How I’m getting out of the way of my goal

I’m not gonna tell you that I have everything that I want or that I live a mistake free life. As always when I’ve reached a goal I tend to pile on more. In a never ending pursuit of change, wanting more from and for myself. I’ve learned that whether it is knowing we have more to give the world, or an opportunity to grow our perspective, goals are like potato chips, you can never eat just one!

What was I afraid of?

I’ve spent so much of my life afraid of what people will think, what would happen if I failed and even what would happen if I succeeded. So, I tried to fit a mold, the one I perceived I was expected to fit into. I held myself to impossible standards, I believe to make sure I held myself down, maybe so I could re-affirm for myself that I was what my monkey mind told me “I’m not good enough”. So let’s get real honest, I was afraid to not only be me, but to be perfectly okay being me!

The biggest goal of all

So you may be asking what was my goal? Here it is, “living in my body, mind and spirit without regret and judgement”. While it may sound easy, it has been the hardest of all, and one I will continue to work on everyday. This goal is also subjective, the only person who can judge success or failure is me. This is both empowering and scary to me, you see by remembering this I can have what I want. But I can also be the one who takes it away with self judgement and high unreachable expectations.

So how does one embark on such a goal? I’ve found that the only was gentle loving self-awareness.

Getting to know what being me feels like?

In my yoga teach training class last week we did this amazing exercise, while it wasn’t a posture that takes focused breath and balance, let me tell you, it was intense! During our meditation Stefani asked us to think about the other women in the group. What was our initial impressions and how much we had learned about them.

Then she asked us to look for the mirror of ourselves that we saw in others. When we were done she asked us to share what was it that we saw in that mirror, was it something they had that we wished for. Was it a trait we didn’t want to see in ourselves and yet knew was there. Was there something where we could share words of wisdom.

Like I said, it was intense. As in many of our classes vulnerability and tears were present followed by a deep sense of peacefulness and tribe. I’ve had a week or so to reflect on the thoughts from others of what it feels like to be me.

Being the “mom” or caregiver can be exhausting

I can think back at so many times that I felt like I had to hold the world together. I’ve played the roll so many times that it has become my strongest samskara.

The word samskara comes from the Sanskrit sam (complete or joined together) and kara (action, cause, or doing). In addition to being generalized patterns, samskaras are individual impressions, ideas, or actions; taken together, our samskaras make up our conditioning.

Repeating samskaras reinforces them, creating a groove that is difficult to resist. Samskaras can be positive—imagine the selfless acts of Mother Theresa. They can also be negative, as in the self-lacerating mental patterns that underlie low self-esteem and self-destructive relationships. The negative samskaras are what hinder our positive evolution.

So what happens when you are so stuck in the unbalanced pattern of your samskara? Stefani said it best, I am pulling a cart behind me with the burdens of others. It is so true that I take on, without even being asked, so much that I don’t own. Wanting to help others and give to others turns to something that is exhausting and unnecessary. So how do I begin to face my samskara and bring it back to a strength?

  • Be aware of it and accepting myself without judgement.
  • Look for cue’s of my behavior resurfacing and choose to change the cycle.
  • Look for opportunities to let go of the load I am already carrying through empowering the owner.
  • Reflect on what I’ve learned often.

Wisdom requires balance

I have spent years priding myself in learning as much as I can. While I do love learning, deep down I know this has been to prove I’m good enough. No matter how much I learn I feel the sense of “imposture syndrome” which leads to the need to learn more.

When out of balance knowledge sharing feeds my samskara in sharing to find value in myself. In balance my samskara knows that wisdom comes from personally growth when using knowledge. This means holding space for others to learn for themselves and find their own wisdom their way. As one of my favorite mentors once said “experience speaks, wisdom listens.”

So how do I bring back balance?

  • Be aware and accepting myself without judgement.
  • Look for cue’s of my behavior resurfacing and choose to change the cycle.
  • Look for opportunities to let others learn at their own pace while I hold space for them.
  • Reflect on what I’ve learned often.

Passionate, joyful and full of gratitude

I often hear from others that I am very passionate, joyful and full of exuberance. Somewhere along the way my choice to be happy shines through clearly to others. What is hiding that this can be the front I put up when I “fake it till you make it”.

When this shows up as my samskara out of balance it can lead others to feel that I’m over-confident or that it is easy for me. It hides my vulnerability and feelings from showing up to others. What is intended as protecting myself turns into a wall that prevents genuine relationship building.

When this shows up in balance I build on my connection to my value of self developing while keeping me energetic and inspired to continue. This energetically becomes a magnet for others who want to be on the same path. We build balanced friendships and partnerships where together we can walk side by side towards our own dreams.

Finding the balance in joy?

  • Be aware and accepting myself without judgement.
  • Look for cue’s of my behavior resurfacing and choose to change the cycle.
  • Look for opportunities to be vulnerable while holding space for others to do the same.
  • Reflect on what I’ve learned often.

Bringing it all together

Getting to know how it feels to be me, and how I lead others to feel about me is the most important thing I have learned. It can’t be found in a book, or a workshop. It changes and shows up differently every day. My samskara can serve me or challenge me to reach my goal and it is through being the master of my body, mind and spirit that I make that choice.

If you are looking for some inspiration to begin this self-awareness journey check out these posts:

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