Sunday, December 05, 2010

how one question changed the course of my life

I'm a fan of questions. I enjoy when a student asks me a question. As a student of yoga, and as a participant in life, I enjoy asking questions. Questions are a form of inquiry. Questions encourage curiosity. Questions promote learning. And learning can create change.

I incorporate questions into my yoga classes. Typically when I am guiding students to set an intention for their yoga class I will invite them to silently ask questions such as....
What am I most needing to receive from my practice today?
How can my practice help create balance and harmony in mind, body, and spirit?
How can I nurture myself through my practice today?
How can my practice be an expression of gratitude and joy?

In holding asanas (poses) I invite students to ask, "How can I relax ten percent more? If I were holding this pose for ten minutes what might I do differently?

In meditating we often use the three soul questions, "Who am I? What do I want? What's my purpose?

Over seven years ago I asked myself a question that changed the course of my life. In looking at it now, one would not think it to be mind blowing or earth shattering. It wasn't that deep. It wasn't terribly complicated. It certainly wasn't "What's dying to be born?" No it was much more simple.

However it changed my life in profound ways. It was a question that created heartache. It was a question that created challenge. In many ways it created chaos. And more confusion before it led me to clarity.

But clarity it did give me. Not in a moment. Not overnight. Not in one month. But over the course of many months this one question guided me into my very heart, into my very soul.

It was one question that encouraged me to explore living my life differently. It was one question that put me on this path that I'm still on today. A path of creating a life that resonates deeply with my heart. A path of yoga. A path of exploring my deepest, truest, most authentic Self. A path of doing what I wanted to do for as long as I could remember, which was simply "to help people."

The question that changed my life was "Is this what I really want?"
Yes, not much of the surface level. But I suspect that if you ponder this question in that area of your life, you know the one that keeps poking it's finger into your will lead to some juicy revelations.

What do you really want? Would love to hear...

PS - Photo by Martin Husch. Under the stars in Tulum.

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