It has been 2 years since we made the choice to become stewards of Village Yoga Sedona. It is amazing how much that choice has enriched my life. I honestly cannot imagine what my life would be like without my yoga practice and getting to interact with all of you, whether you are regulars or periodic visitors. In many ways you are my prana. The decision to purchase the studio was made with my heart, and I wonder sometimes how things would be different if I had used my logical mind and business techniques to evaluate the ROI instead of following my intuition. Big decisions often beg for deep consideration, and sometimes I even let smaller decisions occupy a disproportional amount of time… why does deciding what to have for dinner stump me all the time!
Sometimes though, our habits and neuropathways in our brains are so engrained that we do not recognize that we have a choice, or that our automatic actions are a subconscious choice. On our vacation this summer we were on an early morning hike on a beautiful mountain lake in the eastern Sierras. In late July there was still snow visible and the water temperature reminded you that it was snow only moments earlier. Half way around the lake the runoff was overflowing the trails and the crossings to continue on. My programming said, oh that is too bad, you need to turn around. Scott's programming said, I could just continue and ruin my shoes. I had to stop and really think about what I felt called to do. It was a beautiful day, and a magical lake, and somehow I knew that if I turned around I would be missing something really special. So, I took my shoes off and rolled up my pants and walked through it. My feet became numb in seconds but it felt exhilarating to realize that I could not be stopped by a wet inconvenience, and there were plenty of long sticks nearby to help with balance. There was nothing dangerous about the choice, it is just that my history had been not to ruin my shoes, not to walk barefoot on a trail where you could step on something sharp, not to walk through flowing steams, etc. etc. I ended up completing the hike barefoot even after the stream crossing because it felt so right.
I invite you to consider what new things you could experience if you do not act out of habit and comfort. What step might you take that could open you up to something memorable and amazing? Where are your habits of thought constraining you? For me, when I am frustrated or feel like my options are limiting, that is when I know it is time to stop and step back to see what it will take to reframe the situation. When I realize that it is my own mind that is limiting me often due to fear of discomfort. As you look toward your next steps into the Fall season, imagine taking off your shoes, stepping into freezing water, and exploring what is on the other side of the stream. It could be something amazing.