So I also teach yoga.
And there is a lot that goes into planning a yoga class. Which many companies forget is prep work that they should pay their employees for, but that's a story for another day.
I believe that every class is like it's own little moving unit, You can plan and plan and plan and plan and think you're fully prepped. But Resistance is most active in the present moment. It is always there and always going to try to hold you back. Resistance takes power over you. It's a lot like gravity.
Here's an example of a day where resistance lies on days when it wins:
You feel it when your alarm clock goes off and you hit snooze;
you feel it when you wake up an hour late because you didn't actually hit snooze;
you feel it when you think a thought on loop and your head slumps down and you end up being even later for work because you sat there and only looped negative thoughts all morning;
you feel it when the light turns red and you're already late;
when you don't realize there's a step and you stumble.
Where you let resistance take control of your reality can surprise you. Do you want to know the secret to fighting off a rainstorm of resistance? Matching the example of Resistance's winnings I mentioned above-- well, the secret is that resistance wins the second you hit your alarm on snooze. So don't hit snooze! And it's okay if you do, just try to pause and think big for a moment -- use the awareness you gained from seeing resistance's hold on you and re-route! The first time you let resistance win, means the latter battle outcomes will lean in the same direction: in favor of resistance. Without even knowing it, by snoozing your alarm - you've destroyed all efforts to confidently and smoothly in the flow build on the strength of your Sankalpa as you journey into this new day.
My friends - you are stronger than you think, you are stronger than you feel, you are stronger than you can believe. And at any moment, any given moment of your life -- you can choose to do or be something else. You can change your story. You can resist resistance. You can be a human vessel instead led by peace, grace, acceptance, change, self-persistence, anything you want to be. Go out and be it. Be your limitless, rockstar, unstoppable self. Rise as the gift that you are to the world so you don't have to second guess if your Sankalpa is worthy of being heard. It is. We live in an abundant universe, that has room for all of us. That's why we're here.
When fighting for a goal, don't listen to resistance. It comes in many forms and works a lot like the pull of gravity, some more examples are: procrastination, anxiety, doubt, mistrust, fear, aggression. These will lead you astray from inner peace and on the path of your truest Sankalpa. Instead, heed resistance's heel. And keep your distance in your thoughts instead. Breakthrough any pre-percieved limits by kicking resistance to the curb. The Universe, God, and the Spirits have got your back -- you are not alone. Resistance cannot keep you its prisoner. Spite resistance and be imperfect. If someone asks you for perfection, tell them they should have gotten a robot.
This word above, Sankalpa, from the Sanskrit language, is of high importance for understanding building self-trust and useful as a personal mantra. "Sankalpa means an intention formed by the heart and mind - a determination or will. The resolve comes from deep within us, directly out of the mystery of who we ultimately are. It then informs our mind of a particular direction that we need to take, or are taking in our life. A Sankalpa can also take a second form—that of a specific intention or goal." (yogainternational.com) Notice this says "a" specific goal. It can be more than one -- for sure. But it has to be specific. We live in and ask and receive universe. It wants to fulfill our questions. We just have to perceive them and approach them with the right in Sankalpa, or intention. I love this belief system most of all because personally, I feel your Sankalpa can truly create radical change. It can also change as you change.
There's a lot I have absorbed in the past three years since starting to teach yoga in the Fall of 2015. First of all, I discovered I'm a free spirit who's Sankalpa is to listen intently from within to achieve my life's mission and deliver my personal message to the world. It expands from there. I'll talk my Sankalpa on building this business and my personal Sankalpa one of these days soon. I'm giving into resistance on this one and streamlining my thoughts for you all. Today I'm focusing on this one thing that stands out amongst all the things my mentors taught me about yoga - is that we are not experts. I am not an expert, you are not an expert, we are not experts.
I love this phrase, illumination, realization, AHA moment of awareness. Oh my gosh, it brings up so many things I love it because it is LIBERATING.
Step back and look at this without judgment with me.
