"Until one is committed, there is a hesitancy, the chance to draw back.
The moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."
~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it! That’s it. Begin. Begin. And, then, begin again. It’s about the process of beginning again and again along this path. Gathering up our attention with intention and getting going… each new day. We don’t know what will greet us, sun or rain, health or sickness, love or loss, but, we begin again and again.
The first word in Patanjali’s yoga sutras is Atha, which often gets translated as readiness or commitment. What I’ve noticed is that, regardless of the outcome, the simple (read: not-so-simple) act of commitment us offers a solid foundation in which we can find stability amidst the endless fluctuations of longing and aversion, the expectations and outcomes that plague our lives. It provides a container in the midst of life’s ups and downs: a place we can return to again and again, ritualizing our days and giving them clear attention.
I write this in February, where I witnessed the influx of yoga practitioners in January’s classes, and now once again am witnessing them begin to fall off. The commitment wanes and we often return to our habitual behaviors that keep us looping in the same ruts of thought and action.
The long path of yoga requires an ongoing readiness, commitment, and perseverance. This I can tell you, after thirty years of meditation practice and a couple decades of asana, well, it takes incredible determination, grit, resolve… and then the patience—and self-love—to pick it back up again when you’ve dropped it.
For me, the key to this commitment is the clarity of what it’s connected to. I know that with practice I am stronger and softer; I experience myself and the world around me more fully and love more deeply. I feel more whole, more connected and inter-connected. And that’s what I desire.
When I don’t practice and find myself looping back into my favored samskaras, well, this motivates me. This keeps me returning. Regrouping and recommitting again and again.
As the shininess of the new year fades just a little, and gusto with which you gave yourself over to to that new endeavor begins to fade, what will keep you returning, showing up, and following through with that which serves your vision for your life?
So, today, we gather up our life-force and clearly direct it toward the path we want to be on: we begin again and witness what occurs with this clarity, readiness, and commitment. Possibly, you will move mountains. Possibly, you will rest fully. Possibly, you will start something you’ve been putting off for a long time. It’s in all the beginning.