Today, I want to explore the power of our decisions. Tony Robbins says that it's in the moment of our decision, that our destiny is created. Swami Sarvapriyananda, of the Vedic Yoga tradition, describes “decision” as the first of three great powers of the mind. I recently listened to his lecture on this topic, and he explains that the root of the word “decision” means “to cut off.” He goes on to describe that when we make a decision we are actually cutting something off; in other words, we are saying “no” to something. By default, when we say “no” to one thing, we are saying “yes” to something else. In his lecture, Swami Sarvapriyananda goes on to quote the Bhagavad-Gita, one of the ancient texts of yoga philosophy, where Krishna says, “The path of yoga is the path of awakening into conscious action.”
We make decisions all day long, right? How many of those decisions are conscious though? How many of those decisions come from a place of intention and conscious awareness? Yoga helps us cultivate this conscious awareness. A recent event in my own life has led me to this topic and to recognizing just how large of an impact our decisions can have.
This past weekend, I ran a half marathon. Completing this race was especially exciting for me because it has been 10 years since I last run a half marathon! When I was in my mid-20s, I ran four half marathons in four years; I ran a half marathon once a year for four years in a row from 2005 to 2008. During the very last race in 2008, I experienced excruciating knee pain. It was so bad that I pretty much walked the last three miles of the race. I was dedicated and committed to finishing the race, but after that painful experience I made a decision. I decided that I was not going to run a half marathon again. I decided that running long distance no longer suited my body. For the past 10 years since I made that decision, I would only go out for runs about 20 to 30 minutes long. I was so afraid of the knee pain coming back. So basically in a moment, I cut off the possibility of running longer than 20 to 30 minutes ever again. By saying “no” to running long distance, I did also say “yes” to something else though. I ended up devoting more of my time and energy into my yoga and meditation practices. So, I do not judge the decision – it was neither a good or bad decision, but simply a decision made in a moment. As a result of that decision though, for the last 10 years, I have not allowed myself to engage in this activity that had previously been such a large part of my life!
That is, until this past winter when I made a new decision. I was inspired by my brother who decided that he was going to run a full marathon on his next birthday. I was so inspired by him that I decided that I was going to run the half marathon on the same day. In that moment, I made a new decision and created a new outcome. In that moment, I allowed myself to open back up into my passion of running. Because of my yoga and mindfulness practices, I was able to enter into running again in a completely new way. By honoring my body through my mindful awareness practices while training, I did not experience the same sort of pain that I did in the past. Rather, the race was fun and exciting! I was in such a flow state as allowed myself to experience the joy of every step.
My question to you this week is to consider some of your decisions, without judgment, because every decision teaches us something. But, just consider: Are we making these decisions from a place of pain and fear as I did ten years ago? Or, are the decisions coming from a place of conscious awareness? From that place of inner strength and power that we all have, simply because we are alive. If there was a decision that was made out of pain or fear, is there a way to step back into our power now? Can we allow our decisions to now be made from a place of love and conscious awareness, instead of pain and fear?
Please let me know your thoughts on this topic by leaving a comment below!
Watch Swami Sarvapriyananda’s lecture here
Read my blog on Living a Life of Passion here