Start the Climb: Take One Purposeful Step

The Climb up to the Col

The Climb up to the Col (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s Note: This is a contribution by Kirsten Tulsian

Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” ~H. Jackson Browne

When I close my eyes and ponder the dreams that I have, the hopes and wishes that I cradle in my heart, I wonder what has prevented me from reaching for and achieving them. Oh, I come up with a whole slew of excuses, sometimes disguised as “reasons.”

The seeker of my truth fires back with a rebuttal most of the time.

“It is better to attempt and fail than fail to make any attempt at all,” it says in response to my ego’s ramblings about how I won’t ever succeed.

“You make time for what is important to you,” my inner light says in response to my ego’s musings about how busy my life is, working a full-time job, while also parenting two active, small children.

Regardless of the excuse, it can always boil down to one thing.

Fear.

I lost my dad traumatically and unexpectedly in 2003. I spent the next eight years wading through the sadness and anger, searching for some deeper meaning, some explanation for how serendipitously and “coincidentally” it all unfolded.

Then in 2011, I made an amazing discovery that was ultimately life changing. The catalyst for this shift in my being was a referral from a friend to read a book about life after death.

Suddenly, I realized that my soul, my intuition, my gut—it had something to say about how I should purposefully fulfill my path in this lifetime.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to differentiate between these disparate voices and messages I was receiving. Is it my head or my gut?

The ego is fear-driven. It relishes in success, achievement, and status. It directs you to analyze the route that leads to all of these things.

Intuition is heart driven and does not equate status and success with happiness, but rather is the essence of happiness. The simple act of listening to intuition results in serenity.

Differentiating between these voices takes practice. When making a decision, consider asking yourself, “Is this decision based on a fear of failure and a desire to succeed, or is this choice based on your heart’s desire to express itself?”

Differentiating between these voices is a lifelong journey for most of us.

The next fork in the road, for me, came when I realized that my true self had been fighting in my corner all along, while my fear, my ego, and my head conspired to hold me back.

I woke up one night worrying about my job, and ultimately was paralyzed by the fear that I’d have to work as a teacher for the rest of my life, long after my desire and my drive to teach had left me. I’ve loved my job, as it has meaning and value, but I also knew that my intuition was nudging me in new directions.

Would I be able to step away from the security that this full-time job provides?

I imagined that I was on my deathbed and wondered what it would be like to look back at a life half-lived. I reflected on the miracles in my life, for they are plenty. My family, children, and friends are all that I could have ever asked for and a ton more.

I got a great education. I took advantage of opportunities for growth in my work. And I feel successful in the choices I’ve made up to this point.

There it was, though, that nagging voice inside me that said, “You can do more, you can be more, reach for the stars, publish that book you’ve always wanted to write, do it without fear, and do it with vigor, for you are amazing, and you are worthy!” 

It was this day, late in 2011, when I made a choice to kick fear in the teeth and let my true self do its thing, the thing that I’d been suppressing for so long: writing.

Not only did I just start to write, I also told that fear of judgment to take a hike and I started publishing my writing on a blog. For everyone to see. For everyone to read. For everyone to judge.

I was scared, and it took some courage, but ultimately I decided that I didn’t care because that’s how bad I wanted it.

I started to feel like I was taking a step in the direction of my life’s purpose despite the fear, and sometimes judgmental reactions from some of the people in my life. My inner light adjusted, kicked the doubt to the gutter, and stepped up to defend the truth that is me.

I’m not yet working as a full-time writer, which is my dream, but despite the fear that I’ve given an incredible amount of power, I’ve started the climb. 

In the past three months, I have set and reached goals which, just a year ago, my fear didn’t allow me to even entertain. As each week passes, I make new goals that lead me to fragile branches.

The reward, though, is directly related to the degree of risk. 

I’ve realized that the hardest part of the journey was truly and deeply accepting the truth that I can do anything that I want to do. Yes, it’s true (deep breath)!

