Where am I going to end up?
Will I live a good life?
Will I be healthy?
Instead of asking from a disempowering place, as if we have no hand in our destiny, our yoga practice can empower us to see the choices we make that shape our lives. Some things, like fate, luck, or blessings can influence the course of our lives, it’s true. But I think most of our life — and where we’re going to end up in our lives — really comes down to three simple things. And that the first thing is deciding who you’re going to be.
The Yamas and Niyamas of yoga give us guidelines. Instead of just hoping to end up one day, a magnificent, strong, capable, kind, loving person, we should start living like that today so hopefully, we become that. Who we become is not an accident, but a purposeful intent. Just as we come to our mats purposefully to practice, we can also purposefully practice living compassionately and truthfully. Maybe we can’t always direct every circumstance of our life and can’t control everything, but we can certainly control our responses to them.
The other thing that helps people come into their power is discovering that each of our days is something that we can also design. We have to decide on our days. We have to design them, to wake up and decide what this day is going to be about. It is easy to get tripped up here. For example, by waking up and checking emails first thing, we can easily get sucked into other people’s agendas and lose the 30 minutes we intended to meditate or journal. Instead of letting our day transpire haphazardly, we need to decide what deserves our focus or who we will reach out to, instead of just responding to everybody else’s needs. Decide to schedule time for that which feeds your soul, like yoga and meditation, into your daily schedule and stick to it.
First, we have to decide who we’re going to be.
Second, we have to design our days.
Third, we have to deal with fate.
Fate is a real thing. We know that at some point fate is going to introduce us to struggle
and suffering. Things aren’t going to go well. We’ll have to go through things and times in our lives when we really are in a lot of pain and we have to suffer for a period of time. Time on the yoga mat, breathing through a sweaty, challenging asana practice or holding a warrior pose until your legs are shaking and arms about to fall off – that shapes our determination to be strong. Suffering is going to come and when it comes, who am I going to be and how, in those times, will I decide what my day will be?
Fate also brings us gifts and blessings. The more we can appreciate the gifts and blessings of life, the more we shape our lives into something to be thankful for. Just take stock and realize how lucky you are to be breathing, to be alive and have the gifts, opportunities and the strengths that you have. Choosing to share those blessings with the community, and your unique gifts with others, will bring more of it into your life – just as strengthening your strongest poses takes you into the realm of a more advanced practice.
How will we deal with fate when it brings us the good things?
The last character that fate continually brings into our life is love and loss. There are seven billion people on the planet and we get to connect with people, so we ought to think about the people in our life and reach out to them with appreciation, love and support. Put our hand on their shoulder, compliment and feel connected with them. Reach out instead of wondering why you feel ignored and alone. Take the first step and call them, send them a letter or email of love and support. Or maybe when you think of them send them a quick text and thank them for who they are and what they mean to you. I think this gift of love that fate keeps bringing back to us is one of our greatest gifts and blessings.
So these are the questions that help us decide our destiny:
What are you going to be about today?
What’s your day today, going to be designed as?
What are you going to focus on today, tomorrow, and the next time that fate turns its head either positively or negatively towards you – what are you going to do with it?
These are the questions of the consciously designed life.