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Day 56: Start where you are

December 9, 2023

I have a habit of rushing things. 

I want to be the best at stuff or I don’t want to do it. As a kid, I tried my hand at almost every sport and hobby going, in search of “my thing” – the thing I would be instantly good at. 

I haven’t been instantly good at many things – and certainly nothing of any real “value”. I thought that was an indication of how crap I was. 

What I see now is that I measured my worth by what I could do – and even then, judged what I could do as being either “worth something” or “pointless”. For most of my life, the things I thought were worth something were the things for which I got praised or paid. 

What does that have to do with Joy?

This morning I was practicing yoga. In yoga, there are things I can do easily and things I can’t do at all, and today (not for the first time), I saw the parallels between yoga poses and my life. 

Mastering some of the more challenging poses requires time, commitment and patience. I can’t simply jump to what I “should” be able to do, and if I want to improve my practice, I have to start where I am and learn how to improve from there. 

To do that, I have to master my mind and the habit of daily practice. Of course, the quality of my practice will determine what I achieve, and I may need more help than simply a couple of YouTube videos. 

Living my life in a way that brings gratitude and joy feels similar to this. Over the last 56 days I’ve realised how many habits I need to change, how much I still need to learn and how many ways I need to think and act differently. 

But, in just the same way as I fall over in my yoga practice, I fall over in my life. I know what’s required but I’m not there yet and I only have three options: 

      1.    Keep doing the same things and stay stuck in the same place

      2.    Give up and go backwards 

      3.    Improve the quality of my practice so I improve 

As you can probably guess, I’m choosing option 3, though I haven’t fully established what “quality practice” looks like. I have an idea and will spend time writing it down for myself tomorrow, as that seems the perfect list  of commitments to carry with me into 2024. 

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