Do you believe the same? If you’re also struggling to overcome your fear, remember to:

1.  Listen to your intuition.

The biggest challenge here is deciphering the messages that come from our head and those that come from our gut, or our divine self. I remember the feeling of awe when I discovered that my inner voice even existed, and that there truly is a difference between the judgmental ego and the divine voice.

Pure bliss ensued when I understood that intuition is never wrong. Letting go of the perceived security that our ego provides feels scary, but marinating in the magic that is our intuition brings true security.

How do we find that voice? How do we know what it sounds like? It is the calm, quiet, certain whisper that never intends to harm you or anyone in your path. It is the creative, sure, knowing feeling that connects you to the flow of your own purpose and in the direction of your highest good.

It takes practice, stillness, and patience to connect to this inner voice. It is there, waiting for you to tune in.

2.  Pinpoint and label the root of the fear.

We work so hard to avoid our fears that sometimes we choose detours (that surely come from the insecurity of our ego) instead of tackling the climb.

When we dissect and compartmentalize our fear into tangible parts, we are better able to address each component. Categories of fear might include financial concerns, fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, and fear of disappointing others.

3.  Tackle manageable pieces bit by bit.

Once we identify the parts of fear that need to be tackled, we can use intuition as a guide and start to climb that tree, one small step at a time.

Trusting your intuition means that you may sit with fear, anxiety, and insecurity, but you allow yourself to follow your inner voice as you work through those feelings and move forward. And it doesn’t need to happen overnight.

Instead of climbing the entire tree in one day, or one week, or one month, we can plan to climb just a couple feet each week. As we long as we consistently check in with our intuition, we will have a strong motivation to keep going.

We can choose to partake in life each day with a fulfilling purpose, or we can choose to watch our lives pass us by, fed by fear.

I choose the former, bit-by-bit, step-by-step. Which will you choose?

By: Kristen Tulsian via Tiny Buddha

Have a yogaful day!

Start the Climb: Take One Purposeful Step

The Climb up to the Col

The Climb up to the Col (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s Note: This is a contribution by Kirsten Tulsian

Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” ~H. Jackson Browne

When I close my eyes and ponder the dreams that I have, the hopes and wishes that I cradle in my heart, I wonder what has prevented me from reaching for and achieving them. Oh, I come up with a whole slew of excuses, sometimes disguised as “reasons.”

The seeker of my truth fires back with a rebuttal most of the time.

“It is better to attempt and fail than fail to make any attempt at all,” it says in response to my ego’s ramblings about how I won’t ever succeed.

“You make time for what is important to you,” my inner light says in response to my ego’s musings about how busy my life is, working a full-time job, while also parenting two active, small children.

Regardless of the excuse, it can always boil down to one thing.

Fear.

I lost my dad traumatically and unexpectedly in 2003. I spent the next eight years wading through the sadness and anger, searching for some deeper meaning, some explanation for how serendipitously and “coincidentally” it all unfolded.

Then in 2011, I made an amazing discovery that was ultimately life changing. The catalyst for this shift in my being was a referral from a friend to read a book about life after death.

Suddenly, I realized that my soul, my intuition, my gut—it had something to say about how I should purposefully fulfill my path in this lifetime.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to differentiate between these disparate voices and messages I was receiving. Is it my head or my gut?

The ego is fear-driven. It relishes in success, achievement, and status. It directs you to analyze the route that leads to all of these things.

Intuition is heart driven and does not equate status and success with happiness, but rather is the essence of happiness. The simple act of listening to intuition results in serenity.

Differentiating between these voices takes practice. When making a decision, consider asking yourself, “Is this decision based on a fear of failure and a desire to succeed, or is this choice based on your heart’s desire to express itself?”

Differentiating between these voices is a lifelong journey for most of us.

The next fork in the road, for me, came when I realized that my true self had been fighting in my corner all along, while my fear, my ego, and my head conspired to hold me back.

I woke up one night worrying about my job, and ultimately was paralyzed by the fear that I’d have to work as a teacher for the rest of my life, long after my desire and my drive to teach had left me. I’ve loved my job, as it has meaning and value, but I also knew that my intuition was nudging me in new directions.

