We all want to be happy, healthy and strong. Taking this train of thought a step further, you could probably add the desire to be more at peace, less reactive, and more balanced to the list. Creating these qualities in ourselves can seem like a daunting task. You know what you’d like to have and who you’d like to be, but how do you get there?
In the new movie “The Avengers”, Thor is one of the superheroes who have pledged their lives to fight the bad guys. (There’s no need for a spoiler alert here, I’m not giving anything away.) Unfortunately, the biggest bad guy is Thor’s brother, a circumstance that causes Thor some conflict. At one point in the movie Thor is confronted with the question, “What are you prepared to do?”
As a yoga teacher, I often see students experimenting with yoga as a way to achieve some very admirable goals. They come to the mat, and go through the physical motions of a practice. Then they wait to feel their bodies and lives improve. What these students often don’t realize is that they can make a choice to take a more active role in achieving their goals. You have a say in how you view yourself and your experiences. You can choose your level of conviction and commitment. You can decide how you act, and how you react, to the circumstances in your life. You can make the choice to be a bystander or an active participant. But, “What are you prepared to do?” What are you willing to step up on, to have your feet held to the fire on?
Transforming yourself and your health isn’t about becoming someone new. It’s a process of revealing who you really are when you’re not playing it safe, or pretending, or trying to please other people. On the mat, when you put yourself into a new pose and you stick with it, even though it’s uncomfortable and foreign to you, you learn how to change your body. Once you learn that you can transform your body, you realize that you can do the same thing with the way you think, your habits, and your perspectives.
The happiness, balance, peace and health that you want are available to you. Sit down, find the time and space to be truly honest with yourself, and to listen. When you’re ready to be honest, radically honest, ask yourself “What are you prepared to do?”