Tossing aside the familiarity of struggle for the mantle of success

What does success look like?

by Kara-Leah GrantMusings from the Mat

A friend asked me this week (and I’m paraphrasing and editing for dramatic effect):

How come you always write/talk about your struggles with life? Does your life suck that bad?

And I explained that I had to write that way… that I loved writing about life, and only had my life to write about, and that meant sharing my struggles with the world – so other people could resonate, realise they’re not alone, feel inspired and connect with me as a human being.

A few days later, reflecting on my Dad’s response to my job search:

Oh it’s a tough time, there’s not many jobs out there, it’s hard to find part-time work…

I wondered, why does Dad always see life in terms of struggle?



Am I always seeing life in terms of struggle?

I circled back around to what my friend had asked me – about always writing about struggle.

I felt into my experiences of struggle, my resistance and my down-right annoyance at my Dad’s dampening effect, and I wondered… Have I been using struggle to find something to conquer? Have I been using struggle as a way to feel good?

Am I addicted to struggle?

Earlier this week, I sat down to write my weekly article for YLB. I wrote the beginnings of three separate articles and tossed them aside in disgust each time. Nothing was flowing. None of the old tricks of sharing about over-coming this, or inquiring into that worked. Usually I can channel an article into the laptop in an hour, tops. Two hours later, I had nada.

I didn’t want to write about struggle anymore, and I wondered why.

Possible answers came in Guru Rattana’s monthly newsletter the day after the New Moon in Gemini, and solar eclipse:

During a solar eclipse (which are extra powerful New Moons), the Moon temporarily blocks the radiation from Sun from reaching Earth and its inhabitants. The effect on the human psyche is that the thought patterns that keep old programs in place are disrupted. It is easier to reconfigure our consciousness.

Guru Rattana went on to say:

We are all programmed by our family, culture, mass media, teachers, peer groups, and religion to look at reality in certain ways. Our mental concepts of what is real, true, right, and righteous is limited and in many ways distorted. The Gemini path is about opening our mind to broader perspectives. To mature, we must move beyond our limited mindset that was formed by what we were trained to believe. Gemini’s evolution is guided by listening to our intuitive intelligence, which tells us our truth and links us up to our heart.

My intuitive intelligance is what writes my articles. And what couldn’t write my articles on Tuesday when I was attempting to write the same same that I usually write.

My friend’s comment opened my mind to a broader perspective.

And my reaction to my Dad made me question what part of me was stuck in a limited minset that I’d been trained to believe.

I wondered… what would happen if I started to view life through the lens of success, rather than through the lens of struggle?

What would that look like? What would it feel like? And what was success?

Here’s the definition that same friend gave a week ago.

Success is what you do compared to what you could have done.

I like that.

It means that anyone, anytime, in any situation, can be successful in this moment.

It also means that I am successful.

I am successful.

I just had to write that again to see how it felt.




And I’ll tell you what that success feels like… it feels like I can finally relax. It feels like I can just be. It feels like I can be OK knowing that whatever each moment brings, I can deal with it, and it’s ok. It feels like I’ve arrived. It also feels like…

…if I am successful, viewing and experiencing life through the lens of success, then what do I write about?

What does writing about success mean?

I’m not sure.

Which feels scary – what if there’s nothing left to say?

What if indeed?

But this is life… feeling when we’ve out-grown the known and having the courage to step into the unknown, not sure what will happen next, but knowing that what once was, is no longer.

It’s having the courage to let go of what’s been working for us, even when we don’t know what’s going to work for us next.

So I’m doing it.

I’m letting go.

And I’m stepping out.

Change is a’foot.

But isn’t it always?

What does success look like for you? What does it feel like?


  1. Grant Swanson says

    Hey Kara-Leah,
    I thought you might like this.

    “If we do not know what port we are heading for,no wind is favourable.”

    Blessings Grant.

    • Kara-Leah Grant says

      Hey Grant,

      Hmm… interesting also. Do I know what port I’m heading toward? I don’t know. Life seems to be becoming more immediate, more about what’s right in front of me, and how I’m experiencing it. I don’t have any grand plans.


    • Kara-Leah Grant says

      Hey Susanne,

      Great question! Might depend if we’re using struggle as a way to hold back from success. Might be they’re flipsides of the same coin. Hmmmm…. more to muse on for sure.


  2. Francesca says

    Hi Kara-Leah,

    am a new reader of your website and am kinda new to yoga….I began regular practice of Bikram in January this year. I had done a little Ashtanga yoga many years prior to this and had been meaning to get back into yoga for a very long time…so now I’m finally doing just that.

    I wanted to say how much I enjoy your articles and video blogs. I find them helpful.

    Take care, thank you


    • Kara-Leah Grant says

      Hey Francesca,

      Thanks for the feedback, always lovely to hear from a reader. Good luck on your renewed yoga journey.


  3. Rahau says

    Hi Kara-Leah,
    I have something interesting to tell you. I found your videos in my search for yoga.. Liked the energy you share.. your website, simple and honest comments.. and in one of them I heard you said you live in Wellington.. I searched and found it is in New Zealand..
    Some months ago I applied for many jobs all over the word, one happened to be in New Zealand .. I just found that I got the job and the location is.. Wellington. I am now moving to Wellington in Aug. and I look forward to it very much. I am leaving Santa Barbara California and hope to see you there some day..

    • Kara-Leah Grant says

      Hey Rahau,

      Congratulations on getting a job in Wellington! It will be a big change from Santa Barbara, that’s for sure. You’ll find lots of information on The YLB all about the Wellington Yoga Community. And no doubt, if you’re out and about at yoga events, I will meet you in person.


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