“Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.”
Norman Vincent Peale
Action Follows Intention
Of course, solution presumes a problem where as a resolution assumes a change in action.
The popular problem in our culture, or one the market focuses on because it sells, is weight. Is it really a problem? I know for me it feels like one. I went through my Facebook timeline and in 2010 I was about 15 pounds lighter. I had a tough schedule in 2011 and when stressed, when my heart and body cry for balance, I eat.
Yet in 2012, I still did not lose that weight and life was simpler. I am a 53-year-old woman. My metabolism keeps changing, and I know I am not alone when the scale almost seems arbitrary. I also know what I need to do to lose weight.
But what are the other situations we run into in life, the problems we want to wish away, if only it were that easy.
Any addiction is tough. Years and years ago, I read a book, Addiction and Grace, which gave me a much needed window. Addiction can be about substances. It can be about thoughts. It can be about patterns. In fact most of us have a bit of neurosis going on that creates addiction.
The best remedy I know of for addiction is abstinence. And that makes food a tough one because we have to eat.
How about coffee? Or caffeine? I gave up caffeinated coffee on November 23rd. I drink the decaf and have had lots of black tea, but need less and less. I feel better. I have more energy. I sleep better. I just did it.
How about workaholics? I work a lot often and usually it is driven by need. But there is more balance in my life today. I try not to substitute teach too much [yoga teacher by profession]. I don’t spend too much time in the car. I work where I want to work.
What about self discipline?
There is the yoga challenge for 2013. I might sign up. Yoga every day…what could be better? Even if only 20 minutes a day, I know I would benefit. I do yoga often, but not every day.
Where does meditation fit in? I was doing it for a few weeks there every day a few times a day. Then, I stopped the daily practice.
Actually a set routine, according to Ayurveda, would be the best thing for me, and yet my Vata nature resists. I don’t eat the same time every day. I don’t write at the same time. I don’t work out the same time. I don’t do anything as scheduled except teach and post to Facebook every night by 11 p.m. for elephant journal.
Maybe the seeds I need to sow are in the problems I see. And maybe as I grow and solve the one’s I see more seeds will take root to replace the old ones or maybe I’ll just become aware of something that was flowering in a blind spot.
In the mindfulness community, we know the phrase: Intention and Attention. As Tara Brach, and others say, where attention goes, energy flows.
I say in yoga class, action follows intention. My intentions are to stay off coffee, lose the weight, learn more about Yin yoga, read more, write more and maybe even earn more money. I like the 12-step saying, “a day at a time.” I quit drinking that way, 22 years or so ago.
What are your intentions for 2013?
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Ed: Kate B.