This summer, I left the yoga studio I'd opened more than three and a half years earlier. Even though I wasn't paid for my efforts beyond the wages I earned teaching classes, I managed the studio Read
Rules can be useful (and life-saving!) when they protect our safety. Traffic lights, for instance, are important to obey. Most other rules, however, are useful to ponder, question, and often break.
Anyone you admire has probably broken many rules to change the world for the better. Amelia Earhart soared after men told her she could not. Martin Luther King organized nonviolent protests that inspired global change. Joan of Arc (in her teens!) led an army to victory to defend her truth.
Sometimes the rules aren't so obvious. Sometimes the rules are just assumptions about the way life has to be. Expectations. Status quo. Rule breakers and trail blazers aren't limited to the heroes we read about in history books. Earth shakers are all around us.
We all have heroes in our daily lives--mothers, fathers, siblings, children, co-workers, and friends--who've improved our lives by going against the stream. My good friend Tao Porchon-Lynch is 94 years young and blazes trails all over the globe leading yoga classes and reminding people that they have the power within to accomplish anything. Occasionally she brings me along for the ride and I am energized and inspired by her presence. My husband Mike Taylor took a leap of faith into the direction of his interests and talents and adopted a career switch from technology start ups to Strala. (Working beside me daily takes some major rule breaking skills!)
Maybe it's a mother who believed in your artistic dream before you did. A friend who encouraged you to leave the boyfriend who was perfect on paper, but not for you. A sister who started practicing yoga and inspired you to take better care of your health.
Our heroes are important to us because they believed in their vision for how life could be when no one else did. They took giant leaps of faith, went against the grain, broke the rules, and left the world a better place.
Sometimes "following the rules" means holding ourselves back. It's easy to fall into habits and stay in our comfort zone. I don't buy the "fear of failure" routine. We all can imagine our own failure. What's more difficult to imagine is our success. It's uncharted, unscripted, and completely unbound.
What happens if we take a chance on ourselves, our dream, our life? What happens if we consider how we're living, break the rules that aren't serving our highest purpose, and write our own rules?
I encourage us to ask, Who made the rules that we live by? Which rules are we willing to stand by and which are we brave enough to break?
5 Steps to Making Your Own Rules
1. Get connected. Sit and meditate. Pause, get comfortable, and listen to yourself regularly to cultivate intuition. Your highest purpose is resting right inside of you. Tap in, have a listen, and allow your intuition to expand.
2. Shed what's not serving you. Make a list. What are the actions that you do and the rules that you follow that aren't serving you? It can be as simple as eating too much sugar, or participating in a toxic relationship. It's important to face what's not serving you before you can write any new rules.
3. Make space. Without space, there is no room for inspiration, creativity, or anything new. De-clutter your living space. Clean up your social and work calendar.
4. Allow creativity. Find something you like that is creative and fun. It can be anything: knitting, cooking, yoga, or hiking. Let it be an activity that fuels you mentally, physically, and spiritually.
5. Make new rules. Formulate your new rules that serve you and your highest purpose. It can be as simple, as I'm going to prepare my own meals 3 days a week, or I'm signing up for that yoga membership I keep putting off, or I'm going to take steps toward the career of my dreams. Set your rules in your mind, write them down, and allow the possibility that you may start the process again in a week, a month, or a year.
You'll have to watch this video to find out the ONE rule everyone should break!
To learn more about yoga, check out our video course The Complete Guide To Yoga.