Would I be able to step away from the security that this full-time job provides?

I imagined that I was on my deathbed and wondered what it would be like to look back at a life half-lived. I reflected on the miracles in my life, for they are plenty. My family, children, and friends are all that I could have ever asked for and a ton more.

I got a great education. I took advantage of opportunities for growth in my work. And I feel successful in the choices I’ve made up to this point.

There it was, though, that nagging voice inside me that said, “You can do more, you can be more, reach for the stars, publish that book you’ve always wanted to write, do it without fear, and do it with vigor, for you are amazing, and you are worthy!” 

It was this day, late in 2011, when I made a choice to kick fear in the teeth and let my true self do its thing, the thing that I’d been suppressing for so long: writing.

Not only did I just start to write, I also told that fear of judgment to take a hike and I started publishing my writing on a blog. For everyone to see. For everyone to read. For everyone to judge.

I was scared, and it took some courage, but ultimately I decided that I didn’t care because that’s how bad I wanted it.

I started to feel like I was taking a step in the direction of my life’s purpose despite the fear, and sometimes judgmental reactions from some of the people in my life. My inner light adjusted, kicked the doubt to the gutter, and stepped up to defend the truth that is me.

I’m not yet working as a full-time writer, which is my dream, but despite the fear that I’ve given an incredible amount of power, I’ve started the climb. 

In the past three months, I have set and reached goals which, just a year ago, my fear didn’t allow me to even entertain. As each week passes, I make new goals that lead me to fragile branches.

The reward, though, is directly related to the degree of risk. 

I’ve realized that the hardest part of the journey was truly and deeply accepting the truth that I can do anything that I want to do. Yes, it’s true (deep breath)!

Do you believe the same? If you’re also struggling to overcome your fear, remember to:

1.  Listen to your intuition.

The biggest challenge here is deciphering the messages that come from our head and those that come from our gut, or our divine self. I remember the feeling of awe when I discovered that my inner voice even existed, and that there truly is a difference between the judgmental ego and the divine voice.

Pure bliss ensued when I understood that intuition is never wrong. Letting go of the perceived security that our ego provides feels scary, but marinating in the magic that is our intuition brings true security.

How do we find that voice? How do we know what it sounds like? It is the calm, quiet, certain whisper that never intends to harm you or anyone in your path. It is the creative, sure, knowing feeling that connects you to the flow of your own purpose and in the direction of your highest good.

It takes practice, stillness, and patience to connect to this inner voice. It is there, waiting for you to tune in.

2.  Pinpoint and label the root of the fear.

We work so hard to avoid our fears that sometimes we choose detours (that surely come from the insecurity of our ego) instead of tackling the climb.

When we dissect and compartmentalize our fear into tangible parts, we are better able to address each component. Categories of fear might include financial concerns, fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, and fear of disappointing others.

3.  Tackle manageable pieces bit by bit.

Once we identify the parts of fear that need to be tackled, we can use intuition as a guide and start to climb that tree, one small step at a time.

Trusting your intuition means that you may sit with fear, anxiety, and insecurity, but you allow yourself to follow your inner voice as you work through those feelings and move forward. And it doesn’t need to happen overnight.

Instead of climbing the entire tree in one day, or one week, or one month, we can plan to climb just a couple feet each week. As we long as we consistently check in with our intuition, we will have a strong motivation to keep going.

We can choose to partake in life each day with a fulfilling purpose, or we can choose to watch our lives pass us by, fed by fear.

I choose the former, bit-by-bit, step-by-step. Which will you choose?

By: Kristen Tulsian via Tiny Buddha

Have a yogaful day!

The Unpredictable Freedom and Sweetness of Chaos

 

‘You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.’ ~Friedrich Nietzsche

I’m going to share a productivity, planning and organizational hack that will change your life. It will yield some unpredictable results, but if you approach it the right way, it could bring some of the most amazing work of your life, along with freedom, joy, exhilaration.

What’s this miraculous hack?

