As any follower of yoga will tell you — it’s all about the practice. But Patañjali – the founder of the yoga sutras more than 2,000 years ago believed that yoga was a metaphor for life itself. All of life is practice. Not just yoga. Or an acting class. Or practicing the piano. Or running through drills in ballet class.
Life. Is. A. Practice.
When you begin to think of life this way – that it’s all process and it’s all learning and there’s nowhere to go or end up – you can begin to relax. Take a breath. Breathe. You realize you’re doing just fine and you’re exactly where you need to be. (If you were meant to be somewhere else you would be.)
We’re so oriented toward the doing, toward the getting somewhere that we put such extreme pressure on ourselves to not only get there immediately – but at whatever cost. We sacrifice our health, our well-being, our joy, our sense of self, our practice — and then punish ourselves for not getting there fast enough, or gracefully enough or for not getting there at all. Consequently, we’re stressed, anxious, agitated, resentful and worried most of the time.
When you begin to stay in the practice – the flow – of life, you begin to really fully embrace what’s happening now. Not now as a means to get you somewhere later. But practicing now.
Homework: Stop beating yourself up for where you are. For how little you think you’ve accomplished. For how far you believe you still have to go. For comparing yourself to others. Just recognize and be thankful for showing up in life, doing the best you can and doing it fully. This is something we can all do and something we can improve upon: Doing things fully. (More on this next week.)
“There’s a trillion places for millions of things to hide.” — Charlie Sheen