by Kara-Leah Grant
Never before in human history have we known so much.
We have unlimited information at our fingertips, and that information is constantly being updated.
We know how to maintain optimum health including how to eat, how to exercise and how to practice yoga. We can learn any new skill for free – a new language, a musical instrument, we can even get a degree for free.
No matter what dream we want to pursue, the information required to do so is available to us.
Yet despite this extraordinary wealth of information, most of us keep on living our lives the way we’ve always lived them, even when we want to change.
We might buy a new gym membership full of energy and inspiration but three months later we’ve only been three times and the money just keeps exiting our bank account. Some of us do the same with yoga studios – we sign up for unlimited yoga with full intentions of going five times week, but three months in, we’re lucky to make it once a week.
Or we spend money on books, DVDs, fancy equipment, new clothes, high-tech shoes, whizz-bang writing software or the latest gadget because we think if we invest the money and have the right gear, it will motivate us to create change in our lives or chase our dreams.
Instead, the books get shelved, the DVDs are watched once, the fancy equipment gathers dust, the new clothes make us feel guilty because we only wear them for pleasure, the high-tech shoes take us to the local cafe, the writing software is never opened and the latest gadget is just one more thing to store.
And every time we do this – getting all excited and passionate about a change we’re going to make or a dream we’re going to chase and then fail to make it – it feeds a story inside of us.
We feel guilty, or ashamed, or like a failure.
A small voice whispers:
You’ll never make exercise a regular part of your life.
You’ll never be able to eat better food.
You’ll never be able to play the piano, learn a language or get up early.
You’ll never achieve your dreams.
It creates a samskara, or pattern of behaviour that means the next time we try to create lasting change in our lives, we’ve already got a fear of failing, because we failed last time. We already half-expect to fail. We might not even try as hard to make the change or chase our dreams, because why bother when we’re just going to give up, again.
Eventually, maybe in our early 40s, we give up trying. We accept that we are who we are and that’s just the way it is. We’re never going to eat any different, exercise any different, have a dedicated meditation practice, play an instrument, write that book or learn a new language.
We stop dreaming our dreams and settle for the life that we’re living. We tell ourselves:
My life is good enough. There’s nothing wrong with me, or the way I live.
Yet in settling for what we’ve got we accept a small nagging sense that we could have been something different, lived something different and experienced something different. There’s a sense that we’ve failed, or that we weren’t good enough.
This isn’t true though.
You haven’t failed and you are good enough.
What’s true is that you didn’t understand what was required to make change in your life. You didn’t understand what you really needed to do to chase your dreams. And you didn’t know how to respond to the inevitable challenges and obstacles that arise when we decide to live a new way or make our dreams happen.
If you don’t know how to respond to those challenges and obstacles, how can you possibly succeed?
Two years ago I achieved a dream I’d nurtured since childhood.
I published a book that has gone on to sell thousands of copies and that has helped thousands of people establish a regular home yoga practice in their lives.
I’m now living out my dream – I’m teaching yoga at workshops and festivals around the country, I’m speaking and presenting at conferences and in groups, and I’ve published two books with a third on the way.
And it all came about because of what I wrote in my book Forty Days of Yoga.
This book didn’t contain information about one single yoga posture. It didn’t tell people what to do in their home yoga practice. Instead, it gave them a practical, methodical, hands-on process to create and maintain a regular home yoga practice. It showed them how to work with the inevitable challenges and obstacles that were going to arise when they committed to daily yoga practice.
Something extraordinary happened with the people who bought and worked through this book.
They discovered that they could use the process I outlined with any aspect of their lives.
People began to use the Forty Day Process to learn a musical instrument, to write a book, to achieve their other goals and to train themselves to get up at 5:30am every morning.
It turned out the Forty Day Process could be used to create any kind of lasting change people wanted to experience in their lives. It was a way of making the unconscious, conscious, and then working with it.
