Practise, always. Rigidity, never.
It is so easy to beat ourselves up about something. It is so easy we can do it a million times a day. We have this idea in our head of what is right and what is wrong. Expectations. Habits. We tell ourselves we will eat better from tomorrow and then a brownie comes along. We say we will do an hour of yoga every day but then we just do 45 min. We say we will be productive, make a to do list, and then we take a nap instead. Or a friend calls us and we go out, have a brownie, don't do anything from the to-do list and we don't even have time for yoga and we had too much wine. In that scenario it is so so easy to beat yourself up about 10 things, when you could also focus on valuable time in friendship - a good conversation, connection, summer night air and happiness buzzing in your belly and around your heart.
It is so easy to beat ourselves up about choices we make, because we cannot have everything in one day. We want conflicting things and even if we are crystal clear about our goals, the day can take a twist and mess up that plan.
We set goals and listen to our hearts and react to that by making meticulous plans to get it done. These plans make us feel safe and they also make failure easier: because at least we know if it does not work it is because what we did or did not do.
But hey, what does that really bring us?
Yoga teaches a lot about practise, discipline, showing up every damn day, continuous growth. It also teaches us about rest, letting go of results, honesty and adapting to the present moment. Yoga teaches us to do our best and stay soft. Yoga asks us to surrender and stay present at the same time. It is in learning to dance with striving and letting go at once that we get beyond the fight in our heads.
It is in allowing ourselves to do our best, as simple as that. To do our best, and let go of the rest. It is about setting goals and listening to our hearts, and about throwing away the planning and pushing and the guilt that automatically follows. It is about trusting that the desire is strong enough to guide you, that you can listen to that pulse inside you when a moment comes where you have to make a choice. It is about connecting so deeply with what is true for you that you don't cage it in specifics anymore and you trust it enough to set your life free.
And that brings so much.
This is where we shift from seeing life as a list of habits and preset plans, and where we allow it to become a practise. It lets us overcome rigidity and fear.
A practise, just likes a yoga practise, asks of us to stay present. A habit just makes a rule and expects you to follow. Once we set a habit or we demand ourselves to handle life in a specific way, we start acting automatically and thoughtlessly. This will never be good enough to deal with life and all its twists and turns, nuances and surprises.
A practise on the other hand, is about living in truth. It is about living openly, consciously, awake and with intention. It is about knowing that desire in your heart and recognizing what is going to bring you closer to the buzz. And the buzz will be different everyday. It is about being connected to what you belief and then bringing that out of your mind, into the world through your words and your actions.
A practise asks us to be brave enough to live in alignment without living in a cage.
A practise asks us to drop our rigid ideas of what is supposed to be right and wrong, and instead asks us to see what we can use here and now to grow. It asks us to flow.
A practise asks us to stay with reality instead of fighting against is. It asks us to see there is a time and place for everything and we are here to get it all. To see that an insight can come on the mat and while watching reality TV, that brownies made with love are more nourishing than carrots because you feel guilty. To see that all of life can help us get to where we want to be and not just our preconceived ideas.
A practise will show you that your goals are there where you connect to abundance instead of lack, and where you start to co-create with what is around you rather than be defensive.
And lastly, a practise-mentality will get you in touch with all the potential in life, and you will be able to say yes, and you will be so grateful that is becomes so much harder to beat yourself up about all these little things.
So play on.