From the inside out

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From the inside out

[Image credit: Christian Meyn]

 

The other day in yoga, the instructor asked us to begin practice with an intention for the class. It could be anything; e.g., making a [micro]adjustment to a posture or avoiding extraneous movement. After class, the instructor congratulated me on a strong practice. I thanked her, yet I responded with judgment. But then I remembered my intention and how I was able to maintain it throughout the class—to manage my wayward thoughts (my “monkey mind”) by focusing on my breath. Although I almost blew off this accomplishment because it was just on the inside, my instructor reminded me it was huge, because this is where change begins—within ourselves. She oftentimes ends class with Gandhi’s quote about how our thoughts become our words… habits become our values and values become our destiny (see “Do you play the comparison game”). Whether anyone sees my two-week transformation or not, my destiny is no one else’s but mine.

What is one thing you’d like to change from the inside out?

Old habits die hard

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Old habits die hard

 

[Image credit: marcolm]

It seems I’m still on the “try, try again and again” phase of this 14-day transformation. I begin each day with good intentions, but then “life happens” and I’m eating not because I’m hungry, but because I’m emotional. Or I’d rather read for a half hour before bed instead of writing <gasp> And my grad school application for January 2016? Why, that’s another year away, so why worry about it now? But if I don’t get my act together, two weeks will go by either way. I would rather see something to show for it than not. I think my problem has to do with trying to do too much too soon—or all at once. Making a plan is great and feels empowering, but it is also overwhelming. Tackling one thing—one project—at a time is likely the better MO for me. Or maybe I just need to make that date with my girlfriends to improve my satisfaction with my social life.

How’s your transformation going?

Slow, lasting change

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Slow_lasting change

[Image credit: patrisyu]

There are many types of change we cannot control in our lives; e.g., we lose a loved one or get laid off from our jobs. These are sometimes sudden and unexpected changes. But the kind of change that is slow and lasting, in my opinion, is the kind that oftentimes requires baby steps before coming to fruition—like when we make changes to our eating habits, in relationships or careers—change that requires planning and deliberation if we desire a lifelong makeover. The other day in yoga, the instructor shared how Bikram yoga is more than fitness; it’s also about mental, emotional and spiritual transformation. This is the kind of change that takes place when we practice at life daily, even when we have a “bad” practice—a setback of any kind. As long as we continue to put one foot in front of the other, change is bound to happen. The kind of change that lasts.

What type of slow change has been lasting in your life?

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