“Every master has failed thousands more times then a student.” When we set out on journeys of transformation and change most often we set goals. Goals can be measured and weighed and achieved, but often what we don’t consider is what will block us from achieving those goals. At the beginning of this 30 day challenge, did you plan for all the obstacles you could foresee? And the obstacles you couldn’t? Unless you’re a master planner, of course you didn’t. So how do you reevaluate and adjust to achieve your goals when you notice you’re falling short?
- Step Back From It: The beginning of this challenge, what were the things that you did forsee? What were the things that you didn’t foresee? For the things that you couldn’t predict, how can you adjust for them in the future? This often happens and meditation practice. We sit down, we expect something to happen, and often unpredictable things occur. Thought patterns, sensory experiences, and a lot of other things. The practice is to sit with whatever happens. This can happen in Asana practice too. You trying to pose and you don’t get there, it can be helpful to step back and look at what your limitations are. Is this pose even right for your body? Do you really need it right now, or is there another reason you’re trying this pose?
- Find the Root of It: what’s the root cause of not achieving your goal? Overpromising? Unforeseen events? Too high of an expectation? Try to do this part of the process with deep compassion for yourself. Compassionate realism can be a powerful tool and achieving your goals. If you settle in to exactly where you are, it’s a lot easier to get where you’re going.
- Ask someone for help: If you’re not having success in your meditation, ask a teacher about what is happening in your practice. Same thing for practicing postures! Often it is a small alignment correction, or quick observation that I made that can alleviate pain, or allow someone to find better alignment or a deeper expression of a pose. Sometimes as well, I advise a student not to practice a pose. Sometimes that is the safer and better option.
So if a week or so into this process, you’re not achieving your goals are falling short, take a moment to step back with compassion and clarity. Ask someone for help. And then ask yourself was that goal really something I could achieve in the amount of time I said to achieve it, or was it wishful thinking? And lastly always remember to look at everything with a light since of humor. We are all human, after all!