomplished and influential man who has touched the lives of many millions of people in a very positive way. He was sharing how at the ripe old age of 10 he first realized that he was conscious. It led him to the conclusion that “there must be some meaning or purpose as to why I am here.” He became determined to live his life from that vantage point.

Now that he is quite a bit older, he is considering whether there is still a purpose for him and even if what he had done had been useful. I, of course, seeing the value in his work, chimed in with a resounding “Yes!” I could clearly see there was still plenty of purpose and meaning to be found in the years that lay ahead, no matter how many or few.

Another man I know is 15 years younger than the first and also looking back on his life trying to make sense of it all. He can’t seem to understand that there are still plenty of moments left for him in which meaning can and will be found, even if his past wasn’t all he wanted it to be. Instead, he is running laps in the playground of his mind, which from my perspective is different than gaining awareness and altitude. But hey, it’s his playground.

In my early twenties, I read Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.” In it, the author introduces what he calls an existential vacuum, a condition that exists when one’s life is empty of meaning. When this vacuum is present, it is as if existence has a large hole in it that cannot be filled. A friend of mine at that time was a psychiatrist interested in levels of consciousness and why people felt this vacuum inside. In his quest for awakening and awareness, he introduced his friends to a veritable garden of spiritual teachers, each with a different take on the subject.

From that point on, I was fascinated by the existential, the spiritual practices of all religions, the experiences of mysticism, and the many ways people look for meaning and purpose in their life. Like my friend, I found my spiritual teacher and my spiritual practice. The sense of isolation I hadn’t previously understood shifted almost immediately. The emptiness related to my food addiction was more complicated and took many years to overcome.

As for my meaning and purpose, I spent decades searching for the answers. In the end, it all boiled down to “Whatever the question, love is the answer.” I discovered that the greatest gift I could give someone was to really listen to them and let them know that they mattered. To let them know that they were not alone – that someone cared about them. That in fact, all of us are part of a grand whole in which we are all interconnected.

I found new meaning when I shared my authentic experiences by helping others to understand that while we are different, we are the same. That each of us is ordinary, doing the best we can with what we have been given, and with what we have chosen to develop. And when I am communing in that way with others, I am in touch with what I have come to know as Spirit.

By loving and offering support wherever I can, in whatever small way I can, I find meaning in the moment. And since life is made up of moments, I can focus on those, and not have to ponder the imponderable or drive myself nuts with how many angels can actually dance on the head of a pin. Rather than get stuck in that place of no return, I return to the spiritual experiences, the transcendence of this level that I can have in the quiet when the peace descends and love enfolds.

We live in stressful times with people searching for significance in the chaos and peace in the turmoil. I think it can be helpful to look at the ways in which each of us finds meaning and then share that not only with everyone we know, but also with anyone who is looking. To that end, my daily questions to myself are, “Did I partake in the opportunities for loving that were presented to me today?” “Was I grateful?” and “Did I listen to and act upon the wisdom of my heart?” This wisdom tells me to always be open to the possibilities of new meanings, awareness, and new awakenings.

 

Originally published July 2010

A Letter To My Disenchanted Yoga Student

Ambassador Meghan CurrieI saw a student out in public today. It always throws me for a moment when I see someone outside the studio, seeing them in “real life.” In our quick chat it came up that she’s been disenchanted with yoga lately. This is someone who has been known to say yoga is her religion, which of course I completely understand. Deep in the most internal cell in the marrow on my bones, I understand. But I could see it on her face, the confusion, frustration, and even a hint of sorrow.

Part of this practice is one of self-discovery. Last year, maybe longer, I was going through a phase where I thought “this sucks…all this uncovering, unshielding, digging into truth, who wants to face this junk.” I really thought I was better off living in my naivety and blinded to the truth of who I am and how I want to live. It was painful to feel my fear about breaking through the shields I used to fight through life from behind.

This practice puts you in the spotlight. You can prance and dance around the stage but the light chases you. It shadows you until you either slink back into the darkness, hoping nobody will notice, or decide to embrace the message. Step into the light, it coaxes you.

It is at these crossroads in the practice that we decide for ourselves how the rest of life devoted to our own truth will play out. When I think of all the times (yes, there have been several in the last 15+ years) I have fallen out of love with yoga, I look at each one as fondly as a relationship that didn’t work out, and that I am better and stronger to have lived through. Each time I come through, I leave something about the practice behind that was making my spirit heavy. It could be anything from elements of a style of yoga that didn’t feed me, a teacher, my own internal dialog to a pose that challenges me or simply the frequency in which I practice. Just like I don’t live anyone else’s dogma, I don’t live anyone else’s yoga.

When I can leave something behind, oh the beautiful truth that is ushered in is always worth the wait. My breakthrough, your breakthrough, could be to viscerally feel that there is so much more to this practice than what we do on the mat. Sure, on paper, in words, we know. But to feel the beauty that this practice is so much more than a handstand, so much more than a downward facing dog, so much more than savasana…that is a gift in itself, to feel without moving. Because in all truth, there might be a day when we can’t move, and stillness is all we have. Stillness, and our practice.

This is also when the practice becomes yours. Not mine, not your mentor’s, not the yogi’s next to you…yours. This is when you start to see that just like there is no one religion for all of us, there is no one yoga for all of us. The only yoga that is for all of us is the one in which we breathe, move and create a vibration that inspires people to move closer to truth. Everything else is for you to define.

This is also when you step away for a moment, and see your own self in all your unique glory. This is when you give gratitude to the group you are in for honoring you, carrying you when you needed it, and supporting you as you find your way. We are rooting for you. I am rooting for you. As my friend also with us on this path says…your soul is rooting for you.

Disenchanted friends, near or far, whether we know each other or not, stick with it. Know that in this place of struggle and confusion lives a gift. This is your chance to step into your own light and define what this practice looks like for you. It is quite an exciting time if we choose to see it as such.

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