As Danielle Laporte would say, let’s make the journey feel like the destination.
What’s the point of getting to where we want to be if the journey isn’t filled with moments and sparks of joy?
Eckhart Tolle says all stress is caused by wanting to be over there… when we are here. When we can figure out how NOT to do this then life will be peaceful. Life will be graceful.
We need to learn to release the grasping, the ever-reaching, the never-stopping motion toward something other than what we are and some place other than where we are. We all know this far too well, right?
Even when we get to where we want to be or achieve that big, audacious goal, all of a sudden we’re already reaching for another goal! Phwoaaar, it’s exhausting.
But once we figure out how to do this, how to release that ever-reaching, ‘efficiency is everything’ mindset, then our moments in time (now) will be filled with joy, bliss, and love.
This is the practice of creating contentment. It’s not laziness. It’s not giving up. It’s not just being like ok whatever. In fact, there’s a little bit to it!
Here’s our (easy) step by step formula to enjoying the journey… and yes, it works.
This is how we’ve overcome our productivity addiction :P.
This formula can be used during any of life’s moments, whether it’s at work, during a workout, with your friends and family, on a road trip… ok, you get, anywhere you go, this formula can go with you!
Pop it in your back pocket as a nifty little tool you can whip out whenever you need/want it.
Step one: accept where you are and who you are
First we must learn to accept where we are and exactly who we are.
This is what we call unconditional, radical, acceptance. It’s where you allow yourself to feel totally ok (or, gasp, amazing) in the exact state or situation you’re in.
You could use the example of rain on the day of your pool party… you wished for sun but you got rain and literally you CANNOT change it. Do you accept it? Or do you dwell? Do you have a great day? Or a poo day? The choice is yours.
Another example could be that you want to get stronger. You could either be annoyed that you stopped exercising, lost strength and motivation… OR you could accept what is your reality for this moment… and work out a plan to move forward.
In every moment to moment decision, it is your choice whether you accept or you dwell, stress, hate or wish to be someplace else.
This goes for all situations but more importantly acceptance of what you look like, who you are, where you live, what you do.
Step two: forgiveness (to create freedom)
We must also forgive any past moments that came before (now) and let them go.
Sometimes when you begin this self-development journey, you reflect and realise OH CRAP I did all those things that were mean to myself, I always take things personally, I was so impatient, I was so ungrateful, I was so xyz… suddenly what was meant to be self-development becomes self-deprecation because you’re so mad at your past self.
Maya Angelou said it best when she said “you would have done better if you’d known better.”
In the moments of reflection, it is important that you reflect without judgement.
You can reflect and learn. But try not to label as good/bad/evil/terrible.
When you realise there was a past moment that didn’t serve you, forgive. For if you’d known better, you would have done better.
Step three: breathe
Welcome in presence (as much as you can muster!). This is best done by focussing on the breath. The best thing? Is that you’re always breathing! Which means every breath is an opportunity to feel present.
Breathe. Look around you. Feel the sensations from the wind, the warm air, the texture of the Earth… take it all in.
When you write the email… really be there, writing the email.
When you drive, be THERE, driving your car, aware.
When you do the groceries, do not rush, just walk.
When you exercise… feel into your body… every movement, allow yourself to experience it all.
Step four: feel the gratitude
Then it’s time to invite gratitude. And this comes oh so much easier when you are practising presence. When you are present you realise how much you already have to be grateful for.
One of our favourite examples of building this gratitude is during our Yoga and Pilates practice. Bringing awareness and looking at our bodies while we practice. Realising just how amazing they are for taking us on life’s journey.
Step five: take a step
It’s then important to take a step. To take some action. Because if you don’t, then you stay exactly where you are, exactly the same. Which is fine but it’s not really how the world works now, is it?
The world is spinning and we are in a forever flow with it. It doesn’t matter if you step forward, backward, sidewards, under or over… you keep moving and doing YOUR life.
Step six: repeat (in any order)
The magic with this formula is that there is no real order. You could welcome in gratitude and then presence, acceptance and forgiveness will follow. The same way it would all happen if you entered the formula with any other beginning.
Remember, this is YOUR journey. There is no one right way. Just the way that feels right for you.
The path to over there is where we learn the lessons. The path, the journey, is where the adventure happens. The path is the magic. The path is where life lives.
We’ve found the best way to create all of this and welcome in this formula is with the practice of Yoga, Pilates and meditation. It’s why we do it every day. It’s our anchor into presence. It’s our anchor to awaken acceptance and forgiveness. It’s our key to unlocking the abundance of gratitude and joy that lives within us.
If you want to try our classes that we teach, where these lessons are weaved throughout, then come and join MerryBody! Learn more at themerrymakersisters.com/merrybody
Emma + Carla
Feature image by Clemens van Lay on Unsplash
Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Unsplash
Photo by Mukuko Studio on Unsplash