All through life we are confronted with the ideas of success, responsibility and commitment to goals. This challenge makes many of us want to run for the hills, to tear off the shoes, suits and ties, and instead, walk barefoot in the grass and experience what it means free. Freedom from responsibilities, freedom to roam, freedom to live life as we choose, no ties that bind, no strings attached, no price to pay.
However, the older we get we see that there is always a price tag. To have a steady job, one must go to school. In order to have a house, one must earn a steady income and in order to have a family one must come home to the same bed every night with the same person.
To become good at something means a steady effort, but how does one marry dedication and freedom together?
In this modern day we live with so many choices and paradoxes it’s no wonder we are confused. For example, how do we live in peace and excitement at the same time? How do we balance dedication and freedom? Can we find a balance?
When I first began my yoga path, it was like jumping into the deep end of an ocean of knowledge. There was so much to learn and comprehend about body, mind, action, abilities, love, enlightenment, and how this all related to my life.
The eight limbs of yoga, at first, seemed dogmatic to me. However, after years of study and practice, these great principles have come to represent the launching pad for great freedom of my mind and body.
Through learning the principles of yoga, I now constantly straddle the precipice of containment and expansion. I’ve always been a person to yearn for freedom and I’ve come to understand that it’s not by turning your back on responsibility or dedication, but by facing it that we can walk forward with great freedom of choice in our steps.
I recently had a conversation with a good friend who has lived the life of a dancer. She said that one of the basic rules of dance is that without a solid grounding one cannot leap to the highest heights.
There are many paths of discipline and people can get lost in the principles or politics of the practice.
Bruce Lee once said: “Enter a mold without being caged in it. Obey the principle without being bound by it.”
Dedication to family, a practice, a home, a job, etc., can feel dogmatic at times. However, it’s this grounding that can allow for great expansion of understanding in the most mundane tasks if one is truly seeking freedom. Without dedication, freedom can be limiting and we become like a bird who never understands the wind.
Amanda Ramcharitar is a yogini, animal lover and environmentalist, as well as an artist, writer, ponderer and wanderer. She seeks to experience life through the expansive awareness of possibility and hope. Follow Amanda on Twitter or Facebook.