Mastery or Misery?

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According to Malcolm Gladwell (whose book "Outliers" I'm
devouring right now), the people who are most successful in their fields, like
Bill Gates, Canadian hockey stars, and top NYC lawyers, to name a few, all have
one thing in common: They have each spent over 10,000 hours involved doing their
craft. This isn't the only indicator of what we in yoga would call "mastery," but
it's a big one.

Now, before I stumbled upon my first yoga class all those
years ago, I was pretty close to reaching master status--in dysfunctional
relationships. I'm certain I put in nearly 10,000 hours dealing with them,
before yoga taught me to get clear about--and steer clear of--toxic partners.

I spent the next 15 years quite differently, focusing most
of my time and energy on comprehending what yoga meant to me, then clarifying
how I could best share my Core Strength message with others. Whenever drama arose in my life, I used it to deepen my practice, not
take me away from it.

After reading the book, I calculated that I've spent about
32,000 hours practicing, translating and teaching yoga. I'm not seeking
recognition, though that seems to be a byproduct of making myself accessible
through mass media. To me, true success means that one has attained such a deep level of integration with what they've practiced that it becomes a part of them, and they can use it to more powerfully share their talents and voice with the world.

But, just like the polarities of ha-tha or the sun and moon
energies of yoga, developing a deep identification with an activity can become
a negative samskara, (ingrained habitual actions). In other words, mastery can
have a dark side. Those 10,000 hours can either help you attain your greatest
goals--or hold you back from them. It all depends on what you're practicing. Are you practicing health? Or misery?

Today I invite you to notice where focusing the majority of
your time, energy, and perspective and start a full-time job of mastering the
thoughts, actions, and worldview that will serve you best.

Core Question:
What are you in the process of mastering? Anxiety? Negative thinking? Or maybe
empowerment? Your life's work? Crow Pose? Abundance thinking? Share your
process, and inspire us by your example!

Core Pose:Breath of Freedom Lunge -- To throw off
the weight of old, limiting habits and welcome in the new, come into a High
Lunge. Inhale, reach your arms back, palms facing out. Exhale, curl
your back and tailbone, tone your navel in, and embrace yourself for a job well
done!

Repeat 5 times or more, then switch sides.