Monday, January 24, 2011

That Damn "Not a Destination" Crap..and RIP Jack LaLanne

2011 has barely begun and already my southern neighbors and I have survived the most intense ice storm Atlanta has seen on over a decade.  Many of us set resolutions and have high expectations each year around this time, only to set the bar so high that we quickly either lose momentum or become disappointed, falling short of achieving these lofty goals.

With yoga, however, we learn to let go of the goals and instead, set intentions to focus on the moment and to find contentment and grace in the process.  Sure, it may be a clich√©, yet it is true...life IS a journey...not a destination.  In my twenties, I had all sorts of expectations on what my life should look like.  I made many less than ideal decisions based on these expectations.  Shortly before my 30th birthday, I was faced with some health challenges...as a single mom with a small child, I was in fear and made drastic changes as a result.  While my health improved, the fear based motivation eventually backfired, and in my late 30s, I found myself again at a crossroads.  This is when I accidentally found yoga...I say accidentally because I had no idea that showing up at a Bikram class in hopes of dropping a few pounds would result in yoga being my new path and vocation. 

Now, in my mid 40s, I realize more than ever that there is no final place when the work ends...it's ALL a process.  The moment lies in the space in between each breath....that's where the magic happens.  Yoga is a vehicle to find this space.  It's not the way...however, it is the way that resonated for me..and for so many others.  I'm not "there" yet.  Yoga helps me find my voice...the one that my students hear and the inner voice of truth that, when I truly am still and can listen, tells me exactly what I need to hear (even when it is not what I want to hear!).

Today I'm faced with a few challenges..an elderly mother who can be very stubborn (so that's who I got it from!), a sore mouth from gum surgery last week (delving within to find gratitude for being able to take care of my medical needs, painful as it may be), and other growing pains around various choices and situations that I have created. 

Right before I went to sleep last night, I read about the passing of Jack LaLanne, the 96 year old fitness icon and guru who I had, prior to the news, thought would outlive most of us.   Ahead of his time, Jack discussed topics such as sugar addiction and the mind-body connection over half a century ago in the early 1960s, way before doctors or the mainstream would broach such subjects.  He was and continues to be an inspiriation to me, and serves to punctuate the idea that we are not here to simply reach some sort of lofty goal and then rest.  Instead we are these spirits who grow and learn and serve and enjoy, constantly changing and moving.  When we cease to learn, we cease living...regardless of whether or not our heartbeats continue.  Jack surely lived a full life until the very end.  I'm grateful to have such a fine example of a humble and strong individual.  Rest in peace Jack...though I have a feeling Jack's still of service somewhere to someone....just not on a dimension that most can see.




One of my favorite videos of Jack:




And here is one I just saw for the first time:



Namaste...Jack and all.

2 comments:

  1. Great post! Like you, I've been learning to focus on watching the process unfold and be gentle with myself when things don't always go as planned (or just dealing with inevitable life changes.) It's one of the things I try to also impart to my Reiki students. Like yoga, it's another vehicle for truth, wholeness and healing. The snowstorm was a good lesson in acceptance and letting to, since most of us were stuck in the house, whether we liked it or not. :)

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