It’s been a week since my first encounter with Sharon Gannon and David Life, the creators of Jivamukti Yoga. Spending last weekend in Woodstock, New York at the Jivamukti Immersion Weekend was a fantastic opportunity to spend time with some friends who work in yoga as well, so time together is usually scarce at best…and our exposure to the teachings of Sharon & David was enlightening, to say the least. We were taught countless things, while being reminded and re-directed to countless others, but among everything we heard and discussed, I found myself honing in on something that became my focus of the week for my classes over the past 5 days, and I wanted to get it down here as well.
How often do we say yes to things that we’d rather say no to? How many times do we agree to do something when we’d rather do something else, or even do nothing at all? How many people do we keep in our lives who bring us more suffering than peace, and how many times do we spend time with these people when we’d rather not? How often do we avoid confrontation or having to defend our reasoning by agreeing to something? Think about it. We spend so much time being agreeable, settling for less than we want for ourselves, making other people happy. We forage our way through life treating the time we are blessed with as if it’s a renewable resource…we agree to do something, to use up some of our time, to get something done or make someone happy, attached to the moment that we’re done so we can get back to what we originally wanted to be doing. And I’ll tell you something massively important – if we do these things, if we choose to sacrifice our time in ways that don’t fulfill us, we’re deluding ourselves that our time isn’t valuable. And it is.
The majority of us were raised by parents for whom this type of thinking was laughable and quickly dismissed. Our parents came from a generation where things had to get done, regardless of how they felt about them. The fact that I’m writing this blog post and encouraging us all to live with greater integrity and accountability to ourselves proves that we are blessed with options our parents may not have had. It’s in our nature to NOT prioritize ourselves or our time, to always be available to others, to put ourselves last. If the teachings of yoga and the majority of what I believe in provide a call to the NOW, then why not start treating time like the gift that it is? Every single one of us is here for a reason – one that is greater than ourselves, and greater than the sum total of ourselves. The more time we pay attention to that, honouring the paths we feel compelled to travel, the closer we get to figuring out what our mission is and how we can affect change in the world around us. These bodies of ours, our ability to discern universal law from government-enforced legislation, our attraction towards light and all it represents, are all gifts, but like any gift, if put aside to be opened at a later date, they’ll probably go unnoticed and forgotten before long. Open your gifts. Use them. Let them wake you up to why you’re really here. Incorporate them into your daily routines and see what you notice in your own behaviour and understanding, as well as in the world around you. See the time that you have been allotted as non-renewable, and allow that comprehension to affect everything in your lives. What would it change for you if you knew that your days were numbered? Because they are. Without getting morbid, let me remind you all that no one is given immortality to get everything they want to do done. Get things done. Tell people you love them. Stop wasting your time, and make the most out of this moment. Now. Consider this a rarity, because being reminded that everything could change within one second seems to be unpopular. I’m willing to be unpopular.