Male Announcer: You’re listening to From Pain to Possibility with Susi Hately. You will hear Susi’s best ideas on how to reduce or even eradicate your pain and learn how to listen to your body when it whispers so you don’t have to hear it scream. And now here’s your host, Susi Hately.
Susi: Welcome and thank you for joining me today. Today I want to dig into goals and goal setting because there's a bit of a precarious relationship with goals and goal setting in the world of yoga. People can sometimes feel like striving and ambition are somewhat misaligned with the practice. That it’s not spiritual to be striving or to have ambition. They can feel it can pull away from their sense of presence.
I don’t believe that’s the case. I think that we are here at this time on purpose. The energy that makes up who we are is unique to us. It has not been formatted in this way before our arrival nor will it ever be repeated. So we are here at this time on purpose. We’re not taking up square footage.
So when we take the time to think about what we want and how we want to spend this precious time, it raises our level of contribution which in and of itself can be an extraordinary spiritual practice. I’d go so far as to say that the more clarity that I have raises my level of contribution. The clarity on how I want to use my best gifts and talents, that creates a relationship with this greater power. A pulse of a force that is greater than me.
So when I have that clarity, I find there is a co-creative element with that force and things begin to happen. Things occur that are aligned to my realizing my goal that I never would have predicted would have arisen in the first place. In that process, there was an evolution of me. There was a greater expression of myself. Because for me to realize a goal means that I have changed. Because if I already had that goal in my life now, I would be a different person now. I don’t have the habits or the behaviors or the actions to be realizing that goal now.
So I need to evolve into that. So there is an evolution of myself. There is a greater expression of who I am. As a result, there is a greater contribution to the world because there is a refined version of me there now. So it’s kind of fun, right? I get to surprise myself for what I'm actually capable of, and in turn how I contribute to the world. So all in all, goals and goal setting can be a fun process where I get to look at some of my dreams, maybe dreams that I've put off, and consider just how I might realize them and allow for the journey towards realizing them.
So what I hope with this episode is that I can show you goal setting is an opportunity to connect and live out your best talents, gifts, and skills. So that when you're truly aligned with those talents, gifts, and skills and with the goal you so desire to achieve or to experience, there's that deep desire that’s being connected to. There's a deep nature of who we are that we’re being connected to. There's a deep commitment that arises from that, which is different than the superficial commitment that’s often what we notice with our New Year’s resolutions, right? One obstacle comes off and we kind of fall off the path.
When we’re connecting into that depth of who we are at a place that really, we resonate with, that commitment is a lot easier to keep. There's less of a fight. There's less of a have to do. There’s less of a should. It just becomes simpler. Yes, there's times as we start to realize a goal that it’s effortful. Sometimes it’s a struggle, but it’s got a very different vibe and a feel because of where our connection is coming from. There's less of a tension associated with it.
I like the line from W.H. Murray. “When one is truly committed, providence moves too.” That true commitment, that truly committed piece of that line, I think arises from a deep connection to our skills and our talents and our gifts and a goal that really comes from a place that is soul nurturing, spirit from our gut.
So what I’d like to do is take you on a process for you to play around with your own dreams, those own niggles inside of you that you would love to express. To love to realize. To love to be. This process is in the show notes. It’s a PDF document that you can easily download and follow along. It’s nine steps. Many of the steps are connected to the previous one. You can just follow along on the sheet as we go through over this next bit of time. If it resonates with you, do take a little bit longer to really sit with it. You’ll be surprised at what happens.
So the first step is to take some time to get really, really quiet, and whatever you need to do to do that. Whether it’s being out in nature, going for a walk. Whether it’s having a cup of tea or a great cup of coffee. Maybe a meditation, breath practice, some kind of movement or yoga. Whatever it is that you need to do to connect to get quiet inside.
Then ask yourself. What do you really want? What would you be thrilled with achieving this year? What would you be thrilled with realizing? What would you be thrilled with being, doing, or having, or contributing? Take some time to write down 30 things that you would love to either be, do, or have. Realize, achieve. Whatever word works for you. The key is is to simply write them down and have them if you can. Come from that place that is more your gut, more your spirit, more your soul. That really aligned place.
