Originally Published on Intent Blog June 12, 2012
The last 8 years I’ve been most definitely on a path. Before that it was a bit haphazard and building, but I remember specifically the first thoughts I had towards how the world could be different and what my role in that could be.
At the time I believed that corporations were evil, money was bad, the world was doomed and that my brain was broken (I was really depressed at the time). But I remember starting to believe in a true-cost economy, an economy that included heart, that required people to pay for their transgressions. I started to put faith in progress.
But my body was completely f’d, as was my mental state — so I went and lived in an Ashram for a year, where I practiced yoga every day and learned about how the breath can control emotional states based on the way your nervous system functions, how to center and expand my attention and get into a state of flow (as well as a lot of stuff that is pretty far out there for most to believe).
And sure enough, when I left the Ashram, I was thrust into a world where no one believed a word that I said. I found that spacious loving state dwindle and fall away when I’d get mocked or challenged, and I found myself creating my own story of what real Yoga was, attempting to stay in that state that I knew was true, but make it match to today’s world.
Over the years, from this whittling away, what I’ve learned for myself is that the most important leap of faith is belief in myself. Faith that my efforts will bear fruit only if they’re meant to, and that so long as I learn from every negativity, things would continue to improve. Faith that my dreams weren’t crazy, but they would evolve as I learned more about the way the world works and learned skills to contribute to society. Faith that I can be strong in any situation so long as I breathe through it and stay focused on my goals and let go of any attachment to perceived outcome, only do and say what’s true and mine to do. Faith that my heart’s most peaceful state is the state that I want to continue to pursue, so that when it doesn’t feel that way, there’s a lesson to be learned to guide me towards my goals. Faith that the answers are inside me.
The rest of yoga. The postures, the breathwork. I believe they work. But I believe they work in part because I believe that they do. Because I put the right attention into them. That, and it’s never a bad thing to be open in my body as well as get my breath to ease me out of the “fight or flight” response and into a “relaxed and rejuvenative” state. But what I’m getting at is that it’s not the just practices, it’s the attention and faith I put into them. It’s the attitude. And the great part is, even when I get rid of the dogma, I’m still left with practices that work.
If you want, you can believe the world and yourself are broken and that you’re powerless to help your situation. I did it for a long while. It hurts.
Take a leap of faith in yourself, in your own dreams. In your own abilities. In your ability to get through anything. In that things will come to you when you’re ready for them. Putting your faith here assures you’ll never be let down from your leap. You may fall momentarily, but then your remember. Duh. I believe in myself.