Living With Intention

Photography by Aaron Mizushima.
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”-Albert Einstein
Aloha yogis,

I would say this quote sums up why I’ve chosen the career of professional student,  I love learning. When it comes to changing our thinking though, there is no magic snap of the fingers to facilitate this and at times it’s not easy.

Like most things in life, it’s work and dedication, and checking ourselves, moment to moment, to see if we are living with intention. The other morning I wrote in my journal that I simply wanted to be intentional with my time. What a different type of day I had, by ironically, setting an intention to be intentional. It felt like I was being true to myself, in all ways. From getting work done, to doing the dishes, to running, and yoga - I chose these activities. I also chose my words and interactions with others and myself. I think this is piece that makes the challenging work doable, we won't resist it as much mentally and physically, if we check in on our own intentions, our why. 

 Why am I studying inverse dynamics and fluid dynamics? And why am I writing a paper on how software processing variation yields wildly different outcomes in knee adduction moment? Oh yes, because this fits my bigger why. And so, while a lot of my day to day work is ‘hard’ and might not come easy, no it’s plain tedious, by incrementally challenging my brain and self to think differently I am getting one step closer to my bigger goals. And in the process, through the grind, albeit with intention, expanding my mind and changing my thinking. Thus, changing the way I interact with and see the world. And by checking in and seeing the work for what it is, it is less intimidating.

I am no psychologist, but I did work in a psychiatric hospital, many moons ago. I also was an undergraduate psych major and I did research in cognition and neuroscience for my undergraduate thesis. Plus I read, a lot. And I've learned, and the research supports, that to name these feelings in our mind, 'that's fear, that's anger, that's anxiety' is to demystify them and render them less threatening. I think this concept of identification, holds true when it comes to components of our work and patterns in our thinking. We don't need to love the moment to moment, but it is important to connect the things we do with our time to a larger purpose, even if indirectly.

 Yoga has been the key to unlock a lot of these connections for me lately. It has been an absolute constant these days. Quarantine life lends itself very well to academic pursuits, less the data collections themselves. And I am finding this need to stop the brain grind work and let go, through yoga. There is a need as well to break the cycle of inactivity with a few yoga poses throughout the day. To connect mind and body, with soul and purpose, I find myself on the mat daily. Truthfully, I have not practiced yoga to this extent in a long time. Now, this daily connection is currently a must, I simply must schedule in a yoga practice. It has been a godsend.

Living with intention is a breath of fresh air and clarity, in a world that currently feels a mess and at times even scary. 

I feel I am expanding my mind and body over these strange months. Together on the yoga mat, we are all building mental and physical sweat equity, and I am excited to see what comes next, for all of us. It is one thing to be in quarantine bummed, sad, scared, or all of the above, but it is quite another to feel you are growing and learning from these moments in your life.

We are witnessing the once linear thinking patterns of the world as they are being stretched and pulled, torqued, and well you name it, it is happening. We have all been forced to expand our thinking to accommodate the odd circumstances at play, and we are doing it! We are making the most of it, but I think we should be really intentional with this time and try to grow and learn. If not about the world, certainly we can learn about ourselves.

It is tough in many ways. Even more reason, to take the time to connect, to hit pause, to step away from the laptop, and simply sit with yourself and breathe deeply. How do you feel? Meditate on it. Write it down. Be purposeful. Be intentional. 

 Join me tomorrow morning for the Sunday Yoga Flow, (every week from 8-9:15am) via the same link as every other week. Email me for the link and password. 

We have already donated $500 to Aloha United Way, let's keep it going! Make this a cannot miss weekly appointment, you deserve this time, to process the week, to connect and feel all the feels. 

I hope to see you tomorrow (Sunday) on the mat!

Big love,