The Power of Full Commitment

Come into your standing split.  Ground down into right leg and lift your left leg straight up into the sky.   Push out throFullCommittmentPicugh the ball of your left foot and try to touch it to the ceiling.  Now take your right hand and bring it to the back of your calf.  Then, take your left hand and bring it to your leg as well.  That is full commitment.

This pose brings up a lot of feelings, most notably fear.  Fear because you now have no way out – you don’t have that other arm to safely place some of your weight on.  It’s now just you committing yourself in the moment and potentially falling flat on your face.  And that’s why this pose is so suitably named.  Because just like fully committing to anything in life, it’s really, really scary.

After teaching my first yoga class of the New Year, a number of people hung around after class and were sharing their New Year’s resolutions.   Commit to a healthier lifestyle and travel more.  Be more financially responsible and get my retirement situation squared away.  Live a cleaner and healthier life.   People were sharing resolution after resolution, and they were all major life changes.  So when it turned to me, I felt insecure for a moment about my resolution.  I am fully committing myself to wearing color.  And not just blue or purple.  I’m talking real color – fluorescent pink, bright orange, lime green.  And I’m not just talking about sometimes.  I now sleep in color, work in color, and lay around the house watching TV in color.

This may seem like a small, maybe even silly thing on the surface, but as I’ve been living this resolution for the past two months I’ve realized that it is really the most significant New Year’s resolution I have ever made.   I am completely and fully committing myself to this and in doing so, seeing how powerful the act of full commitment can be.

Like most people I know, I struggle with fully committing myself.   Last June, I quit my job and totally changed career paths, leaving the field of higher education to become a yoga teacher.  I love my new career, but I also know that I have not fully committed to it.  I know that because I still keep my resume updated, occasionally browse higher ed jobs online and regularly tell people, ‘I used to work at a college’ when describing my current work as a yoga teacher.    Similarly, I see my friends following a similar pattern – my girlfriend has been in a great relationship with a guy for about a year.  But she occasionally talks with her ex ‘just to touch base.’  I see it with athletes that I work with – there are those that pride themselves on having natural ability but never practicing as hard as the others.   And I see it in yoga classes that I teach– sure I’ll pick up one foot and try crow but definitely not both feet.

These may seem like very different circumstances but they are really all the same.   I keep my eye on jobs in higher education because then if I fail as a yoga teacher, I won’t be left empty-handed.   If my friend’s great boyfriend turns out to not be so great, she won’t be completely vulnerable.  If that athlete ends up losing the big game, he will be able to blame it on his lack of discipline and practice – not on himself.  And those yogis that never go for crow know they will also never be the person that falls and makes a loud crash in the middle of class.

Not fully committing does serve a purpose – it gives us a feeling of safety and a way out of a situation.  It protects us from those moments when the bottom drops out and we are left with nothing.   But not fully committing is also what completely sabotages us – because without full commitment, we never reach our potential.

In my last blog post, I talked about yoga as a way to practice showing up in life.  For me, wearing bright colors is my way of practicing full-commitment.  If I can fully commit to color, who knows what else I can do?

What are you striving to fully commit to, and what will that look like?  If it looks scary, risky, and makes you afraid you may fall flat on your face, you are likely on the right track.

Comments

  1. Megan Carson says:

    I loved this! It spoke to me in many ways. I’m definitely guilty of ‘half-committment’, and this is a good reminder that I can change that:)

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