It’s a simple one: let go. Let go of control and allow yourself to be swept away by the powerful currents of life. Let go of planning and embrace not know what will happen. Let go of productivity and be open to new ideas, new opportunities, spontaneous creativity.

The Case for Chaos

Consider what we’re doing when we plan our day, our week, our year: we are trying to exert control over life, and predict with our plans the course our lives will take today, this week, this year.

We are saying: this is what I’m going to do today. This is how things will go. If I get these things done, life will be good. This is my idea of what this day will hold.

Now consider this: we have absolutely no idea if any of this is true. We cannot predict the future with any kind of certainty, and the idea that we can plan based on these shaky predictions is a nice fiction, but a fiction nonetheless. We do not know what will happen today, much less the rest of the week or month. Knowing what will happen this year? What a crock!

And consider: what if we could know? What if we could accurately predict every single day, and plan each day exactly? Would this be a great thing? I submit that it would suck infinitely more than not knowing. Having foreknowledge of the future means we know what will happen each day, which means not only will our days be ridiculously boring, but we’re stuck on one unshakable path. Foreknowledge means a crazy lack of freedom.

So we don’t know what will happen, nor should we want to. We can try to plan, but those plans are not based on real knowledge and probably won’t happen, so planning is a waste of time.

What can we do instead of trying to predict what will happen, instead of planning? Learn to embrace uncertainty, and be open to change. Learn to let go of control, and surf the ever-changing wave. Let unpredictability rule, let randomness be the force of our life, let spontaneity be the rule.

Embracing Chaos for Good

Some random thoughts based on my experiments with letting go:

  • Work is better with chaos. While the idea of having peaceful order to our workday is a nice one, it’s an illusion. And it’s frankly boring. Work based on fun, play, and spontaneity is more interesting. Imagine a project that is started with a spontaneous idea, and then changes course as you do it, embraces the ideas of strangers, ends up in a fantastic new place you could not have possibly foreseen when you started. This is how I did my last book, The Effortless Life, and it was one of the most fun I’ve ever had on a project. It’s how I’m doing all my projects now, actually.
  • A year that isn’t planned. When I started Zen Habits in 2007, I had my year planned out in detail, with goals, actions and weekly plans. That, of course, was tossed out the door as soon as I started writing Zen Habits and meeting my first readers, who changed my life with their feedback and kind attention. My life was turned upside down, my plans became meaningless, and I learned that while life is unpredictable, that unpredictability can bring some amazing things.
  • Be open to new possibilities. I learned, that first year of Zen Habits, to be open to new opportunities. Time and time again, new doors opened for me that I didn’t know — couldn’t know — would even be there. I saw the new door opening, considered it, and went in. That happened repeatedly, and taught me that there is no way to plan a path when you don’t know what each step will bring, what changes will happen to that path as you walk along it.
  • Be open to strangers. Let’s say you plan your day rigidly. You’ve got your productivity system honed, you’re cranking out the tasks. You are a productivity machine! But now you randomly happen upon a stranger who says hi. You say hi back, and now you have a new opportunity: you can talk to this stranger, get to know him. But then you’d deviate from the plan! Do you stick to the plan, or talk to the stranger? Well, sticking to the plan would be more productive, and give you more control over your life. But if you talk to the stranger, you might make a new friend. You might learn something you’d never have learned otherwise. I’ve made some of my best friends like this, because I was willing to deviate from my plans and talk to a stranger.
  • Chaos is creativity, and creativity is chaos. They are the same thing. Creative work doesn’t happen by plan and control. Sure, some of the worlds creative geniuses were detail freaks, but they didn’t make a plan to come up with a creative genius idea — it came to them because they were open to random thoughts, explored paths no one else had thought to look down, took an idea they saw from someone else and twisted it in a new way. Creativity comes from a place of chaos, and it’s only when you open yourself to this lack of control that you can come up with your best creativity.
  • Some things to read: Two of the best books I’ve read recently embrace the idea of uncertainty, and they also happened to come at me from two of my best friends — both of whom I met almost randomly on the Internet. My friend Jonathan Fields wrote Uncertainty, and it’s a great exploration of some of these ideas. My friend Mary Jaksch sent me a book the other day called Bring Me the Rhinoceros that is an excellent use of Zen koans to explore similar ideas. Both books highly recommended.
  • When we let go of our expectations that others will make us happy, we enjoy them more. We get angry and frustrated at people because they don’t act the way we want them to. We expect others to try to make us happy, to go out of their way to give us what we want. This is not why other people exist. When we let go of these expectations, we accept people for who they are, and learn to appreciate this uniqueness.
  • If you don’t expect things to go as planned, you are open to the unplanned. Something might arise that is unexpected, and if you go with it, you’ll have to let go of your previous plans. This can be a wonderful thing. Many people (including the old me) get frustrated when new things come up that were unplanned, when plans go awry, but it doesn’t have to be frustrating. Just expect plans to change, or don’t really plan at all. Expect unplanned things to happen, and when they do, smile.
  • Embrace not knowing what will happen. This is the ultimate freedom. You don’t know what you’re going to do today, nor what will come up. You are locked into nothing. You are completely free to do anything, to pursue any creative pursuit, to try new things as they come up, to be open to meeting new people. It can be scary at first, but if you smile when you think of not knowing, you’ll soon realize it’s a joyous thing.
  • When you’re not focused on one outcome, you open the possibility for many outcomes. Most people are focused on specific goals (outcomes), and relentlessly pursue that outcome. They then dismiss other possibilities as distractions. But what if you have no predetermined outcome? What if you say that anywhere you end up could be good? You now open an infinite amount of possibilities, and you’re much more likely to learn something than if you only try to do the things and learn the things that support your predetermined outcome.

