The Importance of Showing Up

Eighty percent of success is showing up.

Woody Allen

Our recent summer vacation included an 8-hour drive from the Eastern Townships in Quebec to the north shore of Long Island, New York. We drove through Vermont along I-91. It must be one of the most spectacular stretches of highway in the Northeast. We passed bucolic fields, majestic views of the Green Mountains, forests, and flowing rivers. We even had an organic, vegan dinner at a local farmer’s market along the way.

Travelling south, sprawl, industry and traffic slowly crept up on us. There seemed to be construction blockades and slowdowns every few miles. Before we knew it the scenery and our experience of the trip had drastically changed.

If we think of yoga as a path we travel over time, its helpful to acknowledge that there will be many changes of scenery along the way. There will be expansive horizons and breathtaking landscapes. There will also be boring stretches of seeming nothingness and yes, obstacles that seem to block (or even reverse) our progress and seriously impinge on our enjoyment of the ride.

There is value in knowing that all this is normal, even part of the deal if we approach our practice as a journey for a lifetime.

We can recognize the importance of staying on a path we’ve committed our selves to travelling.  In my experience, if we stick with it we come out on the other side, stronger and more resilient for our efforts. We become less attached to the momentary “hit”, more even-minded and better equipped to ride the ups and downs of practice.

In the meantime, some days it’s just about showing up and being grateful to yourself that you did.