Chill’s Blog: Dedicating our Actions
Last summer I took a series of Warrior Yoga classes from a sensei up at UCSC. I’m not exactly the yoga type…not very flexible and when I work out, I want to sweat, not chant (that shows you my yoga ignorance). Those classes kicked my butt! And they were also great for pushing on some of my mental capacities. Sensei Kevin had a way of connecting what we were physically experiencing to what we face in life on a daily basis. I now better understand what it is to go deeper into something…nothing like the burn of muscles to anchor that concept. On a side note, some of his connections I had to adjust since all of the other students in the class were 20 year old college students so when he talked about the incredibly difficult challenge of being in finals week AND having to go wait tables at the local pub I had to just smile and remember those tough college days…oh if only life were that hard again. It reminded me of when I finally understood the phrase, “Youth is wasted on the young.” But I digress.
One of the very valuable concepts, not to mention the sore muscles, I walked away with was to dedicate my actions. At the beginning of each session we would kneel/sit in a circle, start to breathe and just before we began, Sensei would ask us to dedicate our workout to someone. Someone that perhaps couldn’t workout or someone who we wanted to connect with for the next hour or someone that needed our energy. It was amazing to me how much more focused I could be just by dedicating my actions to someone. It gave me the opportunity to think about someone other than myself (and someone to think about in my pain and yes, sweat!) and in some moments it allowed me to push myself further. How interesting that I couldn’t do it for myself, but I could for someone else.
Since then, I have become more conscious of dedicating my actions in the world to someone else. When I reach a sweaty point (like getting up at 3:30am to fly across the country to do a training), I am able to better push through that moment when it is for someone rather than just my job. Or when I am having a tough conversation with someone and I want to remain fully present and compassionate, if I have dedicated the time to someone, I have a greater strength to go deeper.
Today, dedicate your day, your actions throughout the day, to someone. Notice how much more conscious you become as you stand with someone else in your heart, mind and spirit. Notice the strength, the joy and wealth of the moments that perhaps on any other day would just pass by unnoticed. Hold the position, feel the burn and most of all breathe.