‘It’s a cruel and random world, but the chaos is all so beautiful.’

~Hiromu Awakawa

By:  Leo BabautaR

The Unpredictable Freedom and Sweetness of Chaos

 

‘You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.’ ~Friedrich Nietzsche

I’m going to share a productivity, planning and organizational hack that will change your life. It will yield some unpredictable results, but if you approach it the right way, it could bring some of the most amazing work of your life, along with freedom, joy, exhilaration.

What’s this miraculous hack?

It’s a simple one: let go. Let go of control and allow yourself to be swept away by the powerful currents of life. Let go of planning and embrace not know what will happen. Let go of productivity and be open to new ideas, new opportunities, spontaneous creativity.

The Case for Chaos

Consider what we’re doing when we plan our day, our week, our year: we are trying to exert control over life, and predict with our plans the course our lives will take today, this week, this year.

We are saying: this is what I’m going to do today. This is how things will go. If I get these things done, life will be good. This is my idea of what this day will hold.

Now consider this: we have absolutely no idea if any of this is true. We cannot predict the future with any kind of certainty, and the idea that we can plan based on these shaky predictions is a nice fiction, but a fiction nonetheless. We do not know what will happen today, much less the rest of the week or month. Knowing what will happen this year? What a crock!

And consider: what if we could know? What if we could accurately predict every single day, and plan each day exactly? Would this be a great thing? I submit that it would suck infinitely more than not knowing. Having foreknowledge of the future means we know what will happen each day, which means not only will our days be ridiculously boring, but we’re stuck on one unshakable path. Foreknowledge means a crazy lack of freedom.

So we don’t know what will happen, nor should we want to. We can try to plan, but those plans are not based on real knowledge and probably won’t happen, so planning is a waste of time.

What can we do instead of trying to predict what will happen, instead of planning? Learn to embrace uncertainty, and be open to change. Learn to let go of control, and surf the ever-changing wave. Let unpredictability rule, let randomness be the force of our life, let spontaneity be the rule.

