“See the line where the sky meets the sea?
It calls me. And no one knows how far it goes…
If I go, there’s just no telling how far I’ll go” -Moana
While February was all about anchoring and harmonizing the polarities of opposition into balance, March will challenge us with a sea full of distractions. There is a fiery energy that permeates the air, beckoning us to reevaluate how to unpin ourselves from the things that entangle us from being wholly ourselves. Unimpassioned careers, imbalanced relationships, family traumas and everything that summons our ability to step into an unknown way of being are being brought to the forefront.
On a personal front, it feels as if I am being tossed into a circus with the spotlight turned on 1000% and asked to juggle 15 sticks of fire. I am laden with the duties and responsibilities of running a new business, severing old connections that no longer serve me while embarking on newer relationships; whereas last year, I mainly embodied the hermit, the teacher and the traveling seeker. Managing time for romance, existing platonic relationships, and quelling demanding family dynamics intensifies this stir-fry of a circus act. In essence, I have the opportunity to move beyond my comfort zones in all these domains and step into new uncharted waters as I redefine my role as Teacher, Leader, Lover, Son, Brother, Friend, Communicator, etc.
After doing a Cards of AN reading (created by Solara) to gain clarity about the themes of March. The main theme that came up very strongly of which I would like to highlight this month is Commitment.
Commitment is a heightened sense of focus that emancipates us from the split focus of wanting to be the Jack of all Trades. Though it is invaluable to possess a wide array of skills, it is the commitment of a singular focus that emancipates us to True freedom. When our purpose is not clear, the mind becomes fragmented into many parts that serve their own un-unified agendas. We become torn between the “if,” “ands”, and “buts” of situations. Instead of choosing one route up the mountain, we are plagued by fear that our choices are not good enough and find ourselves climbing up and down the mountain changing course repeatedly and never reaching the top. We have all heard the voices in our head of: “I’m not good enough to be a performer, so let me settle with accounting because its safe,” or something to that effect. Of course the ingredients we need to make a recipe that is just right is very unique to each person; and there are those who have managed to create a beautiful mélange of the corporate and the creative. So long as the commitments we stand by truly feel authentic, and we wake up feeling alive, freedom is in our reach.
The yoga practice and any mindful movement practice like taichi, or kungfu are wonderful examples of embodying commitment. The old adage that suggests ‘how we do anything, is how we do everything’ stands true in this regard and teaches us to honor our actions beyond conceptual ideas or words. To fully commit to each and every moment of the yoga practice and find opportunities for growth is no easy task. To make the commitment of searching for growth opportunities in the “easy” postures, or commanding your shoulders and arms to stabilize a plank pose for a little while longer is the equivalent saying that you are committing yourself to becoming a fully expanded being. And you are. When we choose to do things in our lives that bring us out of our comfort zones, we become stronger, more flexibility, more open-minded and develop a fuller conviction for being fully alive.
In Patanjali’s yoga sutra 1.21– he writes tivra samvega asannah, which essentially is Sanskrit for “those who pursue their practices with intensity and firm conviction achieve their fruits more quickly, compared to those of medium or lesser intensity.” (translated by Swami Jnaneshvara). We all achieve our own mastery at our own speeds and in the method of our own choosing. So without getting into the mindset of, “better than” or “worse than,” we can safely say we all progress at various rates. For example, archery student A might have heaps of time to practice, but a low ability to concentrate or commit to believing they can aim, while student B has little time to practice, but devotes each and every moment to fully believing in his ability to succeed and hit the target. The same analogy can be made across the board with every activity we do in life. Yoga, pilates and meditation teach us how to develop our internal powers of perception, concentration and intuition so that we can strengthen the physical container and be in a state of readiness for anything that comes our way.
So this month’s motto is ‘Go for Broke.’ a Hawaiian pidgin phrase from the Japanese internment days of World War II, meaning to put everything on the table, and wager everything. This does not mean act without intelligence or endanger your safety, it is instead asking you dial down the fear channel, and blast commitment on your headsets loud and proud. In the spirit of the new Disney Hawaiian princess, Moana, take massive risks and find growth opportunities everywhere. Do this whole heartedly with a spirit of bravery and find yourself pleasantly surprised this month.