“Explore” 9×12 Watercolor by PJ . Finished between my morning hatha class, and the restorative class I teach in the evening.
I mention this because the theme of my classes this week has been “Explore for the sake of exploration, not out of expectation of results, or for the destination.”
I saw a documentary this week with Neil deGrasse Tyson that looked at the space program, specifically manned space travel to the moon, and someday maybe Mars. It looked at how much trying to reach the moon did for our society, for science, for the advancement of human potential. And then. . .we Just. Stopped. Going.
Because our exploration was reactive. We were trying to beat the Russians. It was a matter of pride, and national defense. And once we did it for awhile, we just stopped.
This reminded me a lot of our practice of yoga. And we may start as reactive. Reacting to aging, or pain, or unhappiness, and we may have a goal. But it’s the journey, and the practice itself that is the reward. We might want to lose weight, or become healthier and happier, and that’s great, having goals is important, but when we become attached to the outcome as the motivator, it can easily become the very thing that derails us. Success can lead to boredom, and “failure” can lead to discouragement.
I find the same exact thing happens to me in every part of my life, including my creative life. When I’m stuck, it’s because invariably I’ve become attached to the result, and not the joy of exploring for the sake of what exploration brings to my life.
Krishna, in the Bhagavad Gita, says to Lord Arjuna “Let your concern be with the action alone, and never the fruits of the action. Do not let the results of your action be your motive, and do not be attached to inaction.” Having felt stuck in several places in my life recently, this message couldn’t have been more timely, or more helpful in getting me going again.