Because when you try to do something new, what stops you isn’t a lack of motivation, desire or discipline. What stops you is what’s going on in your unconscious. It’s all the hidden fears and doubts and beliefs that have kept you stuck in this place so far. Attempting to initiate change triggers all of that… and unless you know how to work with it, those hidden fears, doubts and beliefs will do what they’ve always done.
They’ll keep you stuck.
But this is the beauty of yoga – because I’ve had a daily practice for a decade or more, I had learned to actively work with the unconscious.
I had learned to observe the fluctuations of my mind and trace thoughts back to fears, doubts and limiting beliefs. Most important of all, I had learned how to work around and soothe those fears, doubts and limiting beliefs.
I didn’t realise when I wrote the book, but I took all of that understanding and embedded it in the Forty Day Process.
Which is why it works.
It’s not a method of installing motivation, desire or discipline – those factors automatically arise when you’re aligned to your deepest values and taking daily action that feeds your soul.
No, it’s a method of dealing with everything that drags on you and holds you back. It’s a method of working with your unconscious.
The beauty of this method is that once you successfully use it to create change in your life – once you’ve done one Forty Day Process – it becomes easier to do the next Forty Day Process, and the next, and the next. It gives you a practical, method for becoming the architect of your own life.
Through this method, I have put in place the daily practices I needed to publish two books and run a successful yoga business while parenting my five year old son solo.
I use this method to work four to six hours a day rather than eight to ten. Now I’m starting to use this method to create more joy in my life as well :-).
My next mission is to write a book about the Forty Day Process aimed at people who feel stuck, but know what change they want to create in their lives. In the lead up to writing this book, I’m running a series of one-day workshops around the country, starting in Mount Maunganui on May 23.
In this workshop, I’ll lead a maximum of twenty people through the Forty Day Process. It’s practical, it’s hand-ons, and it’s powerful. This is not about delivering information – how to do something. It’s about delivering process – taking you through an experience that initiates change within.
By the end of our day together, you’ll have everything in place to realise your dreams.
You’ll know the deepest core reasons why you’re making this change, the obstacles you’re likely to come up against, the strategies and work-arounds for dealing with those obstacles, the support and resources you have at your fingertips to call on and exactly what actions you need to take every day.
You’ll walk away ready to make that change and you’ll walk away knowing how to realise your dreams.
And as you tick off your Forty Days after the workshop, I’ll be there to support you every step of the way through the Forty Day Process Private Facebook Group.
I’ve been running a similar group for people who have bought Forty Days of Yoga and it has been one of the most powerful parts of the process.
Research shows that people who successfully make lasting change in their lives do it within community. They do it with the help and support of other people who have made change too. In the Forty Days Group, people check in and share how they are getting on, they share their struggles and their successes and they learn ways to work-around the challenges and obstacles that arise.
If you’re sick of being stuck in your life… If you’re sick of going great guns and starting something new only to give it up within a week or two… If you’re sick of pretending that your dreams don’t really matter… this is the workshop for you.
The first scheduled workshop is in Mount Maunganui on May 23rd, in the Kingfisher Room at Arataki Community Centre.
It runs from 9am – 4pm. The cost is $139, or if you book and pay by May 16th, it’s $119.
Plus, loyal Lunchbox readers get a 10% discount – just tell me when you register that you read The Yoga Lunchbox.
That price also includes a printed, bound workbook – the prototype of the book I’m writing on the Forty Day Process.
It’s time to realise your dreams.
If you would like to host and organise a Forty Day Process workshop in your community, please send me an email.
Finally, if you would like to stay in the loop as I facilitate workshops, give presentations and write a book on the Forty Day process, you can sign up for my mailing list.
Three people on this list will win print copies of the book when it’s published (in 2016). Plus I’ll let you know when and where the next workshop or presentation is. The only emails you get will be about the Forty Day Process.
You can check out the flyer for the workshop below. Click on the image to see it at full size.
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