The Right Use of Will

Sustained, transformational change happens through the alchemy of mindfulness and the right use of will. In life, just as in yoga, you must start where you are before you can take the next step. Clearly, this is one of life’s greatest paradoxes, and it snags us every time. Our tendency is to work diligently to attain a goal without mindfully sinking down into the moment. It’s in the moment that we receive the energy, grace, and universal support to shift patterns.

The right use of will is an ancient yogic practice essential for growth and change. We need to show up to the moment and mindfully adjust our actions so that our intentions and our actions come into alignment, into yoga. The split between intention and action is a painful one; to know but not practice is essentially to not know.

Here are some powerful reminders about using your will most effectively and committing to yourself in the most success-oriented way:

  • Think incrementally. Change happens in small steps. Keep it simple as you consider your actions. What is one step you can take in the direction of your intention? Set reachable goals.
  • Think specifically. As you create a commitment to yourself, answer these questions: When will I practice? For how long? How often in the week? The specifics ground us in success.
  • Think realistically. Keep it simple and—like on the yoga mat—meet yourself where you are.
  • Think relationally. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone. Get a walking buddy, personal trainer, life coach, or someone who will hold the larger perspective of possibility for you. It’s more fun to have another along your journey.

Let your actions take you closer to your heart’s longing one step at a time. It works! Enjoy the journey.

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