Kick the Bucket List

Let what lights you up lead you on your path.

Nine short years of yoga practice have beautifully altered my perceptions of life. It has brought unexpected people my way that have taught me more than any book or class could ever do.
Definitions of words have changed...expanded...definitions are no longer black or white. There a vast space between the extremes to drift in and absorb.

Being healthy, for example, is not as simple as what you consume and how much you exercise. It is not just having the determined good status of cholesterol, blood pressure, or hormone levels. It is not only the state of your physical body. Health must be maintained and balanced mentally and spiritually. All three components are unique to the individual. There is no single "fix" or "one size fits all". With that perspective, how would you attain good health for you?

We have been exposed to an endless lists of rules to follow to be happy, lists to be healthy, lists to achieve goals, lists of things to learn, ad nauseum. Clever, in a twisted kind of way, is the bucket list. I even made one. Some things I've gratefully crossed off as completed. I found the list getting shorter the older I get. Started to wonder if that was good or bad. Worried that if I didn't have a longer list, I'd have a lesser or worse, shorter life. But, I realized I was letting fear of failing to cross something off and hover in my consciousness.

Priorities change. Finances change. Energy changes. Goals change. Some things feel right and some things aren't what you expected. The longer I've taught and practiced yoga, the more in tune I've become with subtle changes inside my three components of mind, body and spirit.

I've decided to kick the bucket list. I'm not working toward kicking the bucket anymore. Kind of morbid and adds more to the current pressures of life. Resolutions are somber too. There's good intentions behind them; but, they focus on what you don't like versus what you love.

Today, until another revelation occurs, I no longer plan to make a list to cross off. I still write things down. I like lists; however, what I write down is from a new perspective. It will be a journey of no regrets.

Each year of life has a way of loosening your grip on the past. Listen to the wisdom of the people who have lived through more seasons. Get a fresh charge from the energy of youth. Keep looking up at the stars. Follow the path of light your star lays out for you. Be inspired by those who honed their gifts to greatness. Release the fear of failure. Open that door in the back of your mind and take a step inward and forward.

Mark Twain was right on the money with his words: "Twenty years from now, you will regret the things you didn't do than by the things you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

The perpetually revolving list of "lose weight", "exercise every day", "quit smoking", etc. is so passe'.

Most folks start resolutions with a vengeance and let them fade like the tail end fizzle of a sparkler. Rather, ask yourself...Do I want to experience improved health? Would you regret not changing a particular habit? Listen to your inner responses and take the steps to make it happen. Don't wait until January 1. Start the moment you feel the spark of desire. Wait too long and the spark might burn out. Keep doing it and the spark grows into a flame.

Learn to explore. Become open to dreams. Build strength and flexibility to discover more. We were given our five senses (and sixth) to experience life in this physical form. Don't waste time over analyzing what was or what might be if... Remember, you have 86,400 seconds a day to live each day. Use them all.

Think about it. When you practice an hour of yoga, you've spent 3600 seconds for your well-being. Is that much time? When you listen to say, two songs that make you happy, you spend around 480 seconds to let the magical energy of music resonate into your ears, mind and perhaps...heart. When you hug someone you love, you spend maybe 5 to 10 seconds sharing the ultimate energy. Was any of the time wasted? Do you regret it? Then, you know the answer.

The secret is to be open to try, experience, learn and practice new approaches if what is going on is not working. The journey is finding the path that leads you to a road you love walking down...pausing to observe the beauty...brushing shoulders with others on the walk...and perhaps holding hands with the others who's energies beautifully blend with yours.

Allow your mind to be malleable. Nothing is set in stone. Release your pursuit of perceived perfection. Just keep what you love alive with action and intention. Do that and things have a way of falling into place as they should.

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