Many yogis look down upon goal setting or New Years resolutions. For the majority of my yoga practice I did too. The teachings of yoga often indicate that we should concern ourselves with this moment not the future or the past. They also talk about the journey not the destination, and are some of the most powerful tools I have learned in my life. They have brought about a sense of peace, contentment, and appreciation in my day to day living. In my experience I have learned that the teachings exist simply because most of the time we do not embrace the moment and struggle to be present NOW. With the constant distraction of social media it’s only getting worse.
What is not often taught in the yoga tradition is that there is no “now” without momentum. The NOW that we live in as humans in this world is constantly flowing forward and expanding outward. The “now” is in motion. The “now” is not stagnant it is constantly changing and if you aren’t moving forward with it you are stuck in the past. To experience Joy we have to both be content with where we are and not resistant to growth and change.
Setting a goal can be superficial of course. It can take you out of appreciation for where you are and be a constant striving toward and endless craving.
On the other hand setting a goal and moving toward it can be about stepping on to a path and walking it. It can be about looking at the top of the mountain and deciding that yes you are going to start climbing toward the top. You don’t have to stick to the same path and you don’t even have to get “there” to fall in love with every step you take…but you ARE traveling, you ARE climbing. It is easy to hide behind a statement like “I don’t believe in goals, I live in the now.” When you are fearful of your own greatness or what it might take to get there you can use any spiritual teaching to your defense. Instead Muster up the courage, look to your potential and do what it takes to get there!
So if you are appreciating your life but just want to expand your potential, goals are great! On the flip side, If setting a goal amplifies the reality that you are “not there yet” and makes you feel less empowered, then there is some inner work to be done first. In this case your first step is to simply practice the appreciation of “what is”. Meaning, learn to look around you for what is already going well. Learn to look inside you for what is already beautiful. Practicing Yoga, and Meditation are super helpful to release the doubts, fears and insecurities from our mind and allow us to see the beauty of life, but in addition there are other practices that can speed up the process of becoming appreciative. My suggestion is set an alarm in your phone for first thing in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Every time it goes off take 1 minute to ask yourself what you appreciate about your life right now. Eventually the alarm won’t need to ring for you to feel appreciative of all you have, and who you are.
So my advice is to walk the challenging path between evolution and appreciation. Practice both presence and momentum toward your potential.
The question is, what are you truly wanting?
Final Call For Spain!
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Email: Matt@TheYogiMatt.com for question