Patience and persistence.

How often do you make a promise? Yeah, that's what I thought: all the time!  

I promise to get to the gym today.

I promise I'll be there on time.
I promise to take better care of myself.
I promise I will never drink again.
I promise ... until death due us part.

Promises, promises.

Yoga - like life, but really yoga is life and life is yoga so we’re talkin’ about the same thing, yeah? - requires commitment: commitment to showing up on a regular basis, to being willing to gently try even when you feel tired or checked out, to being open to whatever presents itself, to responding to what is actually happening and not to what you think should be happening. 
I'm sure you've heard it echoed throughout nearly every yoga class: yoga is about being true to the present moment. Yoga is about cultivating a conscious ability to observe and participate, and learning how to asana practice as a forum for experiencing and enhancing awareness.

For the month of January, I've committed to Total Health Month. A month of becoming present to and more aware of a wholistic model of health. Through the awareness of my daily health habits (or lack thereof: must.drink.more.water!), it has been possible to take one step at a time towards a healthier me. As the brainchild of Total Health Month, my fellow yogini Rachel Scott, says "through these small, daily choices, we change our habits, which will change our lifestyles, which will change our lives."

One of the inspirations posted on how to keep a promise illuminated my intention of why my promise - my commitment to optimal health - is important and also helps me keep my dristhi, my focus. Whether you're on board for Total Health Month or focusing on your own personal promise/New Year's Resolution/personal revolution here's what Elisa Gumunshel offers on 
How to Keep a Promise:

1. Heart.
Set intentions that matter. Ask the question ‘why’ until you come to the fundamental ‘reason’ or basis for your intention. For example, if you have set an intention to ‘lose weight’, ask why… so you can feel better, so you will be healthier, so you will be more confident. Get down to the core values that are at the heart of your promise, as these are the true motivators for our actions.

2. Mind.
Set yourself up for success! Set measurable, reasonable goals, get support, and be accountable for your actions to yourself or someone else. At the same time, make space for yourself to falter sometimes. If you fall, get back up and keep going. “Failing” is part of being successful.

3. Body.
Take action every day. Each day, do something that contributes to your goal. The process makes the goal happen, and is even more important than the goal itself.

A promise may only be made once, but it must be kept every day through the action of bringing awareness to intentions. 
Being present, however, also means that we cannot have a rigid agenda whether we are stepping onto our yoga mats or into a New Year or into a new way of being. Sometimes determination obstructs our ability to be open to the present moment. 

While I continue to stand fully committed and present to my health and wellbeing, this month has illuminated the delicate balance of how I conceptualize optimal health. While I only got about 4.5 hours of sleep last night, the evening spent catching up with good friends, shared stories and laughter has nourished me in a way that elevated my wellbeing more than a full night's sleep. 

Ok, so I didn't hold up to my commitment of giving my body a minimum of 7 hours of sleep and yes I had a beer (ok, I had two!), but you know what? I feel incredible today! It's all about finding that delicate balance of what it means to be healthy in a wholistic way. Instead of approaching my health with "determination," I embrace my promises with equal parts patience and persistence. 

Patience and persistence. That's my promise. 
I promise.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Erica! I've always highly valued a "promise" and I think these are wonderful tools/suggestions in order to keep this type of commitments to ourselves and others :) Hope to see you soon!