“Where one door closes, another door opens,
but it’s the hallway that will kill you.”
O.K., so the hallway won’t kill you, but it will certainly challenge you beyond your comfort zone.
Any way, I just read a great book called “How Yoga Works,” by Geshe Michael Roach and Christie McNally.
Among many possible interpretations; it is about seeing people, places and things as they are and as other than they are. In other words, to be able to shift our perspective and see the world in ways different than through our unconscious lenses that sometimes keep us stuck in self-defeating patterns.
Another word for “Yoga” is life. “How Yoga Works” is about how to make our lives work through a radical transformation of our entire perceptual patterns, which are most often unconscious and habitual.
Many of us are initially motivated for change by desperation. But it doesn’t take long to realize its short-term nature. Over time, though, we can learn to motivate ourselves through inspiration, as well. But in the routine of ordinary, daily life, inspiration comes and goes. So one of our important challenges is to employ self-discipline when we don’t necessarily feel like doing something that’s in our best interest. So how do we learn self-discipline? By adopting some kind of principle-based life-style.
In “How Yoga Works,” the authors beautifully demonstrate principle-based living which has been outlined throughout time in so many ways; whether it be through Alcoholics Anonymous, Smart Recovery, Yoga or the literally hundreds of other paths people walk.
Having personally practiced the twelve-step program for years, I see so many similarities between it and many of these other paths, including the eight-limbed path of Ashtanga yoga.
“How Yoga Works” weaves these principles into a sweet story about a young woman on a pilgrimage to the birth place of her ancestors, depicting how universal and timeless these principles are regardless of the particular path you are currently walking.
Historically, there has been so much ego-driven debate about which program is the “right” or “best” program for people in recovery (from anything and everything,) that we often miss the invaluable common ground we can all potentially benefit from.
In the intensive outpatient program for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders at Inner-Work Counseling; we custom design paths of recovery for people on an individual basis through honesty, open-mindedness and willingness.
So when the next “door” in your life closes, count “How Yoga Works,” as a great survival tool to help guide you through that scary hallway; not just one day at a time, but one breath at a time.
Think of it this way; in the next twenty-four hours we are all going to be trading away an entire day of our life. Let’s make it a good deal!
How differently would we treat the next twenty-four hours if we knew we only had ten years left? A year left? A hundred days left? Ten days left? Maybe we would count the experience of the hallway as a legitimate part of the journey instead of just something to get through in order to enjoy the next “door.”
Would we see things with softer eyes? Would we experience the sweetness inherent in each day a little more vividly? Might we be kinder, less judgmental to ourselves and others? How nice it would be if we would do that anyway with however much time we do have left.
Which of the following principles do you currently practice in your daily routine?
Honesty, service, compassion, non-violence (in thought, word and deed), non-stealing, trust, faith, right-action, relinquishment, surrender, moderation, temperance, balance, letting go, forgiveness, non-possessiveness, contentment, moderation, enthusiasm, self-study, devotion, humility, self-reliance, self-responsibility, commitment, self-discipline, reverence, faith, trust, etc.
Which, if any of these principles may be over developed or under developed in your life?
Can you accept yourself as you are, even as you change and grow?