Here is the thought I shared with this week’s yoga classes:
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
I had the opportunity earlier this week explain to a friend of mind what is yoga and why I love it. I shared that after my first few yoga classes ever, and as I was laying there on my mat, I fell in love with this sensation of every fiber of my body being completely lit up, used, alive, invigorated, enlivened, and racing, but with a weighted blanket of calm and tranquility over it all. Then I got to explain how as a yoga teacher, we design movements and sequences in classes so that every fiber of our students’ bodies are made more alive. Chin-to-chest poses wring out the sponge of the thyroid and parathyroid to revv metabolism. Abodomen-twisting poses wring out the internal organs and when we release they are flooded with fresh fluids and freshly oxygenated blood. Upside-down poses decompress us and cause the energy to trickle around inside of us like a snow globe being shaken up. Arm balances show us how our courage is alive and thriving, that we can conquer fears and doubts. Deep hip stretches dump out the emotional junk drawer of the body and leave us lighter feeling. Core-strengthening poses excavate out from our bellies the emotional issues we have been hiding afraid to deal with. Heart-opening poses undo the closed-off-ness that we get by being at a computer or car all day, bust our heart up and open, teach us to follow our hearts and love bigger and more thoroughly.
Months ago I got to share this quote with a bestie who was dreaming big and starting some soul-searching about what to do on a career path. Now she has the startings of this incredible non-profit to teach songwriting to high school students to give them an outlet of soul expression.
A few days ago I got to share this quote with a sweet friend who has been for many years dreaming big and bold, but was a little overwhelmed and daunted. We all can remember that when we’re doing what we love and what makes us come alive, we’re influencing the world around us to grab life by the horns, to dream big, to also come alive in every fiber and every corner of the mind and heart.
The next time that you get lost in reflection, ask what makes you come alive. Get on your yoga mat, and start the process of coming alive. Do with passion that which makes you come alive. The world needs more people who are firing on all cylinders of passion, who are using every chamber of their hearts to love and give, people who live life with eyes wide open, people who have fully come alive.
[The only place in print this quotation occurs is in Gil Bailie’s Violence Unveiled, p. xv, where he attributes the quotation to a conversation he had with Thurman.]