I waited until the end of the day to write yesterday, I was trying to be more productive at work – guess how that worked out. I’m slow, but so are things around me. Academia in the summer is molasses dripping from the jar. Our hallways have motion censored lights, more environmentally friendly than they used to be. More often than not, the hall lights are off right now, because no one is going anywhere. It’s been hot, and rainy. My flowers are happy and growing, my sandals are sad and squishy.
I’ve been immersing myself lately, diving into the feels, the practice and the teachings. I try to change up my routine, sometimes flowing on my own – other time step for step mimicking a book or a video. I’ve been reading, reading more than one thing actually, about the history, the lifestyle and the exercises I can implement into my life. My book group, an awesome group of yogi women in Pittsburgh, led by the kick ass Alyssa Kuzins is reading “Creating Money” right now. I didn’t realize just how unhealthy my relationship with earning and spending money was until I finished the intro to this book. After almost 24 years of life, I made my first budget this week – actually tallying and figuring out how much I spend on each aspect, each luxury, and where I can make changes to get more of what I want. It’s not all about telling yourself no though, which is what I always have in my head when I think of the word “budget.” Yes, I realize spending $2.89 on a coffee every morning is avoidable, I just think it’s work $70 a month to take care of myself in this way. I didn’t give up much actually, just set limits here and there. Suddenly instead of $70 “vanishing” from my checking account, I’ll feel no shame or confusion about the financing of my caffeine addiction.
Changing the way you approach want vs. need and prioritizing the way you live your life, can completely alter your reality. The other book I’ve been getting lost in is “Wanderlust” by the co-creator of Wanderlust Festivals, Jeff Krasno. This book is a must for yogi’s – especially if you want a little guidance for independent practice. Some pages are beautiful images, others are writing prompts and inspiring words for workshopping. Tonight I spent a little time on a page that led me through three steps of finding happiness. I thought the exercise was worth sharing, and I hope it will interest some of you enough to try this book.
1.What do you want? Krasno says this is a space we can’t inhibit ourselves in. Just put it all out there, and then read into it.
When I did this, I found myself judging my words, but pushing through anyways. “I want to be 100 lbs,” ew. “I want to eat a jar of Nutella with a spoon every week.” ew? I wrote other things, “I want to be the kind of gentle spirit my friend seek, the kind of peaceful soul others want to be around and that others feel safe around.” When I stepped back, after dumping onto the page, yes even the Wrangler I’ve been thinking about, I had a little clarity. Why would I want to be 100 lbs? – I asked myself. Why would I want to overindulge in Nutella when there are starving people around the world? What is it that I’m really seeking? Comfort, acceptance and peace about my body, the way I look, and the way I eat.
So, what if instead of over exaggerating and saying I want to lose 30 lbs, I just said “I want to be at peace and feel happy with the way I look and the way I feel. I want to define my beauty as something that comes from within and is not dependent on the size of my hips or the number on the scale.”
OK so we make our list, we write it all out. We know what we want. How do we get there
2. Our path. Krasno says that our path to what we want is our choice, but it’s easy to choose the path most commonly taken. I think the example he uses is if you want a lot of money, one of the most obvious paths is to become a business man, who works too much and never sleeps and doesn’t build a good relationship with his kids and resents everyone, and blah blah blah. But what if you asked yourself first, How do I want to feel everyday? How do I want to spend my time? What can I not give up? What do I never want to have to do? How do I want to feel?
Just write it down. I did. I wrote “I want to spend most days around the house, keeping an eye on the house and writing while the sun streams in the windows. I want to create worlds for others that only exist in my imagination and inspire them to live and believe in better lives.
3. Can we use our path to get what we want? Put the pieces together for yourself. Start brainstorming.
My list looked like this: Novelist, Essayist, Children’s Book Author & Illustrator, Artist, Yoga Instructor, Editor.
Suddenly I’ve got some new things rolling around in my head, not careers exactly but new projects to explore, new space to image in. Namaste.