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June 18th, 2013

Do Something

By Manduka Ambassador Silvia Mordini

"People of accomplishment rarely
sat back and let things happen to them.
They went out and happened to things."
~ Leonardo da Vinci

I am a born underdog. I have lived much of my life a step behind the rest. Whereas some might need to make 50% effort to move forward I often need to make a 150% effort to get to the same place.

Maybe part of this is the heritage of being an immigrant and the philosophy that nothing is free. You only create success through hard work. Work harder, and your possibilities expand. My family partly defined success as leaving the family an impressive legacy of means, higher education and respectability. We are expected to “do something” with our lives now so that the next generation has an even easier time to “do something” bigger. Inaction is not an option. Don Miguel Ruiz sums up my parent’s philosophy precisely:

“Action is about living fully. Inaction is the way that we deny life. Inaction is sitting in front of the television every day for years because you are afraid to be alive and to take the risk of expressing what you are. Expressing what you are is taking action. You can have many great ideas in your head, but what makes the difference is the action. Without action upon an idea, there will be no manifestation, no results, and no reward.”

DO SOMETHING NOW
If you wait until you are “ready” and things are “perfect,” you will get stuck in the inertia of inaction. Get started by taking small steps toward your intentions within the next 24 hours. Do not let self-doubt cripple you. Once you begin, keep acting on your goals a little at a time. The smallest efforts keep the momentum going and create powerful change. As they say in South America, “little by little one travels far.”

DON’T GIVE UP
When things don’t go as planned, it is easy to be really hard on ourselves. When this happens, amp up your efforts to persevere. Like the pristine Lotus Blossom, which somehow manages to rise up through a muddy swamp toward the sun, keep striving toward your vision. Florence Scovel Shinn writes, "Every great work, every big accomplishment, has been brought into manifestation through holding to the vision, and often just before the big achievement, comes apparent failure and discouragement." Let us be lotus blossoms, and manifest the most joy-filled, peaceful and healthful lives we can envision.

BE GRATEFUL
My parents taught me daily to practice gratitude with enthusiasm. It is important to maintain your motivation by sharing your gratitude for your attempts as well as your achievements. A positive attitude may get you started in the right direction, but appreciation for others is what sustains it.

My yoga practice continually reminds me of all three of these aspects to living an inspired life. I get on my Manduka mat each day and “do something.” I do not give up my practice when life is inconvenient, and I certainly give thanks to all who made it possible for me to move, breath and live in this moment! In turn, this stokes my rebel spirit to go out and happen to things. Love yourself, love your day, love your life!

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