no goals for 2010

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.

yoga
image source.

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!

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Comments

  1. Dear Stacy:

    This is my first comment on your blog, although you are on my google reader and I read all your posts. I first started reading your blog after my daughter, a great scrapper in her own right, introduced me to the book “The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker,” which I thoroughly enjoyed and which was very helpful in organizing my scrapbook space.

    Your post today is timely as I was just preparing to post on my own blog about my “Word of the Year” for 2010, which is kind of like a “goal.” You got me thinking. I like to make goals and plans, but have realized that I don’t always follow through, I just like making them. I like your thoughts about not having goals, but being open to God’s goals for us. It reminded me of a term found in Colossians 2:23: “will worship.” To me this means worshiping our own will (plans, goals) instead of being open to God’s goals for us. Thanks for reminding me that even while having plans and goals to keep my focus and give me something to strive for, I need to make myself available to God’s plans for me.

    Thanks,
    Janet

    P.S. I also really enjoyed your post and picture on “stillness.”

  2. Thanks so much for posting this. I bought Baptist’s book after reading about it in your blog when you started the program. I’m looking forward to starting my 40 days in March, when I complete the bootcamp I am in now. This is so insightful and reflective.

  3. This is so good Stacy. Thank you for posting this. I’m just beginning to realize this too.

  4. Stacy. Thank you for your post. What you did for those 40 days or 10 days is HUGE. I don’t think people realize that once you step into the yoga studio things shift. As for you not setting goals I was a bit taken by that.. You seem to be one of the most task oriented, organized, beginnings to ends person I have ever encountered. (not that I have personally encountered you) Maybe I am wrong or maybe that is the YOU that entered in the beginning of your yoga journey – it really doesn’t matter. I still liked what you had to say about your experience. It takes dedication and determination to complete yoga in any way, shape, or fashion.

    Welcome…

  5. Hi Stacy,

    First of all I would like to thank you for teaching the Finish Line Scrapbook class at CHA. I really enjoyed it. I have finished my pages. They did not turn out how I originally planned (a nice chronological sequence) but much better!

    Secondly I want to thank you because today I went to yoga after a couple of years absence. You are the one who has inspired me to return to yoga. Funny thing what makes the light bulb go off. I’ve read about your yoga journey on your blog but it was in the Finish Line class when you had us take a break and you said “breathe deep, do your yoga breathing” that it clicked for me. So today as I sat on my mat and started my yoga breathing I said a silent thank you to you for being the reason that I was there.

    Your post today was interesting. I especially like the comparison of thoughts that don’t happen to seedlings that aren’t meant to take root in our lives. This is a much more positive attitude than to think of thoughts that don’t happen as failures. What an uplifting concept.

  6. Hi stacy,
    I am actually a bit surprised to have read nothing on your blog about Haiti. Have you noticed?

  7. This is something I’ve thought about a lot too. About not getting frustrated because my life is panning out like I wanted it to. I’m learning that what is important is how I handle what is happening in my life. I like your analogy of the seeds blowing away. I have plans of what I want my life to be like, but sometimes how God wants my life to be is even better than I had planned!

  8. WOW! wow. Wow. You have just summarized what I have been struggling with. I’ve been journaling this week that all of my friends have goals. Goals, goals, goals, goals, goals. I’ve been feeling guilty that for the first time in my life I don’t have goals. I am open and embracing life as it comes, which is a total 180 for me.

    Then I kept trying to come up with my word for 2010. I wanted create. I kept trying to make create, create. I kept hearing flower. Flower is not a word. It must be an action word. What kind of silly word is flower? Now I finally looked up the definition and it’s perfect. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/flower Natural development, highest development, the peak, appreciated for it’s blooms. Good stuff.

    Now to see which seeds take root and which ones fly away.

    I am most grateful as always for your posts, your thoughts and the inspiration they bring.

  9. Stacy,
    I love what you’re saying! I can relate so well! I went on a retreat in September and I’ve been on retreats before so now I’m in a weekly prayer group to help put on the next women’s retreat march 6 and 7. And because when I committ, I have to be all in, I felt called to be the director of the retreat. I first struggled is that MY will or is it God’s will FOR me…….a few weeks into it, I opened my Bible totally randomly and came across Romans 8 — the entire chapter spoke to me about HOPE and what we have on earth is nothing compared to what’s to come…..later, I referenced my retreat manual and that was one of the 5 scriptures they recommend the director read and incorporate into a witness talk on Discipleship! It had to be God’s will. And since then too many similar things have happened. But the point is I am very content. I find so much joy when I do for other and when I can be fully present to those around me. And of course journaling and scrapbooking are the creative outlets which bring me fully present to the moment.
    I think I understand what you’re saying. It’s more about being open and being present than having goals and a plan to check off. Because I believe God’s plan is greater than we would design for ourselves. I know He is preparing me for something bigger here. I know I’m in a different place that I would have ever set as a goal 20 years ago.

    It’s very powerful to have these moments of growth and to recognize them and celebrate them and how lucky are we to do that in our journals both verbally and visually!

    thank you for sharing your journey!!

    Maureen Van Dusky

  10. PS

    I also chose “LISTEN” as my word for 2010 a few weeks ago and I think it applies the more and more I think about it!

    peace and blessings to you!

    Maureen

  11. Thanks for this post! I’ve been thinking about this especially since the new year began. Every year, I wonder about making goals, only to remember that I don’t make goals! Not ones that are written down, anyway. I prefer to be guided by the spirit week by week. Some weeks I feel I should dedicate myself fully to my exercise classes. Other weeks I feel I should be more creative. Other weeks, I feel I should give more service to my fellow men. Other weeks, I feel I should give more of my time to my family. And some weeks, it’s a combination of everything! I too believe that we can be more valuable to the Lord if we become vessels for His will instead of forcing our own will to be prominent in our lives.

  12. Thanks Stacy. I needed that today.

  13. I bought the book as well after reading about it on your blog. I have some yoga experience but I want to know how you did the yoga? Did you have a DVD or a CD or just follow the pictures? Just curious. Yoga class prices here are VERY expensive so I’m looking for ways to do this without all the cost.
    Thanks
    Erin

  14. It was great getting to meet you at CHA! Here’s the link to the video we took of you at CHA! It turned out great! http://www.youtube.com/user/ohmycrafts#p/a/u/0/joeg7dC2dwY

    Thanks again,
    —OMC crew

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