Happy New Year
No, I’m not confused. I know it’s not 2015 – at least not technically. But, this time of year does feel like new beginnings. It’s a new school year. The seasons are changing. There’s a new, more focused energy as people think about goals and to-do’s and gear back up after the more relaxed feel of summer. A friend thinks September 1st would make a much better “official” start to the year than January 1st when people are worn out from the holidays and it’s cold outside. I agree.
Speaking of goals, I’ve been reviewing and tweaking mine in honor of the “new year”. As I was reflecting on them, something a friend said to me many years ago came back. We were having a goals discussion and he was cautioning me against getting too attached. If I let that happen, he explained, I would feel really great about myself when I succeeded and really bad when I failed. He pointed out that I was still the same person not matter what the outcome. This conversation happened many years before I started practicing yoga, and I really didn’t understand what he meant.
Since then, his meaning has become much clearer to me. It relates to last week’s blog discussion about separating our small “s” self from our capital “S” Self. Our “self” sets goals, has dreams and ambitions. My wise friend and yoga say that is all fine as long as we don’t totally identify with these things and attach our Self-worth to their outcome.
I used to love riding and racing my road bike. My dream was to compete in the Senior Olympics and I was well on my to qualifying. Notice these statements are in the past tense.
About 7 years ago, I was out on a training ride when I crashed hard. I hit a gravel patch that caused me to flip my bike and I landed full force on concrete shattering my left elbow into 32 pieces.
I was so lucky. My doctor saved my arm and 3 surgeries, a bone graft, countless hours of physical therapy and a year later my arm was healed. As my doctor said, it’s not the way God created it but it’s functional. I decided to give up racing and my dream of the Senior Olympics.
The outcome could have been much worse and I’m extremely grateful that it wasn’t. But, competing athletically was a big part of how I defined myself. It’s been a major adjustment for me to redefine that aspect of me.
Goals come and go. Who we are at our core – our true Self – remains constant.
Enjoy and Breathe Easy
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