Sometimes my yoga practice teaches me important life lessons.
Today, as I was practicing yoga, working on my headstand, I stumbled across a nugget of knowledge that helped me piece together a concept I’ve been struggling with in my life lately.
I love it when that happens.
Does that ever happen to you? One minute, you’re doing something simple (like a headstand? Hah!) and then the next, you’re drawing out some sort of deeply embedded knowledge that you didn’t even know was there before.
I have a pretty solid headstand practice. It’s a yoga pose that took me months to achieve, and even now, I’m aware of several ways in which I could continue to improve my headstand.
In scrutinizing my ability to hold this posture, and thinking about all the ways it needs work, I realized something…
In life, we are constantly aware of what we consider to be wrong with ourselves. Am I right? We’re always critiquing and thinking of ways in which we could be better. Whether it’s in our careers, our relationships, our health, our body types, our clothes, our homes, our things, our goals, or whatever. Even just where we are in life – I often feel ashamed of the fact that I’m nearly 30 years old, and I still don’t have a solid idea about where my career is going. I’ve hopped around from job to job, hoping that each would be a step in the right direction. The direction that I’ve been searching for.
There’s always room for improvement. A true statement indeed, but what I’m now learning, is that it’s also important every now and then to pause, and take a moment to appreciate where we are, and how far we’ve come – wherever it may be.
Think about where you are right now in your own life. Now compare that to where you were a year ago. Five years ago. 10!
It’s different right? Maybe in some good ways, maybe in some not so good ways. But chances are, you’ve done some growing, right?
Rarely do we ever take the time to just appreciate and be where we are. I see this in my yoga practice. I see this in my life.
I have so many things that I want to do, and it seems like I’m always rushing to try and get there. I’m always frustrated over a set back, or my own impatience to get where I’m going. I’m hard on myself, and I make myself feel bad for not being better. I’m always looking to the future, and I often think to myself, “once I get this next thing figured out, I’ll be content.” But that’s never really the case. There’s always a next thing that I’m looking for, or chasing after.
It’s good to have goals, and it’s wonderful to strive for personal growth and self-improvement. But judging myself, and being hard on myself for not having achieved whatever it is I’m after… That’s not something that serves me. That’s not going to help me get anywhere.
Practicing ahimsa (non-violence) toward myself is just as important as practicing it toward others. And it’s critical to finding happiness.
So, today, I will take time to be where I am. I will express gratitude for all that has come to pass to bring me where I am. I will be thankful for what being where I am brings to my life right now. And I will enjoy the things that make here and now wonderful.
There’s always room for improvement, and I will always chase after the things that I want with passion and vigor (in my yoga practice, and my everyday life)… But not before appreciating and loving everything just the way it is right now.
And I challenge you to do the same. Let me know how it goes.