October 17th, 2013

Commitment And Dedication

By Manduka Ambassador, Dana Damara

I wrote about this in my book, “OMs from the Mat” and when I re-read it this past week, it made even more sense to me.

I said something like, “If commitment is such a strong word, I wonder why we sometimes use it so loosely.” And then I went on to say, “Even if you have to just pick one thing… pick it and be committed to it! No matter what it is.. .a yoga class, a person, your word, just do it!”

Since moving to California back in November 2012, nothing has rang more true to me in my life. Nothing.

Amidst the most AMAZING opportunities of this big move…(and I mean it… magic occurs every, single day) I have also experienced mass confusion, dead-ends, fearful situations, lonely times and deep pain.

Betcha didn’t know that did you? Well, it’s true.

What I have found through all of this is that I have one strong commitment that’s kept me going. There have been times when I have wanted to give up, run back to Portland and cuddle next to a fire with a friend…claiming “safe”.

That would be easy to do any day of the week, given that I have amazing friends in the Northwest. But I haven’t. I’ve been committed and dedicated to my practice. And I’m not talking about my practice on the mat. I’m not talking about my sequencing or playlists, although they do play an important role.

And oddly, I’m not talking about the commitment I made to my two amazing daughters either. No, that’s not the commitment I am talking about. I am talking about the commitment I made to myself to live my truth. Because I know, as well as you do that truth=freedom=love.

When we make a commitment to ourselves, we may THINK it’s about: making money for our family, showing up our best for our students, helping the planet, serving our employer… but it’s not any of that. It’s about YOU.

The evolution of YOU and how YOU grow and elevate your spiritual being.
It’s super easy to give up just before that breakthrough. You know what I am talking about right? It’s that last straw, that final argument, the repeating dead-end. It’s that moment when you scream and say, “Screw it! I give! That’s it! I’m done!”

Have you ever done that? My suggestion to you from personal experience, having said those words in my life more than I care to admit, is to instead… breathe and keep going. You are almost there.

Now I’m not saying keep on taking what isn’t working. What I am saying is notice. Observe what is happening in as many exchanges as possible.

When you feel that recurring uncomfortable knot in your stomach, or tightness in your throat, breathe. Maybe you just feel “off”. Use the element of the heart and breathe into the belly. Root into your feet and feel it all…if only for 5 breaths. Then ask, what can I do differently in this situation, instead of walking away. What can I commit to right now that will keep me on the path of self-evolution?

Is it patience? Compassion? Trust? Love? Self-love? Knowing what it is that YOU, your soul, is working on to grow is key here. Once you get that, oh my, you will see so many circumstances coming up for you that will assist in your dedication and commitment to moving past it. It might feel like you are getting a bit bombarded to be honest, but you will be okay…once you know it’s all there to help you.

We all have recurring issues or stories. Before you keep telling the same story over and over again, keep quiet and observe. Commit to rolling out your mat, look at yourself and really see what is happening off your mat. Commit to hanging with that challenging pose, that perplexing relationship, that “tough time” and roll through it differently… it’s showing up for a reason.

Commitment and Dedication

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