How often do you go into autopilot in your daily life? How often do you take your daily commute, interact with people (including your family), do your daily work, and fail to see the details, satisfied to simply react? Have you caught yourself saying things like, "that's just how I am, I can't help it". If so, you are fooling yourself. We all have the ability to take more action and less reaction if we make the effort.
A yoga mat is a great place to sort out the difference between action and reaction. If you haven't tried yoga, try different styles with a variety of teachers. It sometimes takes effort to find something that feels right. If you're already a yogi, do you habitually move through sun salutations without even remembering that you have feet? Are you working to breathe with consciousness? When you catch yourself thinking about the person on the mat next to you, do you loose the action in your legs? If so, I assure you that you're not alone, but this constant work is part of what separates yoga from simple stretching.
In addition to taking action in yoga practice, begin to live consciously on a daily basis. I was recently at a site overlooking a beautiful waterfall. I spent some time looking at the falls, and then took a few yoga postures. My friend is a photographer, and captured the scene with his camera. Upon looking at the photos, I was amazed that I had missed the heart shape that is formed by the canyon. I have been to this site a number of times, and have never really looked with enough consciousness to see it. There is beauty and inspiration everywhere and in everyone when we take the time to notice.
I am on a quest to take more action on and off the mat. I strive for more intelligent movement and less reaction. Old patterns can be difficult to break, and I am far from perfect in this endeavour. By living with increased awareness, I begin to enjoy more happiness when I see the beauty in myself, others, and my surroundings.
When deciding to take action and live and move more consciously, it helps to come up with a plan. Yoga does help, but so do a number of other efforts. Some ideas are separating from your electronics, capturing your observations with a camera, or journaling. Decide what methods appeal to you, and employ them. It takes practice, but taking action, moving and living consciously, will help us connect with the beauty of ourselves and the life and surroundings that we see every day.
Namaste - Beth