I really want to learn how to balance on my head and do the splits this year (separately...and probably together too). Why? I want to be super flexible; I want to be able to do things I never thought I could; I, mostly, just want to be able to say I can. Which aren't awful reasons and they're not terrible goals, but they're kind of pointless.
Why do I need to be able to stand on my head? When you think about that, it's absurd. But there's yogi's and gymnasts and a whole bunch of people out there striving to do just that. And when I do eventually learn to balance on my head, then I'm going to want to be able to do scorpion and lots of other insane contortions with my body because there's always somewhere else to be.
Nothing is ever enough. When we reach the goals we set for ourselves we just set new ones, almost immediately upon achieving the first ones. We barely even take the time to relish in our accomplishments; we certainly don't actively enjoy the moments leading up to achieving our goals.
And if we aren't present for all the time we put into achieving something, is it worth it? What was the point? Just to say we could? If we spend our lives just doing things so we can tell other people or ourselves that we can, I think we're missing the point.
I try to remind myself every time I step onto my yoga mat that I have already arrived. It doesn't matter what I manage to do with my body in the eighty minutes I'm there, because just sitting on my mat and taking those first few breaths is as far as I ever need to go. In those first few breaths, I practice consciousness. I came to class because I wanted to be kind to myself, because I wanted to connect to a deeper part of myself. And while standing on my head may facilitate some kind of deeper connection, it won't if I'm unwilling to be present every step of the way.
And isn't that true of life? I can obsess over finally getting my degree, but it's just a piece of paper if I don't really enjoy and make sure I'm present for all the moments leading up to receiving it. It's the same with promotions. It's the same with getting into a committed relationship. Sometimes we obsess so much over "arriving" that we don't even think about the steps we have to take just to start the journey.
Which doesn't mean that goals are pointless. I'm definitely going to learn that headstand this year, but I'm not going to learn it if I don't first practice strengthening my core and my upper body. These are the beginning steps, and I have to be present for them. I can choose to enjoy them, even though they hurt and they suck, not because they're going to lead me to headstand but because I'm in those poses and I have to learn to be content with where I'm at. Only then will I learn that wherever I am going is a mental rather than physical destination. Only then will I learn that I've already arrived.
P.S the photo is from my second aerial class and you know I'm hoping to be the girl in left sooner or later. But I'm also happy right where I'm at because I'm freaking flying!