Listen- are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?" ~ Mary Oliver
Greetings, my friends, wherever you may be in the world, on this beautiful Sunday!
As October unfolds, I found myself faced with a commitment to craft a monthly newsletter, and while my dedication to write monthly remained unwavering, my well of inspiration ran dry. Then, a wise writer's advice came to mind: "Put your butt (yes, your ) where your heart is," even in the face of dwindling motivation and inspiration. So, I did just that. My heart resides in the realm of crafting words, inspiring through teaching yoga, coaching, and writing from time to time. And once I planted myself where my heart truly belongs ( in a chair in front of my laptop or a yoga mat), inspiration flowed abundantly, as it always does. So here we go...
Recently, a friend joined me during a car ride, and we delved deep into spiritual discussions and reflections. Given our similar professional backgrounds, it wasn't surprising when we both concurred that not having a concrete long-term goal or a vision of where we'd be in 3, 5, or 10 years was perfectly acceptable. I recalled the days when I couldn't articulate an answer to the question, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" "Hmmm...Nowhere and here" – it was all I ever wanted to convey.
So, I confessed to my friend, "Alee, I think I'm a 'goal-less' person!" Initially, it sounded rather negative – "goal-less" akin to "skin-less" or "purpose-less." But then, it struck me – how did I achieve everything I have today, living the life I've always desired and excelling in a job I adore, all without having set specific goals?
Another enlightening moment followed. My VALUES mattered more to me than setting specific goals. What a relief! I wasn't wandering aimlessly through life, hoping for the best outcome. My values charted my course, guiding me towards becoming who I wanted to be and how I wanted to interact with the world around me.
All my accomplishments had materialized as a result of aligning my life with my values:
Yoga was never a goal in itself, nor was mastering a particular pose. Instead, it was a value – a commitment to a more peaceful, physically stronger, and healthier life – that led me to daily yoga practice, inadvertently achieving various yoga goals.
Marriage wasn't a goal, especially after experiencing rough relationships. Yet, my value of seeking a loving, kind, respectful, honest, and loyal partner eventually led me to someone embodying all these attributes, whom I happily chose to marry.
Becoming a mother? It was nowhere in my "5, 10, or 15-year plan." But my value of listening to my intuition, following the breadcrumbs, and taking chances, aligned with my intuition, led me to the wonderful journey of motherhood.
Hosting Yoga Retreats - It never was a predefined goal. Rather, it stemmed from my value of connecting with people in person, sharing my lived knowledge and wisdom, and providing them with guidance and support. I've come to cherish these annual gatherings immensely.
I could share many more examples, but the point is clear. Goals are marvelous, yet they come with an expiration/end date, much like diets, exercise regimes, marriage ceremonies, and family planning. Once achieved, we're left pondering, "What's next?" Instead, choose to lead a life inspired by your core values, and watch as goals naturally emerge and are accomplished time and time again.
So, here's to a life that thrives in the absence of strict goals, a life driven by our daily commitment to our values, and actions that support those values and where magic unfolds at every step.
This is how we embrace the flow – unstructured, yet guided by the deepest desires of our hearts and our true values.
aka 'The Goall-less one"