Dedication Doesn't Wait for Inspiration
I have been away from my blog for a few months. Inspiration must come to enable the ink to flow and sometimes the ink is dry so I let the rhythm of writing ebb and flow as it may. This month I’m inspired to share the idea of inspiration and dedication, and of waiting to discover and also driving to discovery.
Visiting a friend a few months ago I was asked why I practice Yoga? What keeps me motivated to get on my mat, to show up everyday? What inspires me to practice? I shared my personal journey and in essence said that I’m not always inspired to practice, I'm dedicated to my practice. Dedication in practice helps me live in a physical body the way I want to live, physically healthy and steadfast, live in my emotional body the way I want to live, modulating my emotions and temperament so I can interface with self and others from a place of kindness and compassion, and live in my spiritual body the way I want to live – gently letting it reveal itself so it can shine. This is a dedication to the path of Yoga and not an inspiration that has the grace to ebb and flow. This may sound un-yoga like but my Yoga path is effortful; gratifying, sustainable and joyful but definitely requiring effort. Centering my wandering, lollygagging or hyper organized and slightly manic mind. Getting my lazy bones and soggy muscles into shape to sustain whatever idea my crazy brain conjures. Taking moments of rest and care to center my heart and honor my breath so I can be of service to my higher Self and others. This effort is a dedication to the practice, sometimes inspired but not waiting for inspiration to drive the effort.
To continue, or start, your personal practice you must find a reason to stay on the path. You cannot inherit a reason from a teacher or a friend. You must have a connection with your reason and let that reason drive your dedication. Sometimes you may leave the path of yoga, you may decide it’s too hard or not right or isn’t feeding you. I hear students and friends share these ideas and I feel compassion for them. I try to inspire them to practice by teaching and sharing but ultimately, the reason to practice must be personally discovered. Your reasons must sustain you when inspiration dries up because it is then that you must dedicate yourself to the practice.
We are nearing the end of the year, a busy few weeks left, nothing is being asked of you in this post but to take 15 minutes to lie down on your mat and breathe. Rest. This too is Yoga. The busyness of our lives is often one of the most difficult times to practice. We are doing, and giving and be-ing. We are not aware that we are breathing. We are not aware that our bodies are tired. We are not aware that our minds are on fire and crazy messy. We are living outside all 3 bodies, physical, emotional and spiritual. Now is the time to dedicate yourself to your practice. I know I said that nothing is being asked of you in this post but I think that taking 15 minutes to lie down on your mat to breathe is something worth asking for. A moment to reconnect your 3 energies and reemerge with a centered heart. Remember that Yoga is not just a physical practice but a spiritual and emotional practice. A practice of communal breath and shared energies. A practice to strengthen our internal support so we can not just act, but act from a place of kindness. A practice that guides our interactions and steers us towards contemplative vs. reactive responses. A practice of great love and respect for ourselves and others, a practice so valuable during this time.
I wish you all a season of love and laughter, kindness and compassion, and a joyful centered heart from which to share your beautiful, true selves.