I intended to write this post about results.
It has been a little more than a year since I started this public journal of self-awareness and self-growth and I guess I was feeling the need for validation of my efforts and my time.
Like most of us, I am results oriented. How could we not be? Look at the various stages of our lives – when we are young, we work hard to get good grades and succeed. When we enter the professional world, we work hard to climb the corporate ladder and/or to make more money. When we play sports, we play to win. Most of us are motivated by the results.
I was going to look back at my Fortytude post and talk about how I have become more equanamous. I was going to mention specific results that I have achieved in my yoga practice.
Instead, the universe gently showed me the wrongness of my ways.
This past Sunday, I went to Bikram yoga. As an aside, after deciding about a year ago that Bikram yoga was not for me (see My Beef with Bikram), I have worked it back into my schedule at a friend’s urging. Power yoga is my favorite practice by far, but I have enjoyed working two or three Bikram practices in a week. The mix of the practices makes me enjoy each one more.
Given that I am always early wherever I go, I had twenty minutes before the start of Bikram, so I picked up an old Yoga Journal.
I opened the magazine to an article about equanimity.
The following sentence leapt off the page at me:
“… [F]ixating on the results can cause you to miss key aspects of the process.” (The article is titled “The Calm Within,” and is by Frank Jude Boccio. You can find the entire article here).
Coincidence? At the start of my journey, when cynicism ruled my brain, I would have said yes.
My thoughts have changed a bit though.
I have come to believe that, in certain types of situations, if you make yourself more open, then what you are looking for will eventually come to you.
I must admit that the type A lawyer in me wants to dissect that sentence and argue with myself. But I am not going to do that. I still have that slight urge to roll my eyes at sentences like the above, but I fight it.
I honestly have observed, over the past year especially, that if I allow myself to be inquisitive, to be open to ideas or positions that are new to me, to question my decisions and views … that useful and often profound information presents itself to me.
The process of writing this post is a prime example. I began to write about the results thus far of my self-enlightenment journey. I intended to make a numerical list and enumerate for you how I have met some of my goals. But I was struggling with how to do this; it felt forced to me. The idea of results suggests a finality to me, and I know that this journey will be on-going for the rest of my life.
Then the message presented itself to me. If I focus on results, I might miss the key aspects of the process.
The process for me has been about really living with myself; truly examining my life and my behavior; testing and looking for what makes me fulfilled and content. It has been about trying to become more self-aware, present and conscious.
Through the journey I have learned so much about myself and have been a little surprised at my strength and determination. (Hmm … maybe gaining some self-love has been a key element of the process for me?)
So rather than show you any perceived results, I am going to tell you that I believe I have made progress.
This week, I began a program at Savannah Power Yoga called 40 Days to Personal Revolution, based on Baron Baptiste’s book of the same name. It involves forty days of yoga, mindful eating, meditation and self-inquiry.
Last week I would have told you that I am excited about the potential results from the program.
Today, I tell you that I am so excited about the process.