“It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but the thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, & the earthquake,” Frederick Douglass
Tapas is one of the branches of the Eight Limbs of Yoga. It means “Spiritual Discipline,” or burning zeal in practice. Some say how you do one thing, is how you do everything.
What lights your fire? How do you practice (Yoga, piano, the latest Tik Tok shenanigans, your grandma’s recipe)? Do you read a how-to book? Take a class? Discuss with friends? Watch pros or amateurs? Mindlessly scroll through Pinterest or go down the rabbit hole of YouTube videos? Run scales? Mamma made me mash my M n’ Ms… is how I got to Soprano territory in high school – burning desire to hit the high notes. (Ahem, apparently there’s such a thing as vocal puberty, and those glass-breakers are long gone. Alas, firmly planted in Alto land, I am happy to grab the mic at any and all opportunity!)
I digress…What’s coming up for me lately is that it’s time for change. It’s been time, but here we are. Change is hard, and the path isn’t always clear. (Bonus quote from Melissa Etheridge: “the only thing that stays the same is change.”) Overwhelm happens by and makes itself comfortable. Right. Beside. Me.
What works for me is setting a timer. I will read, or clean, or clear my inbox for a certain amount of time. (Full disclosure: sometimes it’s for my Yoga practice, too. Lots of adulting that just won’t wait means squeeze it in when you can, and make the most of it. Note: making the most of it may mean Viparita Karani – legs up the wall, and other restorative postures. Not every practice has to leave one dripping with sweat and spent.)
Most of those instances spill over into a lot longer work period once momentum gains traction and whee! On the way to productivity.
Just the other day, I was speaking with someone in real estate. The share was that people don’t want to replace a furnace, because you can’t see its effects. They want big, splashy kitchens & other obvious redos. But, what you don’t “see” is peace of mind, and hopefully a lower bill. But all those things take desire, and vision.
How do you motivate yourself? How do you channel your desire to get better at something? What do you wish to increase or augment in your life? If you want it, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. How can we cultivate Tapas on and off the mat?
Please feel free to comment below. Until our mats unfurl again, be well. -M