I was watching Anthony Kim play golf last weekend and instead of being inspired, I got really depressed. Here’s a guy, all of 23, playing on the PGA tour. He’s living his dream. He’s living his dharma, as we say in yoga. Your “purpose in life.” I thought a lot about my purpose in life that night and it was a pretty sobering experience.
The practical side of the world we live in demands that we balance our passion and the pragmatic. The challenges of creating a life where you can live your dreams while trying to pay your bills requires creative thinking that can strain even the most out-of-the-box thinkers. I sometimes wish I had tapped into my passion when I was very young; I would have had the opportunity to not only explore it deeper, but would have perhaps lived a more basic lifestyle… one in which I never acquired a mortgage, a car, some credit card debt… all the things that somehow keep us ( at times) tethered to the practical when all we want to do is live our dreams.
But then I think that without the path of my life as it has been, I would not have the wisdom I have today. The challenges of balancing it all creates a struggle of sorts that makes even the smallest victories all the more sweet. It also gives me a deep well of experiences and feelings from which to draw upon when teaching or writing.
I share these thoughts with you today because I look for inspiration in my own words. I know as a yoga student, I am often amazed by how the words of the teacher can strike a chord in me. The universality of our struggle as humans never ceases to amaze me. We can think we’re so alone but then if the courage to open up to another strikes us, we realize we are not alone at all and so many others share the same thoughts and are trying to climb the same mountain. I somehow made the leap the other night that I was too old to live my dreams. Imagine that! Somehow in my feeling-sorry-for-myself state, that is the best excuse I could conjure up.
You are never too old or too late to live your dreams. If you’re living without inspiration to be more, do more, live your passion, your life may lack the luster of one who has found or is trying to find, his or her purpose in life. I remember when I left my corporate career to teach yoga full-time. There were many people I worked with who admitted to me, on my last day at work, what their real passions were. There were writers and artists and a dancer. These were people that I’d worked with for two years and never had an idea that under their exterior was all this passion brewing for something that most of them hardly spent any time exploring.
When we live disconnected from our passion, the fire inside us dies. Our inspiration, our drive, our energy, our love for life all comes from doing what we love. The title of this blog, “For the love of Yoga and Running” describes what I love. My greatest joys come from teaching yoga, practicing, running and racing. The marathon I finally ran last year was one of the biggest achievements of my life and one for which I am very proud (I’m thinking of doing it again this year!) To live without these things in my life would be as if I were operating without a limb.
I’ve spent the past few days digesting my thoughts from last weekend and have started to write down ways that I can stay connected and explore my passions further. This blog is one way that I can keep my passion for both yoga and running alive. So look for more regular posts again. I seemed to have lost track once I finished the marathon in October but I’ve decided to get back into a regular routine of writing. I hope you enjoy it and find that it inspires you to explore your dreams and passions in a deeper way.
“Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music — the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.”
— Henry Miller, American Author