Allow yourself to really dream here. Maybe you're realizing some of the dreams you have had but because of whatever reason you’ve put on the shelf of you’ve forgotten about. Now as you do this, what will likely happen is that a bunch of obstacles are going to come up. Really, really realistic ones like well I have the kids or time or coronavirus or whatever. Just notice them coming up and still write down your list. Maybe get to 30. Maybe it’s 25. Maybe it’s 40. Whatever comes up, just notice it’s coming up and then keep writing those things that you would love that you would be thrilled with experiencing.
Okay. Now take one of those ideas. We’re going to get into the idea of the obstacle now. This is step five. Really think about one of those ideas. Feel it in your body. Feel about what it would be like to have that in your life. Now notice what happens next. Notice the obstacles that are arising, the reasons why this will not work. Write all of the reasons down. It’s important to give this part of yourself the space to express itself. Where you can let it tell you everything about why this thing won't work. Just write it down.
Don’t suppress. Get really real about what's there because the more you can shed light on what is reality in your subconscious, the more it can see the light of day the better. We want ourselves to be heard. We want ourselves to know that we have our backs. So allow yourself to really experience this. Keep going. Maybe it has something to do with time. Maybe it has something to do with social distancing. Maybe it has something to do with kids. What are those obstacles? Maybe it has something to do with money. Maybe it has something to do with not being able to travel. Just notice. Notice what all the obstacles are.
So when you're done, notice how you feel and notice what arises. I often find that after doing step five, I've got a more refined idea of what it is I would like and my next steps for getting there.
Now begin to write down 25 actions, specific things that you're going to do over the next month to move yourself towards that goal. Just take some time to write it down. It might take a bit of time to write them all down or know exactly what it is that you need to do. Just write down what you can.
These are 25 actions that are going to move you closer towards your desired outcome. When you're complete, just notice what you feel. Take a look at the list and then begin with the one that feels the most important to you now. Start small, choose one. When that one is complete, then do the next one. Then do the next one.
Each day read and write down that goal. I can't tell you how powerful this is, especially when you do it from a very quiet place where you can really feel as you write. Feel as if the result has already happened. Then notice what other action steps arise so that you can keep adding to that list of 25. As you cross one off, you can add another. Cross one off, add another. So that you're consistently having a list of actions that you can take. It’s not that once you finish the 25 then you're done, well unless you realize that goal. You just keep adding those actions and watch yourself evolve.
Watch yourself start to shift. The light in the change that is you. See what happens in terms of things that arise on your path to support you that you would never have believed to happen. Now to give you an idea of this, I'm going to share with you one of the goals that I have in mind. A goal that I wanted for a long time. I'm going to actually start taking action toward it this year.
So for a long time, about 15 years, I've been wanting to regain fluency in speaking French. I was pretty good when I was a kid. Not that I went to French emersion, but I took to French pretty easily in elementary school and in high school and then took a year of it in university. Then I stopped practicing. When I went to France in my 20s and then again in my 30s, I found myself finding the French and having people speak back to me in French. So it was there in my brain somewhere, but I wanted to have more confidence and more clarity. Be able to pull it out more easily.
It was difficult. Each time I would write down this as an idea of realizing when each year there were always reasons why it wouldn’t work. I had ideas around needing to be in an emersion type of environment or being able to be in class with just a small group. In my 20s I remembered going to Alliance Française, which was a small group conversational French. It was terrific in that there was about 10 of us. In about three weeks, I found myself dreaming in French again, thinking in French. It was terrific.
To be able to do that here in Calgary was really tough because the timing never worked with my yoga teaching schedule. Then now that I have kids, there's a little bit more restrictions on time. So I couldn’t find a place or a how. When I wrote it down this year when I was doing my goal setting process, the obstacles that kept coming up as I was writing it had to do with well, if I'm spending time learning French, I'm spending time away from my kids. If I'm spending time learning French, then I'm spending time away from my work. If I'm spending time doing French, I'm spending time away from my husband Stew.
