Today is the 14th day of my 30-day hot yoga challenge. And on day 14, I feel like a superwoman.
Let me rewind for a second. It's not the yoga that has me soaring. Ok... it IS partly the yoga. My back feels lengthened and tall. Instead of slumping my shoulders, I'm walking with my heart extended forward- vulnerable, exposed and unafraid. I can actually feel
energy in parts of my body that were once numb and uninhabited. Even my ovaries are talking.
But more then the yummy goodness I feel from the yoga practice, there's the extraordinary joy I've discovered that comes with my intentions and my actions being in alignment.The self-satisfaction of following through with doing exactly what I said I would do and honoring my commitment to myself. And that, my friends, is what the ancient Taoists called the Yi.
Every element in Chinese Medicine has a spiritual component, and the spirit of the Earth Element is called the Yi. The glyph for the Yi is both poetic and powerful. It depicts a heart with a musical note above it, asking us, "Are we singing the song of our hearts?"The Yi resides at the horizon of the earth, and is responsible for making sure our inspiration from heaven is empowered and animated with the energies of the earth. It's that crucial link that I often bypass when I am trying to manifest something.
So I start with a grandiose declaration: "I'm tired of feeling sluggish and relying on coffee. I am going to transform my health!" And Self said, "Hey, why don't you do a 30 day yoga challenge?"
"Yes!" My Earth self replied. And then we, together, got all excited. I could picture myself all strong and flexible after the challenge. I could see myself in cute colorful yoga outfits. I could hear my friends asking me how I did it. I could even see myself celebrating my success with a party. A big party for me! Yay me!
Folks, that conservation between myself and my Self happened about every year for the past three years.
You see what I mean? It's simple:
Inspiration + No Action = Ain't Nothing Happening.
What I'm learning to value are the tedious, unsexy, and often undesirable choices every day that are making my yoga challenge actually happen this time around. It's what my mentor calls "tending to the dirt beneath our fingernails". It's the Yi, asking every morning, "are you walking your talk?"
- It's waking up at 5am, when the 6am class is the only one that fits in my day.
- It's drinking 1000 gallons of water so I don't pass out on the mat
- It's dragging a sleepy child, still in pajamas, to a yoga studio on a Saturday morning
- It's not cute yoga clothes- its old leggings and tank tops with holes
- It's laundry- lots and lots of laundry
See? nothing sexy here. But what IS sexy is laying in Savasana allowing gratitude to bubble up:
Dear Self: Thank you for this great idea! We're so dopealicious. Dear Body, thank you for showing up for me today and everyday. I love you.
It's also very simple:
Heaven + Earth + Alignment = Manifestation.
Confession: I have another challenge for my Yi. For the past five years I've been writing a book. I have the title. I have the cover design and the marketing plan for when it's finished. I have a mentor to guide me, an outline, and notes everywhere. I love this book. I LOVE it. I Believe, deep in my heart, that this book will offer women the magic of nature medicine to heal themselves, their families, their communities, and even a world that would allow Trump to run for president. I can see myself at book signing, graciously channeling my inner Sally Fields, "I guess this mean you like me.. you really, really like me!"
The problem is, I haven't started writing this book yet. Not one single solitary chapter. Not one.
And I realized, it's my Yi that is going to have to help me write this book. Its the humble, thankless day to day choices, the consistency over time, my commitment. The days that I write when i'm inspired, and the days when I write when I'm not. Its the tedious, unsexy work of research and copy editing and holding myself accountable. Its not the promise of success or even my vision that will get this book done. Its my Yi.
So, I did what I do best- I mixed up a flower essence recipe to support my Yi, called Aligned Intentions:
Blackberry: At the top, Blackbery flower essence is the foundational remedy for the Yi. It helps us to make concrete actions in line with our intentions
Indian Pink: In the center, Indian Pink encourages us to prioritize what's important in the moment, instead of getting distracted by things happening around us
Elm: At the bottom, Elm flower essence allows us to to be honest with our limitations, and opens us to the support from others
Deerbrush: On the left, Deerbrush helps us to hear what our heart truly desires, as opposed to be subswiped by external expectations.
White chestnut: On the right, White Chestnut flower essence quiets mental chatter so that we can see and think clearly
If Aligned Intentions has gotten me to Day 14 of my yoga challenge, maybe it can get me through chapter 14 of this book i've been dreaming of writing. Who knows?
Gye Nyame.... This, or something better.
May this season find you stepping firmly and solidly into your dream. Keep on singing that song of your heart.
P.S. For a deeper dive into the art of manifestation, click here to learn about
THE KAMARIA CIRCLE, a leadership and manifestation program for women.