We are all traveling on the road of life with some sort of map. Whether
it is etched in stone, modified to a specific liking, or no map at all,
we end up on a course that will take us from here to there and back
again. Lao Tzu offers this piece of good advice: A good traveler has no
fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." Tzu's statement lends
itself toward a learning process - trial and error, and ultimately
Life's journey is undoubtedly filled with detours, stop signs and
roundabouts. These roadblocks will test our faith, courage, strengths
and weaknesses. They will force us to accept what is and learn the
lessons that are to be learned or let life pass us by. When we
experience hardships, it is usually the universe's way of catapulting
change. Like the detour sign we encounter on a roadway, life's
challenges offer us another route. The question is, do we embrace the
new route or do we hold tight and try to force the pre-set course?
Obviously holding tight will initially seem like the easiest choice, but
in the long run it will lead to suffering, pain and stagnation.
Life's detours are meant to be challenged by venturing down a new path.
If we don't, we stifle ourselves and lose interest altogether. We must
realize that time stops for no one. We can't go back to the past or leap
into the future unless we have the imfamous flux capacitor from the
movie Back to the Future. However, we can take the lessons we have
learned and move on.
Ultimately, the paths we create in life are our responsibility. We get
to make the choices, feel the pleasure and the pain. No matter how many
people cross our path, the best-mapped route comes from trusting your
inner navigation system, It knows the way and only requires trust from
you. Relying on it daily is the best roadside tool to finding your
life's purpose; otherwise we become like fish swimming in the ocean who
is frantically searching for the ocean itself. All we need to know in
this life is already within us if we are only aware enough to realize
it. - Chapter 8: Strong, Perfect, Whole - Becoming Who You Want to Be.
"As soon as you trust yourself you will know how to live."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
most journeys, the journey to wholeness begins with a leap of faith.
This leap is not about transcending life but rather a more inclusive
relationship with it. When there is harmony among the three dimensions
of our lives - body, mind, and spirit - wholeness exist. It connects us
to the web of life and completes us. Why is it though, we tend to yearn
to "belong," when the reality is we are all connected? Why do we feel
compelled to find another to complete us when the triad of self lives
within? These are important questions to unravel on the journey, as the
answers will undoubtedly fill the void so many of us experience.
One of the easiest ways you can plug back into your spirit is to move
with awareness of your breath. Let it unfold like the petals of a flower
to calm the mind and physical body. When you do so, you are able to
detach from the chatter that tends to override your inner voice. If you
allow your breath to ride gracefully as a surfer rides a wave or a bird
on a breeze you will discover who you really are. It is through silence
that the breath reveals it answers.
As a yogi, and teacher of yoga, the breath is the cornerstone to the
practice. The sound of the breath becomes a mantra and its rhythm sets
the mind in the right place - a meditation that evolves with the body in
motion. This particular aspect of yoga is known as pranayama, or breath
control. The regulation of the breath nourishes the body, mind, and
spirit so personal insight can begin to manifest. We become more...Page
262 Strong, Perfect, Whole - Becoming Who You Want to Be.
I once found myself mesmerized in a yoga
workshop given by a world renowned yogi. She had developed a program to
raise global consciousness in the yoga community. The organization was
called Off the Mat and Into the World. The idea was to take the principles of yoga and put them into action off your mat.
The year was 2009, and the question posed during the workshop was: "How
many of you right now can take the yogic philosophy and put it into
action out in the world?" I had to admit I wasn't quite sure where she
was going with this question. She expounded by telling us about her
quest, the Seva Challenge, which was to raise as much money as possible
for the children of Uganda who were largely uneducated and infected by
the HIV virus. At the time, one million children between the ages of
6-12 were not in school and five people per minute were becoming
infected by the HIV virus. Now, I was pretty familiar with the disease
HIV as I had worked nearly eight years in an HIV clinic as a practicing
Dental Hygienist. The facility was state of the art that offered
patients the latest medications and treatment modalities - a far cry
from what these innocent children in Uganda were receiving.