You don't have to choose
Ah, the mind and its love of limitations. I have been reminded quite a few times recently how much I hold myself back, and I think most of us can admit to having done the same, at some point in our lives.
Whether it's trying a new activity for the first time, travelling alone, leaving a job in pursuit of something more meaningful, or simply getting up earlier in the morning, many of us convince ourselves we either 'can't' or 'shouldn't' do something.
I have fallen into this trap (again) recently as I found my mind going into overload as I decided to choose what exercise I wanted to do. I immediately worried that I 'should' be doing yoga and that wanting to do anything else is somehow 'wrong', or implies that I am not 'authentic' enough (man, that word needs to come with a health warning.). I then moved into a cycle of abuse against myself, and turned my simple desire to move my body a bit into a huge philosophical debate when all I really needed was to go for a run!
This is classic behaviour of the ego, when it takes everything as 'I'. 'I' am a yoga teacher, 'I' need to do more exercise, 'I' should be doing this or that - as soon as we bring our ego into our actions we instantly create emotional attachment, and build up unnecessary drama.
We live in an ego-driven culture, and even our spiritual practices can be turned into practices all about 'me' being better, 'me' being more disciplined or 'me' being masterful.
I want to offer the idea that you CAN do anything you want - if you let your desires come from the heart. The best way to connect with the heart is through stillness, simply sitting, meditating, or (on a day like today) lying on your back and gazing up at the sky - and doing these things often. The more we allow for stillness the easier it becomes to allow ourselves to be guided by that wisdom, jnana, inside of us. And when we truly connect to this wisdom then everything is possible, there is no limitations, and we move forward effortlessly and with ease.
This is my journey and although I sometimes stumble and stall, those moments when I have felt clear headed and focused have been inspiring enough to keep me going. I'd love to hear how your journeys are going.