Thursday, January 7, 2010

Try Really Hard

Okay- so I have been talking all week about resolutions and how to me, a resolution is a completely different thing than an intention. I think an intention has to be at the source of a resolution for a resolution to be something other than a "self-improvement project that is doomed to fail." I definitely think that the more clarity we have around what we most truly want and intend for ourselves then the better we off in terms of manifesting positive growth and change in our lives.

But when it comes to true change we need a lot more than intention, in my mind. We need resolve. We need resolution. We need strong disciplined action that is going to bring the intention to life. Think about how you might have the intention to eat moderately for the New Year and maybe lose some weight. If you do not have resolve, that intention is going to last about as long as it takes to drive to Starbucks for a double mocha with whipped cream and a cookie. (Or whatever your thing is.) Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against tasty treats, I am just pointing out the difference between intention and resolute, committed action. Both are super important but we should not kid ourselves that they are the same thing.

At the core of this for me is the daring position it is in the world to step forward and really go for something. To really commit ourselves fully to an idea, an act, a practice, an aim, a goal is a huge risk and takes great resolve to carry out. So often I hear people say, well, I can set a goal because if I fail then I will feel bad. (Or something equivalent to that.) And the thing is, we do not have to feel like shit about ourselves if we set a goal and fall short of it. We do not have to ride the downward spiral to the bottom of the chute just because we didn't realize our high aim.

The solution to that whole dilemma, in my opinion, is NOT don't set a goal or don't resolve. The solution to that whole crux is self-love in the face of failure and seeing the failure for what it is and only what it is. If we go off our food plan, for instance, it does not need to equate with "I am a bad person" it is simply "going off the plan." And sure there might be some unconscious patterns that are sabotaging our efforts that we need to examine but even those should be examined for what they are and only what they are.

Years ago I realized I was more addicted to shame than I was any substance out there. I had a psychological pattern going that no matter what I did I felt bad about it- stay on the plan, I would tell myself that I was too rigid. Go off the plan and I would tell myself I was lazy. And on and on the torture (at my own hands) went. I realized that under all that was a self-sabotage mechanism where I could not let myself feel good. Anyway, the thing is, when we really see something for what it is and only what it is, shame is not present, feeling bad is not required, we just require the willingness to be vulnerable in the stark clarity of self-observation.

So there is more that could be said about this but part of the dynamic also involves daring to really want something in this life. And sure, I know we are all yogi's and into this non-attachment idea and so forth. But I think that until we can really want something, until we can really allow ourselves to go for something in our life, we cannot really taste non-attachment. Renunciation is not "not caring" or "not giving a shit". Renunciation is about the deep recognition that when we give ourselves fully to Our Work, we can let go of our attachment to the result and trust the intelligent flow of Grace to take us to the next logical step on the Path.

I see it all the time in asana. People have stopped trying to get better and they call it "yogic." I am just not into that. I think we should try really hard. I really do. I had a few words to say on the subject in South Carolina. Enjoy:

So- perhaps as the week goes on I will add to the discussion a bit but for now, that's a wrap.

Off to Tucson. We have a packed house. Last I heard, 52 people from around the world will converge on Yoga Oasis for Part One Immersion with Darren Rhodes and Christina Sell. YAHOO!


Marcia Tullous said...

Hello Christina~ I am hoping to see you while in Tucson even if only to give you a big hug and quick hello.
Thank you for this post. My theme for Sunday was quite similar and agree that it is important to get clear on what matters, go for that, and stick to it. I really love the last portion of this post about giving fully to 'Our Work' and letting go from there.

You are awesome and love the clarity with which you are able to convey these teachings. I love the tangibility and the possibility of it all.

Thank you!

Love to you,


Dale said...

I think that this is a very complicated subject, and I think that the best paradigm is "to your own self be true." I think that we should try really hard with things that really matter to us, & if we decide to change our life in some way, but we don't seem to be able to have any real passion fro it, then maybe we chose a change that we aren't really ready to make.

There have been changes that I have played around with in my life, but didn't succeed at until there was a compelling reason. In retrospect, I see that these changes didn't happen sooner because the passion for that change was not there.

In our practice, we have great opportunities to practice growing passion into improvement using the wisdom of the UPA. And we practice Ahimsa to keep our passion from being corrupted into fanaticism.

And let's recognize that in our practice, if the passion isn't there, we will not have the enduring strength, commitment, and drive to bring about the change that we desire. (Of course, if our real passion is pride, not our best yoga, then other things will be brought forth...)

In the same way, in life I think that we can only beautifully achieve those difficult things which we passionately desire.

So, I am NOT urging folks to become more passionate about the things that they commit to, but to commit to only the things that they are passionate about.

Don't woo every girl; just the one that sets you on fire :-).

And _then_ don't take No for an answer :-).

mfranke said...

Yeah, Dale!