Here’s a thought I’d like to share…
If you are here and you want to be there, you have to wade through what keeps you stuck.
My husband and I were talking this morning about weight set points*. He was saying that even though we had been away on vacation for a week, after only a few days home, his weight had quickly settled back to his “normal” weight. That started us talking about set points and just how tenacious they can be. In a good way, your body tends to shed pounds that are quickly put on. In a not so good way, your body tends to regain pounds that are quickly taken off.
Aren’t our minds so similar to that? We have super stressful times and our minds go frenetic! And then, things settle down and our minds settle back into their “normal” mode (whatever that is!). Then, we have times that we get serious about doing the work to train our minds to quiet down and settle. And then, we step back from that daily practice and our minds, once again, move back into their “normal” state. Ugh!
If we really want to make a significant difference in our mind’s set point, we have to approach it a bit like taking off a significant amount of weight. Every day, you have to be mindful of what goes in — what are you feeding your mind?! Every day, you have to be willing to do the arduous work — are you sitting down, being quiet and dealing with what comes up?! Every day, you have to set your intention, knowing that the goal is to make the journey your goal! Every day, you have to be compassionate with yourself. Realize that you can’t already be where you aren’t and that beating yourself up for having gotten to where you are isn’t helpful!! As Sonya Derian says, “If you are here and want to get there, you have to wade through what keeps you stuck.”
If you “walk the walk” and maintain a steady practice, after a time, you can actually lower your mind’s busyness set point. Then, if you wander from your path, if you stray a bit to one side or the other, there is more ability for the mind to see it as an enigma rather than a new pattern. The mind is curious about it and thus opens to see the truth of what’s going on. There’s a natural pull back to equilibrium.
In yoga, as in life, we must work in a consistent and dedicated way to further our journey. We must bring our energies, focus, and dedication to our spiritual practice. Things do not change because we want them to. Things change because we are motivated by these desires to do the work required to shift our set points! And, in shifting our set points, when we falter, we can lean into the support of the universe and trust in the natural pull back towards equilibrium.
Wishing you the willingness to go from here to there,