Updated: Aug 11, 2022
On the last day of my yoga teacher training, our instructor closed with an exercise in which we went around one by one and named a word that each person embodied from our perspective. When it was my turn, my peers each said a lovely and encouraging word to describe me, which touched me, but I was eagerly awaiting the word that would come from one person in particular- my teacher.
I admired her wisdom and skill and knew whatever word- because it came from her- would hold a little extra weight in my mind. When she got to me, she said, "committed". My heart sank a little. Committed? "What a boring, uninspired adjective to bestow upon me," I thought, feeling a bit jilted. About my peers, she had said words like "wise", "light", "courageous", "bold", which all seemed like powerful qualities of an impactful yoga teacher, the kind I aspired to be. But for me.... committed. "People commit to ignorance and stupidity all the time!" I thought. "You can be committed to anything!"
A bit disappointed, I moved on from the experience and decided I would hold onto the things my peers had said about me that I liked and would dismiss this "committed" business from my teacher. Months later at a spiritual wellness center, I met with a healer and heard this same word again- "You're a very committed person," he said. I knew I needed to gain a better understanding of commitment and my aversion to it. Why did I think of it negatively? Why didn't I appreciate the quality of commitment?
Some weeks later, things started clicking for me. Youtube autoplayed Hip Hop Preacher Eric Thomas' motivational speech, "Commit or Quit". I heard him say, "I left everything and because I was fully committed, the world responded to that commitment. But you're not committed. You're just interested. There are some of you, you know what you you want, but you're not personally willing to do the work it takes to get it." Commitment.
My perception of commitment began to shift. I realized commitment is exactly what it takes to see something through long enough to be successful, to get to the next level. One definition of "commitment" reads, "The act of binding yourself emotionally or intellectually to a course of action". Previously, when I thought of committed, I saw it as a restriction, but that's because I'd never fully allowed myself to stay committed to what I really wanted, to my true nature. It was always commitment to the wrong jobs, the wrong relationships, the wrong ideas. I realized it's that very focus, resiliency, and refusal to give up that makes someone committed and- when applied to the right focus- unlocks new levels of success, growth, and development. The universe responds to a mind made up.
Our focus, resiliency, and commitment communicate energetically what we desire and the universe responds by providing just that. Whether we realize it or not, we're all already committed to something, but it might be chaos, destruction, confusion, low-paying jobs, unfulfilling relationships, or played-out dynamics/patterns instead of what we truly desire. Choose what you want to show up in your reality and commit to embodying the thoughts, words, and actions it takes to bring it to life. Practicing yoga consistently and with devotion gives us practice for living out this commitment in a physical way that we can take off the mat and apply to life.