Most anything we begin, we begin with a purpose in mind and then over time that purpose evolves and changes. Perhaps because what we set out to do was accomplished. Or because desire and/or motives changed. Dedicated practice of anything can be like this, starting in one place and leading down the road to a completely new destination then the one originally intended. Yoga is especially so. It is common in the west to think of yoga only as exercise, which it absolutely can be depending on ones intentions and pursuits. Over time however, one may find oneself in a challenging yoga class, sweating profusely, not necessarily enjoying themselves and asking, “Why am I doing this?” This kind of question begins a deeper kind of practice, a practice of more than exercise, a practice that invites one deeply into the contemplative journey and satisfaction of ones heart. When we finally start to ask ourselves questions like Am I really happy?nAm I really satisfied? Am I really doing the best I can do? And then truly allow ourselves to answer these questions honestly, personal desires, intentions, and motives change. A natural byproduct of this kind of honest self-reflection and assessment is an metamorphosis of all the behaviors in our lives.
It is foolish for any of us to expect ourselves not to change, for change is truly the only thing we can ultimately count on in this world. Where foolishness can become wisdom is inviting ourselves into a framework for change in which we can measure the efficacy of our practices. Yoga is a system in which we can do just that, a type of cocoon for deliberate metamorphosis. Of course one way to measure the efficacy of a yoga practice is by acknowledging the change in tone of muscles and the skill level of poses. However, a far more satisfying way to measure ones efforts is in the our reflections in the quality of our relationships. The level of overall satisfaction in our lives. Our accountability and our honesty with ourselves and others. A willingness to hand over our desires to a power greater than our own ego's. Where we set our intention, is where we focus our attention, and eventually becomes the point of connection. Naturally as life changes our intentions change, and with committed and mindful focus we deepen the connection to our unconditional hearts, our spaciousness of spirit, our resilient being-ness, and the web of connection that unites us all.
Goethe said, "Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back-- Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."
Whatever the goal is, set it. Trust that you have all you need right now to attain your goal. Return daily. Measure your efficacy in your committed practice, and know that if and when your goals, motives, intentions, or desires change, it is a blessed by-product of your persistent journey. A reflection of your inner wisdom. A gift of your constant effort. And a door to your ultimate contentment and peace.
With Love, Always, In All Ways, For Giving,