New Year’s goals in place? Are you trying to lose weight, improve your health, catch a beau or that new job? Let’s take it to the next level, shall we? What if your new year’s resolution was to make the world a better fuckin place, no the best place?!??! It’s a large order I tell ya but let’s give it some forethought.
1. Be Quiet
Not the kind of quiet where the librarian tells you to hush. The kind where you can sit at home alone and not want to crawl out of your skin. This is extremely awkward for many and they end up running themselves ragged. Being alone with yourself brings up everything that is lodged in your cells whether it be difficult past physical or emotional memories; but you can’t move forward without reconciling the past. We live in a society that praises busy people as it gives off the appearance of success, however whatever success you’re trying to achieve isn’t equated with over extending yourself. Certainly, isn’t equated with running from yourself. To be able to sit with one’s self in peace is the first step in achieving true happiness.
2. One Point Focus
Elaborating on #1 one point focus is the attempt at concentrating on one task at a time. We are proudly kings and queens of multitasking and it’s often a necessity but how well can you master one thing? It can be a 20-minute task of paying bills or a lifelong goal of becoming an Olympic swimmer. Training your mind through the constant and consistent focus of goal setting and accomplishment is something that has been practiced throughout the world for centuries. Famous artists, martial artists, scientists, and scholars all take time out daily to perfect and hone their skills. Being uniquely skilled at one thing eventually makes you a master of it.
3. Be Kind
The idea that yoga is supposed to create a calm mind in which nothing bothers or distracts you is an idyllic myth. To be able to weather-the -storm and act and react with kindness, compassion, and sometimes tough love is more accurate. Whispering sweet nothings into the ear of someone who holds a gun to your head isn’t realistic. Taking a breath before you respond and being someone who moves through the world in every step with love is the yogic way. Yogis get angry!!! A true yogi doesn’t run from the anger, doesn’t run from an awkward situation, doesn’t run from themselves, doesn’t run from difficult feelings. They lean into it having honest conversations, possibly completely disagreeing with the other side, preserving their integrity, and leave without creating fear or hatred. This is possible but it is a practice.
This is a common term in the yoga community yet one where the practice falls short. The amount of judgement from yogis to non-yogis can be harsh. There are norms and social mores to any tribe and yoga is no different. One is expected to look a certain way, eat a certain way, speak a certain way; it’s all unspoken but it exists. If you don’t believe it, the next time you go into the studio sit down with a burger and fries and see what happens. This isn’t the most conducive food to optimal health and a seamless physical practice. However, you may find you’re a bit less accepted into the community; basically not one of the cool kids. Nobody wants to admit this happens in the yoga world that is supposed to be so accepting but it does. Take a moment before you judge someone else and try to put yourself in their shoes and their possible reasons for things. In the burger example, the student may have only had $2 to spend on lunch that day, was rushing from work, and that’s all they could get. In other words, take a moment to put a scenario into a context that isn’t yours.
5. Take A Good Hard Look
. . . at yourself. The most difficult thing to do, isn’t it? We all have stories and rationalizations that we tell ourselves about why we do or haven’t done things. Take inventory of yourself, why you choose to participate in unhealthy relationships or activities, how it affects you and everyone around you, and your place in the world. Do you go home and drink a 6 pack of beer while your girlfriend is pregnant cooking dinner? Are you checked into or out of life? When we participate in life damaging activities we like to tell ourselves that we aren’t bothering anyone and yet we affect everyone around us. Do you leave yoga class and laugh about the “chunky” girl in the back? This kind of rhetoric hurts people and if you’re telling yourself it’s ok, it’s not. Are you kind or hurtful with your words and actions? In yoga, we are attempting at a simplistic level to make the world a better place, start with you.
Written by Kristen Carla Blogger/Acupuncture Physician www.facebook.com/kristencarla
Kodawari Studios 3965 S. Henderson Blvd., Suite C, Tampa, Fl 33629