I had a chance to experience this first hand this week. I just completed a knitted shawl that I had been working on as a gift for the past 5 years. I started the project when I was new to knitting and when I look at it I see all the growth and learning that came along the way both in myself and in the friendship with the person I gifted it to. While I was out looking for a box to place it in, I picked up some stickers for another friend to give to her when I saw her next. What I noticed is that both acts of giving opened my heart not because of the size or shape of the gift but because it connected me with how grateful I am to have these two beautiful women in my life.
In the physical practice of yoga it is easy to get caught up in the details of trying to attain the perfect pose, but I find the question of what leads to happiness here also worth exploring. One of my favorite poses is Matsyangasana, a pose that my friend and colleague Brad Waites calls the Best Twist Ever. I could enjoy this pose because it is one of the deepest twist you can do for the spine and all the benefits that brings, but instead I keep coming back to it in my practice and teaching because it is a pose that everyone can do. It requires no props, no prerequisite of strength or flexibility and can challenge the newest and most veteran practitioners. Practicing it lets me see where I am that day. How willing am I to be kind to my body and let it open at its own pace? Where do I push when I could soften? Where do I give less than my full potential?
Off the mat I am noticing that the places where I feel that I am spinning my wheels are the same places where I think what I can give is not enough. I have some goals and dreams that seem so big to me that I don't know if I will reach them in this lifetime. In my doubt, I start to think that it matters more what I do or how much I give than that I just start and give the best that I can. Whatever you want for your life, I ask you to consider that you have all that you need to live that right now. Begin in this moment. Do something and see how that something is leading you toward the bigger picture of the person you want to become. The me that started that shawl five years ago is not the same me who finished it last week and I am grateful for every stitch of the journey and the willingness to do what I thought I wasn't capable of doing.