In a recent discussion, a teacher of mine asked, “How simple can this be?” in response to our tendency to make things harder for ourselves than they need to be. This question really struck me. I honestly don’t know that I have ever considered this. I think of myself as the challenge over-comer. The task master. Simplify? Make it easier for myself? Wait, what??
While speaking with another yoga teacher recently, we discussed this in the context of teaching. We acknowledged how overwhelming yoga can be for brand new students and how, as an instructor, we must revisit the beginner’s mind to put together a class that will reach them. We discussed the old K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) method and having to remember that after years of yoga study, we must start at the beginning and not where we currently are in our journey. We also acknowledged how simple practices can be the most effective and profound for beginners and non-beginners alike.
But let’s broaden the view. How are we making things in our lives more difficult for ourselves than they need to be? Are we taking on too much? Are we tolerating things that are uncomfortable or unnecessary? Are we stuck in old habits or beliefs? Are we focusing on things that are unimportant? Are we allowing others to dictate our happiness?
First, we must get clear on what is truly important in our lives, where we want to go, and then we must release the rest. Last weekend, I co-led a weekend workshop teaching the concepts of letting go of what may be holding us back. A life cleanse, if you will. This could be a few extra pounds, it could be clutter in our home, it could be people who are not adding joy to our lives, it could be too many commitments on the calendar…
Really looking at our lives and what is in the way of our mental clarity, lightness, and happiness is paramount. As I say in yoga and counseling frequently- once we are aware, we can make changes. Recognizing what is not moving us forward toward who we want to be is the first step.
As I am teaching and practicing this concept of cleaning out and clearing space, I can see how easily we become overwhelmed and stressed out about things that are not important because they are in the way, blocking the view. The beauty and potential that we are all hoping for is already inside, but it may be covered up by a lot of unimportant, mistakenly urgent crap. And that crap is taking up the space that greatness could be in.
Today in leading a Yoga Teacher Training, we were discussing the misguidance of listening to the brain at times. We get so caught up in the brain and believing everything we think instead of simply slowing down, breathing, and listening to the deeper wisdom. The brain frequently functions from a place of fear and does its best to keep us stuck where we are because it knows what to expect here. But that’s not where growth happens.
Open yourself to new possibilities. I have long believed that success only comes out of extreme challenge, difficulty, and complication. But is that really true? I am learning that it doesn’t have to be that hard. I have been making things way harder on myself than they needed to be. And it’s exhausting.
So consider these questions. How simple can this be? How simple can you make things? How will simplifying unweight you? How are you making things harder than they should be?
Less truly is more. But, this takes trust. Trust that letting things go will make room for greatness to come in. Trust that the brain isn’t the only one to listen to. Trust that the wisdom is within us, albeit maybe under some crap… Trust that once the crap is cleaned out, greatness will show up.
Uncover the potential that is hiding within you. See if you can try on a new perspective of finding the most simple version this week.
Of course, I will be trying right beside you.
Talk again soon,