Fake it til you make it

I was listening to an interview with Tal Ben Shahar yesterday, who is the most popular professor in Harvard’s history. He was talking about how we usually think that “Inspiration” leads to “Action” - but in fact - it’s the opposite. I love this. It reminds me of when I first started teaching yoga and meditation, over 15 years ago, and how there were days that I felt stressed, or uncenetered, or insecure about what I had to offer. I would walk into the homes of some of the most intelligent, high performing people in New York City, if not the world, and have to teach, guide and inspire. I had to take my seat as the teacher, whether I was feeling it or not. I made that commitment to my student, it was my practice, and it was my job. Sure enough, after just a few minutes of taking that seat, I would start to feel “flow”. Inspiration came. The action of taking my seat – of “faking it” in those initial few minutes, enabled me to “make it”. This was a huge lesson for me at the time. It taught me about the power of practice, and the fact that showing up with a clear intention, day after day, got me pretty far. It does not mean that we are not authentic, real, and accepting of the wide range of emotions that will inevitably be a part of our journey. The commitment to practice (whatever that practice might be) and the permission to be human and imperfect - co-exist and play with one another, creating a dynamic experience of living. But it does mean that if you want to be a meditator, just sit, whether you want to or not, for 5 minutes. If you want intimacy with your partner, be kind and loving, whether you want to or not, for 5 minutes. If you want to write a book, sit and write, for 5 minutes, no matter what you are feeling or thinking. As the great yoga master Shri K. Pattabhi Jois said – “Practice, and all is coming”. This goes for relationships, spiritual practice, work, athletics, EVERYTHING. As Nike Says – Just Do It. Just this morning I had this experience. I woke up early with a million things to do – my mind racing. I have committed to getting on my yoga mat every morning, for 30 minutes, and moving and meditating. I didn’t want to do this AT ALL. I wanted to start writing this email, I wanted to bang through my inbox, I wanted to rearrange furniture for a party I’m having this weekend, I wanted to get a head start on my kids lunches. But I got on my mat. And wouldn’t you know that about 5 minutes into it – there was no place I would rather be. With Love, Julie

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