dream it. show up. boom.
(titled inspired by Notes from the Universe)
I'm writing live from my new home in Boulder, Colorado, watching the sun drift down behind the Rockies to the tunes of MC Yogi. I have had a million moments here where I scream inside, â€œI can't believe I live here!â€ The city is beautiful and I roll over in bed each morning to peep the mountains outside my window. Expect a post later soon about tumbling down the rabbit hole and landing in this little slice of heaven on Earth.
For today, though, I have something to admit. I've been practicing yoga for six years, teaching for a little over two, and I have a secret. Until last week, I was going about â€œsetting intentionâ€ on my mat all wrong. It's not that clarity wasn't hitting me in savasana. It's just that until last week, I saw intention as something moving from the outside in. I'd get on the mat and think â€œalright tonight I want to be loveâ€ or â€œtonight I'm going to work on manifesting healthier relationships.â€ I'd think of something I wanted to see shift or manifest in my external world and then hope that through my asana practice, I'd plant the seeds internally. To be honest, tagging this â€˜wrong' may be too strong a word. At times, it has certainly brought me abundance. It has helped me focus my energy on things I long for. But this past week, my world of intention setting was turned upside down when I realized the power of moving through intention the opposite way: from the inside out.
On my last Sunday in DC, I took a profound workshop with Max Strom focusing on intention. He described the breath as the transmitter or link between our minds and our bodies, our consciousness and heart. By steadying our breath and intentionally grounding our practice in it, we can begin to listen to what we need to hear, what we long for. What if instead of landing in class with an intention inspired by our external, we set the intention of breathing and listening to what our breath finds?
Max's workshop challenged me to do just this, letting guidance come from the inside-out instead of my usual outside-in. He pointed out that when we set intentions, we create a filter for our reality: we see more of what we are seeking. There is a power in tapping in on the mat to hear what we need to look for, then going off into the outside world with a greater openness to what we're seeking. I left Max's class with my heart cracked open to follow the whispers of what I'd heard riding on my inhales and exhales. I also spent my Sunday afternoon reflecting on how this practice of going in, asking, listening and then carrying the answers into the world has brought me into incredibly abundant spaces in life.
Before I moved here to Boulder, I spent months landing in savasana only to see a vision of the Flatirons here. It happened again and again. I asked for love, I saw the Flatirons. I asked for work I loved, I saw the Flatirons. I even asked for home, and there they were again. At some point it became clear I needed to come out here and see what was going on. The funny thing is, I was totally unaware this was my intention speaking from the inside-out. Instead, I simply thought that I'd seen the mountains here enough to merit a visit. As I sit here in my new, full Boulder life, it's clear to me now that on those days I was laying in savasana, my practice on the mat was connecting me with a more internal intention or pull.
When Alice goes on her journey into Wonderland, she doesn't set off with a clear intention. Falling down the rabbit hole, she's launched into the unknown in a world rich with nonsense to navigate. The trials and mad characters she meets on her journey continually challenge her to pause, go inwards to her center, and from there, respond.
So, my kula, this week I challenge you to hit your mat and set the intention of connecting with the rich world of the not-knowing through your breath. What is it you're missing by landing on the mat with a plan? What is the wanderlusting adventure your innermost self is longing for? Let me know what you hear!
Signing off with a deep breath at altitude,