Being vs Becoming

So many of set goals, put steps in place to reach our goals, and then allow ourselves to be distracted and move off course.  Regardless of the type of goals you have set (spiritual, career/ education, health/weight loss, completing a task, finishing a project, mastering a pose,) they all require zealous effort, in each and every moment, as each of a series of transformations take place.   

Being is not static, but like the heating water... it is a moment in present time, in a certain state or condition, and from which, if we continue to add the flame of zealous practice, like a Bunsen burner under a retort, suddenly another state will emerge, as if by magical transformation. We perceive only the sequence of these transformations in time, which is why we are caught in the illusion of becoming, instead of just being, and then being again, and being again, separately but transformatively, ad infinitum, like the stills of an old silent film, until the story reaches its conclusion and, hopefully, its happy ending.
— Light on Life by BKS Iyengar

In a recent blog and video for business owners, my friend Mike spoke about the results of taking 31 days of purposeful action.  Much like Iyengar, he speaks about the results he received when he spent 31 days making consistent efforts to reach his goals.  At the end of the month, the several small transformations, a result of steady effort, lead to a big result.

I'm approaching another birthday, and the whole world seems to be reminding me to start being, and stop worrying about becoming.  With that in mind,  I will rededicate myself to my practice with zeal and enthusiasm.   Here are the daily steps that I plan to take during February 2016 and beyond.

  1. Being a daily meditator (this has been a life changer for me)
  2. Being a person who practices self care (increased daily water, walking, healthy choices)
  3. Being a yogi who spends time in asana (poses), reading yoga texts, or writing daily

By being a person who practices these steps daily, little transformations may feel like something big by the end of the month.  The zeal and momentum must continue to make a transformation rather than temporary changes.  

What goals  have you been meaning to reach?  What do you need to start being?  Transformation takes steady zeal and effort, but it is well worth the time invested.  Stop becoming and start being, and being again, and being again...

Namaste - Beth

Dealing with the Unexpected

Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured
— B.K.S. Iyengar

The unexpected isn't always avoidable, but a regular yoga practice will help you deal with it.  You'll become less reactionary, connect with yourself, and live in the present moment.  This can result in an improved experience for yourself, and those around you. 

While traveling earlier this month, our first flight was delayed and we missed our connecting flight.  The seasoned airline employee was less than sympathetic to put it mildly.  The 6 travelers who missed the flight were assigned alternate travel arrangements.  Arriving at the gate just 2 minutes earlier would have saved us 2.5 hours, and we were all feeling unhappy about our situation.  A few simple questions can demonstrate how to handle the situation yogically.

Question #1 - Can this be cured?

Answer #1 - Nope, the attendant at the gate did not have the authority to open the door and let us take the flight.

Question #2 - How can this be endured?

Answer #2 - A meal did wonders for our moods.  We found our new gate, then my husband and son played a game while I set out to explore the airport.

I was delighted to discover an airport yoga studio.  It was a simple space, decorated with plants and silhouettes of yoga poses.  It was located just off a quiet hallway between terminals.  There were yoga videos to stream, mats to borrow, a privacy screen, and a logbook to sign.  Airport yoga studios have been reported at San Francisco International Airport, Burlington International Airport, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Albuquerque International Sunport,  Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.  I highly recommend using these spaces while you are traveling.  It can make a flight much more enjoyable, and healthier too!  If you have experienced others, please comment in the section following this post.

Upon completion of our final flight, we were once again delayed, and folks around me were frantically attempting to position themselves to quickly exit the airplane.  My family and I were waiting for them to pass, and you could feel the nervous tension building in the air.  Imagine my surprise when a woman across the aisle suggested that we chant Om as a remedy to the situation.  Instead of participating in the anxiety, I was able to have a very nice conversation with this California Yogi while we allowed others to go first.  The things that I would have missed by getting caught up in the nervous tension.  Talk about finding a way to endure!  

In yoga, we practice maintaining our breath and focus in difficult situations and poses.  We practice turning inward instead of comparing ourselves to others.   This helps teach us to deal with our daily lives, and acts as a shock absorber for the little bumps that come along the way. It leads to a lower stress, more enjoyable life experience.  

Next time you're dealing with the unexpected, ask can this be cured, and how can this be endured?

Namaste - Beth