Since I’m on my way home from CHA today, and totally missing my yoga, I thought I would post some thoughts I’ve had written for awhile.
I’ve mentioned my experience with Baron Baptist’s 40 Days to Personal Revolution before. This six-week (spread out over 8 weeks for us) yoga program has helped me approach everything–even yoga–differently.
I was FAR from perfect in applying the principles or the progression of yoga in Baron’s book and program.The fact that I attempted this process during the holidays had something to do with this — but I also think the impossibility of complete adherence was a big part of my personal breakthrough. I finally “gave in” and am really, truly accepting the fact that an inner revolution is not about taking control or exercising will power.
The final chapter in Baron’s book was a HUGE light bulb moment for me — of course it only has meaning because of the experience itself. It opens with the statement, “In body and soul, you’ve changed. Whoever you were at the beginning of these forty days no longer exists; you are a different person.” When I first read that sentence I started to resist the idea that I had changed, because I had NOT completed the program in the way I envisioned completing it — then I read it again and knew that I had changed. I did not change in the way I anticipated changing, but I changed.
Baron talks about the confusion between purpose and goals. This is by far my favorite part (and seriously, I do NOT expect anyone to read all of this. It is more for me than anyone. If you want to skim, read the colored text!)
“I was once having a discussion with a man who was a very well-known self-improvement guru about what it is to have a successful life. He said, “I believe there are certain principles that, if followed, will produce a life of success. The first one is to have clear-cut goals for oneself.”
I told him that I had a totally different take on things. For me, living a successful and happy life means not having any goals. “In fact,” I said, “the only goal I have is to have no goals.”
Of course, he was shocked to hear this, but I went on to explain that at a certain point in my life, I had to ask myself which was more important: my goals or God’s goals. My goals were an attempt to manipulate reality in my favor (or so my ego thought). My purpose, however, was to be a vessel for good in the world, in whatever form that took. In this way, I could live out God’s goals for me. Really, giving up goals is a high form of faith.
If you look at young children, you’ll notice that they have no goals. They tend to be much happier than we are as adults, much more free and light. Why? Because without goals, they can simply relax, be creative, and learn from reality as it is. When we have fixed goals, we are struggling to force things to turn out a certain way. Hence we close ourselves off what seeing what is possible and what else is available to us. We can’t see the bigger picture.
So does this mean we lie down and become doormats? Of course not. It means we walk by faith. We do our work and trust that the visions, the intuitions, and the guidance will come to us. When we ask to be used on behalf of goodness’ sake, we may be used for great things. Part of our growth is continuing to get ourselves out of the way so that we can become instruments of a higher power. There is a flow of love, goodness, justice, and compassion in the universe, and we serve that flow not be setting goals based on what we think that flow should be or what is should look like, but by being willing and open vessels through which this flow can manifest itself in the world.
(skipped a bunch here)
There may be things in my mind that I would like to do, and those things are seedling intentions that will sprout once the proper elements organize themselves in the right ways. If those seeds dry up and blow away, they weren’t meant to take root in my life; they were not part of the higher plan for me. This attitude has helped to keep me free and allows me to live in faith. I believe we all need to discover our potential, not create it.
and I (this is stacy now) believe that we CAN create an environment and develop rituals and habits that foster faith and personal discovery. I am learning that the practice of creativity, like the practice of yoga is something that can help you find your center and your purpose.
I’m taking tomorrow off to hang with my kiddos, but I’ll be back soon with some CHA highlights!