Why? I spend most of my day in pursuit of the answer to this question. Innate curiosity urges me to question and analyze everything. I want to know why people behave the way they do and then my brain wants to dissect it to find patterns. It might seem contradictory to the way of yoga. Yoga is a discipline that asks us to clear our minds and be present for our experience. Many times with the worthy goal of calming the fluctuations of the mind, I have tried to deny that persistent questioning and analysis. I have tried to plug up the channels in my mind that lead me to always ask, why. For me, this leads to failure, insecurity, and yet another why question: why can’t I just let things be?
That’s what happens when we try to deny part of ourselves. It spectacularly fails. However, the inverse is true as well. When we accept and then harness the power of our innate abilities; we flourish. We flourish and benefit not only ourselves, but also those around us. For me to do this, I had to let go of what I thought I should be doing and where I thought I was supposed to be going. That simple yet profound task of letting go was like turning off the engine and pulling up the sails. I no longer needed to try so hard to figure it out. I just had to trust.
This led me to my dream careers, both yoga teacher and behavior analyst. In both of these arenas I use that instinctive questioning to make a difference. As a yoga teacher I ask myself, why didn’t that sequence work? Why do I feel pulled to teach in a certain way? Why did practice feel so free today? I ask these questions and then find out the answers. Sometimes the why is not important, other times it is pivotal. As a behavior analyst I use that question to make a difference as well. Why is this the best treatment plan? Why isn’t this child acquiring skills? Why does he engage in this behavior? Only through that process of letting go and trusting could I come to this place. I had to stop clinging to my plan and trust. Trust that not only I am supposed to make a difference on this earth, but also that I can do that exactly as I am.
What’s your purpose in life? For what reason have you been placed here on this earth at this particular moment in time? What are you meant to do? These big questions we often use as a guiding light to determine our direction. These are all valid questions, but let’s change up the script. What if you knew you were uniquely destined to make a difference? You are. What if you could harness the power of your individual strengths toward this aim? You can. What if your perceived weaknesses are actually qualities that make you perfect for this job? They are. You already have everything you need. Turn off the engine and pull the sails up.