Do you show up consistently or only when the stars align? Or maybe you’re waiting for the stars to align before you show up?
If you’re not getting the results you want in your life then I recommend taking stock of how you show up for the things that you say are important to you.
Working toward what you want means taking steps even when you don’t feel like it or the outside circumstances may make it challenging.
Make the practice itself the reward
For example, having a strong, flexible and injury-free body is important to me. Not only because I love being active, but also because a healthy body is the basis for the work I do in the world.
To keep my body healthy I’ve shown up to my yoga mat almost every morning for over two decades. Sometimes the view from my yoga mat is incredibly beautiful and inspiring. Having just returned from my Week of Rivers and Yoga in Costa Rica, I recently experienced incredible yoga views!
Other times it’s very plain and routine. I have a travel mat that I bring with me wherever I go, and I’ve even rolled it out in quiet corners of airports.
There are mornings when I feel happy, excited and hopeful. Other mornings I feel sad, frustrated, depressed and have to drag myself to my mat. I show up for my yoga practice regardless of how I feel because I know that however I feel at the beginning, I’ll feel even better by the end.
I don’t think in terms of rewarding myself for doing my yoga practice, my practice itself is my reward.
What does it mean to be advanced?
You may assume then that after over 2 decades of almost daily practice that my yoga practice is ‘advanced.’
I actually don’t practice ‘difficult’ yoga poses because they don’t align with my goal of having a strong, flexible and injury-free body. Notice that my goal is not to do advanced yoga poses. If that were my goal, my practice would look different. Instead, it looks like opening the front of the body and strengthening the back body to counteract the repetitive positions of sitting, kayaking, cycling and skiing (upper body).
On the other hand, some folks may say that the level of self-awareness and mindfulness that I’ve cultivated as a result of my consistent yoga practice over time is advanced.
In whitewater kayaking my goal is to be smooth, graceful and continue to challenge myself to do things that scare me. I don’t have to run the hardest whitewater out there to achieve that, but I do have to show up consistently, especially for the graceful part :).
Get clear on what’s important to you.
You may think you know what your goals are, but do you really? Are you truly tuning into what’s important to you, or are you basing your goals off what seems cool or advanced? In both the yoga and whitewater kayaking examples I gave above, my goals have shifted and changed over the decades. I started out wanting to run the hardest stuff, and wanting to be able to perform advanced yoga poses. That’s what drove me in the past.
I’ve allowed my goals to shift within both yoga and ww kayaking while still showing up for the practice over and over and over again.
I highly recommend taking out a piece of paper or opening your journal and start writing about your goals and what’s important to you. From there, ask yourself how you can show up consistently over time to achieve those goals. Make the practice itself the reward, not the ultimate goal. If you have to reward yourself for showing up every time you’ll become addicted to the reward instead of the practice.
What’s a practice you show up for consistently over time or you would like to show up for consistently over time? Email me and tell me about it.