I couldn’t find a way to make it feel good. So it just sort of sat there. There was something inside of me that just kind of kept niggling at me, suggesting that this was the year that I would actually begin to improve my fluency of French. What was interesting is I wrote down all of these obstacles, and I just kept writing them down and writing them down. They seemed very, very, very real. Then I had a realization that was way more fun than some of the other ideas that I had around learning my French again. This was the goal, which I am now sharing with you.
That by the end of the year, by December 31st, 2021 I will have led a 20-minute yoga class all in French. I will be leading it on Facebook live or something similar. As I say that even now, there is a certain level of excitement, nervousness, and a bit of scariness but all in the very, very best way. This French thing is something that has been niggling at me, but it’s also something that’s very, very in line to who I want to become and be.
What's great about it is that I had no idea this was even available. You can tell that I just speak English most of the time. I can actually follow French yoga classes on YouTube. I found a series of French yoga classes. I'm going to take one or two of my Facebook lives initially, and I'm going to have them translated so that I can speak the class and just practice it. Listen to it on audio. I’ll have the audio of the YouTube French classes that I’ll take. Then I can relearn the French of the various body parts and movement and the various things that I need to know.
Here’s what's really, really cool. I’ll be still in my anatomy learning. I’ll be doing my yoga practice in the time I would normally do my yoga practice. So I won't be taking away from being with my kids or with my husband because I'm already doing it at a time that I would do my yoga practice anyway. Now what’s really interesting is that there's been things that have already evolved out of this. I’ll share those in a later podcast, but there’s things that are already evolving out of this that are super, super exciting. It’s just fun to be able to explore this as an option.
I suspect that as I learn the vocabulary and, in some cases, relearn it, in other cases learn new words that I'm going to learn even more words. Same with the verb conjugations. There's going to be more that I'm going to learn. Or some phraseology that’s not so much the formal French that I would have learned when I was at school, but some of the phraseology or the slang that I might need to get my mouth and my brain around that I get to learn.
So here I'm in this place that I don’t have to push against my life routine or somehow kind of shoehorn this idea in, but rather I allow it to be a process of evolution, right? It’s aligned with my yoga practice, my love of anatomy and mechanics, and I get to explore this deeper sense of who I am. It feels so, so right. I mean who knew? It’s so interesting that I never really realized, never thought about yoga classes in French on YouTube, but there's actually quite a few. I'm having a grand old time following those.
So that’s an idea that you can kind of take and run with. It’s something very, very simple and very straightforward that I am very clear that by the end of this year as I take action toward that goal that I am going to be someone who speaks more French. That I am going to be somebody who has more fluidity around my French. That I'm someone who’s going to have more confidence and clarity and certainly more fun. That perhaps even before then I’ll do a little mini yoga. Who knows?
Maybe I’ll find some French speaking yogis who are listening to this podcast or some listeners of this podcast can refer me onto that can help me along. So it can be really quite exciting.
So now I ask you pull one of those ideas of something that you’d be thrilled about achieving, thrilled about having, thrilled about being, thrilled about doing, and start working toward your goal. Notice your level of commitment and that depth of knowing and that connection to what’s possible.
Remember that PDF of that process that I told you about is in the show notes. I would love to hear about your interest in your own goals. So if you feel like sharing them with us, send us a note to [email protected]
I would love to hear about what your goal is. I would love to know about your action steps towards achieving it. If there's anything else that I can support you with, then do send us a note at [email protected]
I would love to work with you. Enjoy.
If one of your goals is to realize yourself as an excellent yoga therapist, we are starting module one this March. You can join me for six days at the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive and get the foundational concepts of applying biomechanics, anatomy, physiology to the practice of yoga, the healing relationship, and how that supports someone moving forward in reducing pain, reducing symptoms, and feeling really good. You can read more at therapeuticyogaintensive.com. Looking forward to teaching you.