Today we welcome Yoga with Olga, who shares with us how life coaching and Bikram hot yoga have much in common. I’ve known Olga for many years through our business networking groups and she always offers gentle wisdom that’s spot on. Her blog today may remind you of Finding Nemo. In the film you’ll recall when Marlin and Dory are in the whale Dory tells him they need to let go. Marlin asks Dory if they’ll be all right and she replies she doesn’t know. This is unpredictability and being in tune with what the future holds.
Life is unpredictable. Many of us live under the impression that, through our calendars, cell phones, tablets and many other time-management tools we orchestrate our lives. This is an illusion!
Some of my yoga students walk into class saying, “Oh, I didn’t sleep well last night, so I’m going to have a bad class.” or “I feel so strong; I’m going to ‘knock it out’ today.” And guess what? The opposite happens. As we say in Bikram yoga, “There are only two kinds of classes; a good class and a great class. The only bad class is the one that you didn’t attend.” When you walk into your yoga class with no expectations other than to do your best, you allow each moment to take its course. By focusing on each movement that it takes to perform a yoga pose you are engaged in a mind/body connection that takes on its own creation.
Yoga is about the journey—enjoy the journey and learn to dance in the rain—do not only think about the destination, nor the final expression. While I was teaching class; watching my students in their postures…I got a clear message of how important the journey is. Yes, the final expression of a posture and reaching a destination has its value; yet remember to enjoy the process!
For many, unpredictability is scary. Unpredictability and security are perspectives. Consider this perspective: “A job with regular hours, compensation and benefits guarantees that I will cover my expenses and projected responsibilities for the foreseeable future. I’ve got life taken care of.” Consider this, “As a writer, artist, singer and/or entrepreneur, my life is fueled by my creative juices and fed by the product(s) that come out of my inventions.”
How do you react to these statements?
In my prior career as a financial advisor, I counseled individuals and institutions on how to best invest their financial reserves. Countless fiduciaries agonized over conserving principle while achieving the highest return on their assets. Many times these decisions included depriving themselves of:
**creative freedoms and expression
**present day opportunities for growth
**enjoyment of the present day
In the end, stock market crashes depleted more value to their financial portfolios than the perceived risk of stepping out in life. For example, one individual wanted to leave her job in finance to be an artist. She used funds (from her mother’s inheritance) to study art (in Italy) and eventually opened her own studio! In contrast, I watched another family account for every penny earned and spent, only to watch their portfolio shrink by over 50% during the 1987 stock market crash.
In the end, this taught me that taking advantage of every moment’s opportunity is invaluable. Yes, being out on your own as you look out over an uncertain future might feel shaky; however, I applaud you for the stark honesty of this lifestyle. The future is unknown because it is the future! It is we humans that do everything possible to construct all that is in our power for safety nets and some kind of predictability.
In life coaching, I encourage my clients to release as many known facts as possible during a coaching session and invite them to play with viewing life from different perspectives. This frees the mind from old patterns and creates a clear space from which new ideas are created. Do your best to keep a reasonable (whatever that means!) safety net to account for any major responsibilities. Yet, trust that uncertainty is a part of life that has been with us as long as humans have existed. It is we humans that have done everything within our power to safeguard our fears. Look around the globe to witness others whose lives have been overwhelmed by natural catastrophes that were impossible to prevent (tsunamis, disease, floods, hurricanes, etc.)
Being prepared NOT to know is a true recognition that there is a power higher than ourselves. If we are prepared to experience what life has to offer, we have to be open to unpredictability. Then, not knowing what will happen becomes for us not a deficiency but a source of creativity.
“There is a place in the depth of our being that is protected and saved for ourselves, an inner, sacred space guarded by God’s presence. It is up to each one of us to find that place. Sometimes we only howl into it when we are broken or wounded and empty, but it is in and through that emptiness that we can find our way into the beauty that transforms us into strong, loving, wise and beautiful people.” ( from Gardening the Soul by Sister Stan)
All About Olga:
Olga is a certified bilingual (Spanish) life coach, yoga teacher and rising social media manager. Past careers include: homeschooling teenagers, 30+ years in finance & retail. My favorite activities include being with my family and friends; practicing yoga, skydiving, watching movies, languages and travel, reading and music, the beach and swimming. You can find more about Olga at her blog about yoga, life experiences and new adventures at http://inside919.ning.com/profile/OlgaSantoTomasMonroe. I share my yoga life at https://www.facebook.com/yogawolga