We would have to have lived for over a hundred years to have read and studied all the content to even hit the tip of the iceberg on what it means to be an expert in this long everchanging craft. Mastering the entire language of Sanskrit on your tongue alone is said to take multiple lifetimes. You can be a guru - a spiritual teacher, leader, or guide. Someone who could be considered an expert. Totally possible But yoga is now. Just like today is now; your life exists right now.
Remember how you felt when you read the bolded phrase before? Go back to it and say it aloud in the first person: "I am not an expert." Try it on like a little jacket and if the jacket is too tight and you don't like how it makes you feel take it off. A couple hours later try it on again and just listen. After you say or think it. Focus more on the space between the synapse, the chemical message sent off to your brain, and the response that comes out in your thoughts. Can you stop the judgment before it comes? Can you pause and collect how you energetically feel? Did anything shift? Say it once more. I am not an expert. How does this make you feel?
Kinda good right? A little lighter? Did you take a big breath or sigh? I mean. When I think it, and say it - it feels amazing! Like a giant weight has fallen away from my shoulders. But I'm also coming into it with my own intention. It might mean or feel completely different to you. What a relief though. To be able to walk around assured that you never have to perceive things as perfect or building towards perfection in knowing everything. That's what I take away from defying resistance on this one. Especially when I'm teaching yoga. I think to myself: No, I'm not an expert. I'm totally about to make some mistakes. But I'm prepared and ready for the possibilities to come. I've built a strong foundation. Now let's have some fun! I feel, that if you come in with what you know; deliver your Sankalpa, your intention, from a place of freedom and internal trust -- you will begin to respond with grace rather than fear. Be a vessel of strength and good and see the ripple effect radically shape change in your life - maybe even further transform the branches of your Sankalpa.
What I'm saying is that a yoga class is just like life. We can plan and prep and be rooted in our Sankalpa.
And yet, we still face each day as beginners. No one has been in this same time and place with the same energy before. Nor will they ever be again. Not exactly. It's truly all new, every day, to all of us. So maybe on paper, yes you could claim yourself having expertise in your field after some serious man-hours logged in studying and practicing.
But in reality, the title of an expert is really an impossible title to achieve. Because yoga is now. LIke how life is now. Both are constantly changing. In both yoga and life, we face resistance like the whip of the wind and ice on your face in winter. This evolution provides the keys to the power and beauty of history. We get to write our own. Accepting this evolution is a constant cycle is how it survives, how we survive and thrive as an expanding community of practitioners takes it all in.
Just like in your practice, your life is seen differently with different intentions, different "goggles" on. I call them goggles because I'm sort of speaking of mood goggles too. The way we physically feel dramatically shapes how we feel psychologically, and vice versa. These two are like yin and yang. Both need each other to produce human function but they also can sort of hurt one another based on how you treat each one. Simplest examples are to visualize this with food on the physical level: So if you're eating unhealthy, you're definitely about to feel the effects physically. Rather if you decide to choose something healthy, you could feel more energized than you have in weeks. Be a gardener of your diet and your thoughts. A gardener of your mind, to weed out the bad from the good.
Just try little drills like these for yourself and see how your mood changes. See how the goggles change. Do you feel the resistance when choosing one thing or another? Does your intention swing? Are you able to step back from the cycle of past habits and choose freedom in your response rather than give in to resistance? It's very hard to do, but try these types of questions on in your own mind, in your own words, in your own way, let them change. Start to question your thoughts as they occur. Are you having them because they are true messages from your soul or are they other peoples opinions or thoughts that you absorbed as your own? Do they actually mean something and have purpose or intention in your life?
Question your thoughts in journaling, while walking, practicing yoga, on the train, out on a mountain, or while catching a big wave. Wherever you are try on the jacket and take it off - as you practice it, you'll see yourself right before you act. You'll catch yourself in the lie you've been telling yourself. In the places where you gave into resistance. You'll start to be able to take what works and leave the rest. Build a clearer and stronger Sankalpa, to fight off resistance, and take back control of your life.