Embracing Chaos for Good

Some random thoughts based on my experiments with letting go:

  • Work is better with chaos. While the idea of having peaceful order to our workday is a nice one, it’s an illusion. And it’s frankly boring. Work based on fun, play, and spontaneity is more interesting. Imagine a project that is started with a spontaneous idea, and then changes course as you do it, embraces the ideas of strangers, ends up in a fantastic new place you could not have possibly foreseen when you started. This is how I did my last book, The Effortless Life, and it was one of the most fun I’ve ever had on a project. It’s how I’m doing all my projects now, actually.
  • A year that isn’t planned. When I started Zen Habits in 2007, I had my year planned out in detail, with goals, actions and weekly plans. That, of course, was tossed out the door as soon as I started writing Zen Habits and meeting my first readers, who changed my life with their feedback and kind attention. My life was turned upside down, my plans became meaningless, and I learned that while life is unpredictable, that unpredictability can bring some amazing things.
  • Be open to new possibilities. I learned, that first year of Zen Habits, to be open to new opportunities. Time and time again, new doors opened for me that I didn’t know — couldn’t know — would even be there. I saw the new door opening, considered it, and went in. That happened repeatedly, and taught me that there is no way to plan a path when you don’t know what each step will bring, what changes will happen to that path as you walk along it.
  • Be open to strangers. Let’s say you plan your day rigidly. You’ve got your productivity system honed, you’re cranking out the tasks. You are a productivity machine! But now you randomly happen upon a stranger who says hi. You say hi back, and now you have a new opportunity: you can talk to this stranger, get to know him. But then you’d deviate from the plan! Do you stick to the plan, or talk to the stranger? Well, sticking to the plan would be more productive, and give you more control over your life. But if you talk to the stranger, you might make a new friend. You might learn something you’d never have learned otherwise. I’ve made some of my best friends like this, because I was willing to deviate from my plans and talk to a stranger.
  • Chaos is creativity, and creativity is chaos. They are the same thing. Creative work doesn’t happen by plan and control. Sure, some of the worlds creative geniuses were detail freaks, but they didn’t make a plan to come up with a creative genius idea — it came to them because they were open to random thoughts, explored paths no one else had thought to look down, took an idea they saw from someone else and twisted it in a new way. Creativity comes from a place of chaos, and it’s only when you open yourself to this lack of control that you can come up with your best creativity.
  • Some things to read: Two of the best books I’ve read recently embrace the idea of uncertainty, and they also happened to come at me from two of my best friends — both of whom I met almost randomly on the Internet. My friend Jonathan Fields wrote Uncertainty, and it’s a great exploration of some of these ideas. My friend Mary Jaksch sent me a book the other day called Bring Me the Rhinoceros that is an excellent use of Zen koans to explore similar ideas. Both books highly recommended.
  • When we let go of our expectations that others will make us happy, we enjoy them more. We get angry and frustrated at people because they don’t act the way we want them to. We expect others to try to make us happy, to go out of their way to give us what we want. This is not why other people exist. When we let go of these expectations, we accept people for who they are, and learn to appreciate this uniqueness.
  • If you don’t expect things to go as planned, you are open to the unplanned. Something might arise that is unexpected, and if you go with it, you’ll have to let go of your previous plans. This can be a wonderful thing. Many people (including the old me) get frustrated when new things come up that were unplanned, when plans go awry, but it doesn’t have to be frustrating. Just expect plans to change, or don’t really plan at all. Expect unplanned things to happen, and when they do, smile.
  • Embrace not knowing what will happen. This is the ultimate freedom. You don’t know what you’re going to do today, nor what will come up. You are locked into nothing. You are completely free to do anything, to pursue any creative pursuit, to try new things as they come up, to be open to meeting new people. It can be scary at first, but if you smile when you think of not knowing, you’ll soon realize it’s a joyous thing.
  • When you’re not focused on one outcome, you open the possibility for many outcomes. Most people are focused on specific goals (outcomes), and relentlessly pursue that outcome. They then dismiss other possibilities as distractions. But what if you have no predetermined outcome? What if you say that anywhere you end up could be good? You now open an infinite amount of possibilities, and you’re much more likely to learn something than if you only try to do the things and learn the things that support your predetermined outcome.

‘It’s a cruel and random world, but the chaos is all so beautiful.’

~Hiromu Awakawa

By:  Leo BabautaR

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

By: Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Have a yogaful day!