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I have spent the past week committing to my yoga and meditation practice. It’s been an amazing week in many ways, but also I’m so proud of myself for my commitment and in all honesty, it’s not a challenge to get up out of bed and stand on my mat for some standing prayer before moving into some sun salutations. During the course of this week, I’ve looked at my issues in the past around anger and also my ability to maintain that happy space for each whole day, regardless of external events. It has been a challenge for me and many others, especially I notice in Canada and Australia, in being able to maintain our centre when our Governments are continually making terrible long-term decisions that contradict all human rights and environmental science and sanity. On a personal level, people find it difficult to be calm in places like traffic, supermarkets and even in our homes. We can see that in things like road rage, domestic violence and a general sense of unhappiness in our communities.
Also this week, I’ve done some research about yoga and its origins and the theory behind it. I found a book by Timothy McCall called Yoga as Medicine (Bantam Books, 2007) and have also looked into some other books which I’m awaiting to arrive at my local library. One of the best quotes that I found this week was by Pattabhi Jois, an Indian yoga teacher who developed the Ashtanga Vinyasa style of yoga. Jois said: “Yoga is 99 percent practice, one percent theory.” And I think that’s true for all things. Whenever we commit to something, we need to put our commitment into practice. For me my 2015-16 commitment is to daily yoga and meditation practice. But for other people, it might be a relationship, healthy eating, exercise programme, to start speaking positively to yourself or daily gratitude on Facebook as a friend of mine has done.
I didn’t realise until I met GSM last year that I had an issue with commitment; with jobs, with living in one place and of course relationships – with men and women. Earlier this year, I faced Commitment and wrote it a letter. I’m going to share it with you now:
Dear Commitment fear – I have carried you around for far too long. You have led me on amazing adventures with my impromptu decision making and indecision. But while I appreciate your place in my life, I no longer need you. I will no longer live in denial of my truth as a loving being of God. I deserve a great love. I deserve abundance. I deserve a job that I love and jump out of bed in the mornings for. I don’t know why I fear you Commitment, but I don’t want to fear you anymore.
I don’t know when I started fearing you, or why, but I don’t need you anymore. Please release from my body and soul and karmic memory or contractual connections and any and all fears of committing to a person, place or thing, such as a job. Help to still the restlessness within me and help me to open up to the Shiva-Shakti life energy both within and without.
I am facing you now Commitment. I do not fear you. I do not fear losing myself. I feel empowered and not trapped by love and marriage and commitment. Love is eternal and never ends. There is nothing to fear by completely loving and being loved. There is nothing to fear by being in a job that I love. There is nothing to fear by having more than enough money to thrive in life.
I am breaking free of this fear and letting you go. Thank you for your lessons, go now with love.
I don’t know if it’s because of my first week of my commitment to yoga and meditation, but I feel like it has set me on a new, more focused path. I don’t feel so aimless and despondent about life when I have something that I’m working towards. It comes back to that saying I wrote about previously:
Make a list of things that make you happy,
Make a list of things you do every day,
Compare the lists,
Again, I wish I could credit the original speaker by thanking them for that wisdom, because that’s where my shift happened. It’s not that I didn’t have some goals and dreams written down. It’s because I had not taken any action towards them. I’m sure you’ve all seen The Secret, www.secret.tv by Rhonda Byrne and read about the Law of Attraction. I used to have this saying that I had stuck to my fridge, beside my bed, everywhere, it said Dream, Believe, Create, Succeed and I had no trouble dreaming or believing in my dreams coming true but what I’ve not done is CREATE opportunities for them to succeed.
What I have not been doing is taking Pattabhi Jois’ advice and putting what I want in my life into practice. Life is not about just sitting back and dreaming of what you want to do. You have to take action. You have to commit to a path if you want to have the outcome that you want. Even if you “fake it before you make it” as one of my favourite teachers used to say; the action may be in the form of visualisation or affirmations, or a physical practice, as I am doing with my yoga. But for you it might be a dietary change, or exercise or the way you interact with others. It might be taking steps towards opening your heart to a new love or being disciplined in saving for that trip you really want to go on.
I remember when I went to Greece in 1998 and we were standing at the broad stone steps of the Acropolis. It was quite a climb to the top. On the way down, I saw a bus load of older people with their walking frames and sticks looking longingly up at the magnificence of Ancient Greek architecture. They couldn’t get up to it. They had left their moment to see their dream of the acropolis too late. Now they never would. I learned in those moments that you shouldn’t wait to retire to live your dreams, but take steps now to move towards them. I made a vow on that day to not wait until I was old and infirm to live out my dreams of travelling. I have been very fortunate to be to a number of places, but with my new philosophy starting to heat up, I am one day closer to travelling to India, the home of Gandhi, the home of peace and the home of yoga. I feel like the whole world has opened up to me, simply because I’ve made a commitment to follow my dreams and take action towards them.
May you dream big, create opportunities and take actions towards your dreams today.
©Alyssa Curtayne, 2015
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