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It had been a particularly stressful week and I was really in need of my yoga class. My eyes were closed as I focused on inhaling balance and exhaling my stress. I was in a deep meditative state when I heard the door open. The sound of loud footsteps filled the room followed by several large thuds from mats unfolding.
I could feel the irritation rising in my throat and I desperately wanted to open my eyes to see who had come into class. But I kept my eyes closed; I was determined to hold my focus. I centered myself again and then I heard it, "Looking left and right distracts you from your path. Keep your gaze in front of you."
It is not unusual for me to receive spiritual messages in yoga. I actually took a career detour from a message I heard in camel pose.
But today's message was particularly significant. Earlier in the week I'd had a phone conversation with a friend who was comparing her career choices with mine. She was wishing she'd started her own business and she felt like she was "behind."
I saw her as a woman with a beautiful family, a wonderful husband and fantastic friends, but she was in a "career race" with herself.
Later in the week, I worked with a client who felt like she might have missed her window to have children. She believed she needed to catch up to her friends who were already mothers, and she was worried that her opportunity may have passed. These conversations were still on my mind when I was in class and this message was particularly poignant.
How many of you compare yourself to your loved ones or even strangers?
Do you do it to motivate yourself or does it morph into the fear that ends up holding you back? Where does this comparison even start?
It seems that when we are young we all start off at the same place in life. We're all in school, surrounded by people who are the same age and may possibly live nearby. But in actuality that is where it stops. Because even at a young age we may recognize economic differences. We may notice who is considered attractive and who is athletic or musically talented. We may even be grouped intellectually in advanced classes and honors programs. In truth, we have been comparing ourselves to others since we were old enough to know the difference.
It is normal to notice other people’s achievements, but how do you interpret them? If your friend has a baby and you don’t, this doesn’t diminish your own accomplishments, nor does it mean you are behind or on the wrong path. It also doesn’t mean it won’t happen for you when the time is right. Each of us carves out our own life—one that works with our dreams, strengths and passions. If we all had the same destiny our wants would be expectations and our lives would be robotic. We need to celebrate our differences and recognize the free will that allows us to mold a truly unique existence.
Take a deep breath. Inhale what you have created and exhale the worry that weighs you down. Recognize the blessings. Observe the support. Understand divine timing. But most of all stay grounded and positive and have faith.
After all, the Universe is working in your favor.
Your life is not a race: 5 Ways to be Mindful of Your Milestones
1. Start by asking yourself what you are proud of. This is key. Reflect on what you have accomplished.
2. Recite daily affirmations. Affirmations can be a powerful tool to bring in more of what you want in your life. It is important to find a statement that resonates with you and read it several times per day. You can try, “The Universe is working in my favor” or any statement that stands out for you.
3. Meditate. Quiet the restless mind and get in touch with your core. Oftentimes the negative voices can be quelled with a little peace and quiet.
4. Try flower essence therapy. Flower essences are natural remedies that work with specific emotional concerns, and they can be particularly useful! You can read more about them here or find a practitioner that specializes in this treatment.
5. Think back to your life 4-5 years ago. What were you doing? How far have you come? Celebrate those achievements and remember your life can change for the better, in an instant.