Friday, February 20, 2009

Choose to Act

Do you believe you can make a difference? Or do feel overwhelmed and powerless to change something you really care about? We may think that our actions do not matter, but they always matter. Commitment with love to a cause starts with an intention. Then we must take the first step of action.

Julia Butterfly Hill was only 23 years old when she committed to saving a 600-year old redwood tree named Luna. She was trying to stop one of the largest lumber companies in the Pacific Northwest from cutting down Luna. How could a 23-year old woman stop a multi-million dollar corporation from conducting their business?

“I climbed into Luna's branches knowing only that it was horribly wrong to turn beautiful forests into clearcuts and mudslides…. In my 738-day vigil I withstood 90 mph winds during two powerful winters, harassment from a helicopter which nearly tore me out of my perch 180 feet high in the tree, and the tremendous sorrow of witnessing the trees surrounding Luna crash to the ground. These were some of the hardest experiences of my life emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Yet I was determined not to let my feet touch the ground until I had done everything in my power to protect Luna and make the world aware of the plight of our ancient forests,” remembers Julia.

She began her journey saving Luna with a thought, a choice, a passion and an action. The outcome was unknown. The process was unknown and its unfolding involved courage and sacrifice but also incredibly beautiful moments that would never have been experienced without that desire to make a difference, to commit to taking action and to believing that somehow this was possible.

This is how we want to approach our yoga practice. Open to grace, to a higher power. Choose to breathe fully. Have the desire to open your heart, and commit to practicing with full attention. Know that the journey is unfolding in unknown ways, but with a positive intention beauty awaits us. Align in harmony with nature. Feel her pulse with your breath. Play with exploring the edges and coming back to center. Be fully involved in the moment.

Action is more important than form. Do not worry about getting into the perfect pose. Just take that first step. Focus on balanced action: hugging into the midline, expanding outward. Find your strong foundation and use that with the breath to explore an openness in your body and mind. Feel the beauty of harmonizing with your inner and outer nature. Take the risk of opening your heart. There always needs to be a softness balanced with the muscular energy. Together they lead the way to freedom.

As Julia eloquently states, “Because no choice happens in a vacuum, every single thought, word, and action changes the world. It is literally impossible to not make a difference. So the question we must ask ourselves is not, “Can I make a difference?” But rather, we must ask ourselves, “What kind of a difference do I want to make?”

1 comment:

  1. The sentence that summarizes everything seems to be Be fully involved in the moment. I believe that when you do something that you are passionate about you should never multitask and just focus on that one thing. I see pictures of yoginis doing poses that are so amazing. I saw one on I hope to be focused like that one day!