Welp, I failed—I was a few shy of 30 classes last month and to be honest, I feel terrible about it. I mean, I set out to dedicate my practice in honor and celebration of my brothers 30th, and I didn’t meet the challenge. Last month while in frantic mode trying to just get “caught up” with classes from my time on the Channel Islands, some words of wisdom came my way via text: “maybe this journey is teaching you more than you were originally seeking.” It was at that moment that I paused and thought “huh?” Maybe there was more than just getting 30 classes under my belt. Maybe I had lost sight in why I had set out to do this in the first place. It was then that I realized that the frazzled, dazzled, zip zooming ways I was moving in to get from one class to the next was constricting, tightening, confining. I started to become curious. What would happen if I let go of my attachment to making it to 30 classes, and instead focused on my breath and simply being present on my mat? So, this is what I did for the rest of the month, and I found that when I let go of the outcome, I could literally breathe freer on my mat, in a grounded space that actually honored my brother. Sometimes a little pause, some words of wisdom, a single-lined text, is all you need to re-think, re-imagine, re-member.
Upon reflection, I find it interesting these definitions of success and failure that I set for myself from the get-go—the idea that success was somehow tied to the outcome, the number of classes I attended, and not to the quality of my practice, the gift of being embodied, the opportunity to honor a loved one. I realized that this small example is just a microcosm of our culture’s definitions—success/happiness is usually tied to some outcome that our culture deems as “successful”, such as a degree, or a high paying career, or a nice car or home. I automatically focused on the outcome, when really it’s the journey. And I know how cliché that is, but I think it’s worth reminding ourselves. Tonight in yoga, the teacher kept repeating “you are exactly where you need to be”. I smiled because I knew she was right.
In the upcoming days and weeks, I will reflect on what I’m holding on to that I can let go of and what I have let go of that I may need to hold on to, I will question the definitions that I have set for my life, and I will remember to take those moments to pause. To just be.
Thank you Universe, and the woman behind those words of wisdom, for holding me so gently.