The prize is in the practice
It’s easy to get into a rut of doing things with an end point in mind or with an expectation of a specific outcome. And often not achieving the result or meeting our expectations makes us feel like we may have failed in our intentions. Sometimes with so much focus on the result, we lose sight of the process. For example, I create yoga classes to teach to students. Whether there is one student or many students, if I am able to enjoy in the creation of my thoughts and ideas for a class, then that in and of itself should be fulfilling and uplifting. I cook dinner to feed my family and it’s easy to feel like the effort is lost if my children don’t eat what I cook. But to cook is not just to prepare a meal for yourself or someone else, it is a way to express yourself and to be sincere within the process. Ideally, if we can free our mind from the expectations and anticipation of what is to come, then we can begin to draw focus back on being present and accepting with what is already here. Though not always apparent, the prize is in the practice itself. This doesn’t mean you have to let go of all effort, but rather try to find that balance between effort and ease, sthira and sukha. So allow yourself to be aware of your direction, your intention, but at the same time remain fully engaged and at ease within the process. And when you are able to cultivate that fine balance, the practice of everyday life in and of itself takes you to a higher level of consciousness, a higher sense of being true to the moment and wholly true to yourself.
Quote from Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
“Our way is not to sit to acquire something; it is to express our true nature. That is our practice.”