On Growth. . . and Real Karma

Sometimes, growth happens quickly. Like, you look up after a month and your jeans are too snug.

Other times, it happens so slowly, we don’t realize it happened at all. Or at least, I didn’t realize it was happening.

I’ve been working on myself.  Really.

Everything in the world in the last month has me down. The violence breaks my heart.  Work is intense.  The baby always needs her mama.  My husband needs me. And so, I find myself going from month to month, reacting rather than acting.

I wasn’t living.

get your life

I have been practicing  asana (yoga), practicing meditation, practicing mindfulness.  And I’ve realized that in all of my work, I wasn’t enjoying myself.  I created a situation where there was so much pressure to be better, to improve, to become this sage yogi,  that the expectation of change and what change should look like paralyzed me.

I wonder, why am I not there yet? I’m not writing on my blog.  I’m spinning my wheels on my endeavors. Or, at least I thought.

One of the concepts we are learning about in my yoga teacher training is the idea of karma yoga. Karma involves action, but without attachment to results.

My duty is to work on being a better me, even if I don’t feel like it’s working.  I still lose my temper. I still talk too much sometimes.  I still struggle with anxiety and depression.

But, I’m doing the work.  I’m doing my work.  I’m trying to be more mindful of my interactions with others in conversation.  I’m trying to be a better, more patient mother to my daughter, who watches mama closer now than ever.  I’m working toward creating a healthier, more efficient body with which to carry around my soul, so that I can be at my best every day.

James Altucher says in his book Choose Yourself!- that once we decide to change our lives, and choose ourselves,  we aren’t required or expected to be perfect all at once.  He points out that one of the things that creates an obstacle to personal change is this belief that we have to figure everything out in one day, or one week.  But, that’s not realistic or true.  James suggests trying to improve yourself 1% every day.  Just 1%.  That’s not a lot.  That’s choosing to eat a sensible lunch, maybe meat-free.  That’s choosing to take a walk in the evening rather than sit on the couch and watch the depressing news. That’s sending a friend a message to encourage them, and let them know that you appreciate them, rather than sitting around feeling sad about the fact that you haven’t been out in awhile.

So, fear not! If you haven’t seen the fruits of your labor, that just means it’s not harvest time yet.  If every time you planted a seed, you expected fruit the next day you would be sadly disappointed.  Give your seeds time to grow.  Let the sun bathe your leaves.  Enjoy where you are in your journey.  . . Because the journey is what this life is all about. Do your work.  Practice. . . and all is coming.

Peace and Blessings,

Lady in Yellow