Oh no, like most things in life worth doing the 'dreams' and visions we hold in our minds eye of what we want to achieve, the mind does a good job of filtering out all the hard work that has to be done in between to get there.
But coming back to the present moment of where I'm at now, of perhaps where I want to be and the space, time and commitment in between to show up on my mat every day in order to step into my visions, I am constantly reminded that the reality is tough. It takes hard work and a commitment to show up for myself first and step onto my mat each day. Even when my body is aching, even when my mind is trying to find every escape route possible in order to convince me that today is a good day to stay at home and rest, to get some more sleep and to not go to yoga.
Does this resonate with you or sound familiar anyone?
What ever it is we have committed to in life, there are going to be moments that are tough, that will challenge us that will prod, poke and provoke us to our limits to really test our commitment and see how dedicated we are. How much do we want it? Are we prepared to work and dig through the mud to reveal the diamonds that lay within? OR do we collapse and go another day, another week, another year of broken promises to ourselves and the ever present phrase of ' Sure I'll start working on myself, ...tomorrow'.
I'll admit I have times where I've collapsed, where I've felt sorry for myself and given into the 'easier path' but is it really easier? To not show up for myself and then have to deal with the pain of letting myself down, again. Although I sometimes collapse and fall, I also try not to be so hard on myself, but I also remind myself to not slack off and give into easy temptations. I remind myself of how good it feels when I stand up on my own two feet walking my path and keeping my promises to myself.
However, Its in these moments of being collapsed, of being down on my knees where I feel I can once again become humbled in life and choose to get up and start fresh again.
Practicing in the intensity of India I am constantly feeling humbled in my practice. For the past 3weeks I have felt like my practice has gone 20steps backwards! Everyday I would turn up and before I would even get on my mat, my body ached and my muscles felt tighter than ever before. Even simple postures seemed the greatest challenge and I felt like a 90year old woman had decided to take up residence and camp out inside of my body without my permission!
For someone who is use to getting on there mat and going for it, feeling so weak, tight and stiff has been not only challenging but totally humbling!
But still, even feeling like I was 90, I would drag my body to my mat, if only to slowly work my way through the sequence, one tight, stiff slow posture at a time. Praying that something would finally give or shift and I would be able to feel what it was like to be 30..something, again.
Then finally a couple of days ago, once again dragging my feet to my yoga mat, I decided I had had enough. I finally surrendered. I realized I had been upset with my body for not performing and I was trying and pushing through my practice, I realized I had been relying completely upon myself to drag myself through each day. So what did I do? I prayed. not just with empty words, but with a deep sincere feeling. I prayed to great spirit with a humble heart.. at the end of my tether, I asked; "Please, please great spirit give me the strength, give me the strength I do not feel right now, fill me with courage and the energy to work through the pain and exhaustion I feel so much right now, so that I can dedicate and surrender this practice to you."
And what happened? Did the pain and exhaustion magically disappear? I wish I could say it did but it didn't, but what did happen is I felt something inside of me change, I started my practice, taking it one posture at a time and instead of focusing on the pain, I focused on my practice. I focused on my breath, my movements, and keeping my mind steady. I focused on spirit and I found a strength and determination inside of me which gave me the energy to work through the discomfort in my body, with a graceful relaxed presence I had been missing in my practice. And.. nearing the end of my session I found I was able to go deeper into some postures than I have ever done before, pain or no pain.
Lying on my mat in savasana, I thanked great spirit for hearing my prayer and filling me with the energy and courage to go deeper into myself. When leaving the Shala I started reflecting on my experience and wondered to myself, why? Why do I always seem to wait to the last moment to ask for help? Why do I wait to call upon spirit and try to do it all by myself in the meantime? Sometimes I guess it can be easy to forget that we are constantly surrounded by an abundant source of energy and love, that is just waiting to step in and help us through the struggle of life. Or in this case the 'struggle' of getting through a yoga class.
The thing is though if we want the help, we have to sincerely ASK.
I write and share this experience to be a reminder to us all, that we don't have to struggle as much as we think we do, that we can call upon an infinite power at ANY time (my suggestion sooner better than later) to guide us, to help us, and to give us strength when we are feeling weak and tired, knowing that we don't have to struggle by ourselves and that we are loved and supported. To know that yah, the pain of life may not go away, but by calling in a higher power much greater than ourselves, we become humbled. Surrendering ourselves over and breathing in the spirit of life, allows us to reconnect to an infinite source of love, to help get us through the tough times.
So, when times are 'tough' (and even when they're not) Remember to invite and call spirit into your life, even with the mundane stuff, every opportunity CALL SPIRIT IN!
If you've made a commitment to yourself, then Show up for yourself each and every day, even if it means having to crawl some days when you are use to running. Keep crawling, keep running, keep being humbled and keep focused on your dreams. And if you do stumble like we all do, don't stay stuck in the mud to long looking down, but look up, get up and GET IT!
Life will challenge us, it will ask us to grow it will test us and take us to our limits, for it is only at these limits, the boundaries of our old selves that we are able to have new breakthroughs, new meaningful insights into our lives. Its up to us how we decide to deal with life’s tests do we try and handle them all by ourselves? Do we collapse and stay down? Or have we finally learnt to ask for cosmic assistance and divine guidance to be the wind at our backs as we carve out our own paths in life and walk in the same direction as our dreams.
Follow your heart. Ask for guidance. And stay committed on your paths, even when the going gets tough.