“Start from where you are — not where you wish you were. The work you’re doing becomes your path.”
~ Ram Dass
I came across this quote in a beautiful image on my Facebook newsfeed, which I frequently scan through to see if there is something worthwhile to share with my community. Sometimes funny, educational, or inspirational, I only share things that resonate with me. The timing of this quote was quite remarkable given where I am and how I feel in this moment. After sharing, I kept reflecting on what this truly meant for me right now.
It is natural to desire for our dreams to come true. It is easy to sit and mull it over and over in our minds. We may compare ourselves to others who seem to have it all and living a life full of things that they are passionate about. We may start to create stories in our heads: “Why can’t my life be more like that?”, “I will never be able to achieve something like that”, “Nothing ever works out for me.” The thing is that you have a choice. Either continue playing the victim of your own story or start the work from where you are.
“Start from where you are — not where you wish you were.”
I have been there and, from time to time, revisit this victim state of mind. It is easy to compare, point blame, and wish you were in a different place. There is no work involved to keep us in this state. We can become depressed, angry, jealous…the list goes on. So you can choose to stay there, or show up and do the work.
You may be thinking: “More work?! That sucks! Haven’t I worked hard enough?” Believe me, I can relate. In my experience, sometimes you have to do the things you don’t really want or even like to do to get where you want to be. It is important to remind yourself that this is only temporary and ultimately you will be closer to a more fulfilled life. It is easy to blame a past situation for where you are, but maybe that was exactly what you needed to see things with a new set of eyes.
It is also important to nurture the things in your life that you enjoy and clears the fog that may be in your path. I use yoga to not only stretch and strengthen my body but to clear my mind and connect to my center. Cultivating awareness through practices like yoga, meditation, and general mindfulness is fundamental to the work that becomes your path.
“The work you’re doing becomes your path.”
So today I choose to accept that where I am right now is part of my story, my path. Tomorrow I may fall victim to the whispers of doubt in my mind, but that too is part of my path. Knowing that from a moment of suffering I will grow and have another perspective if I choose to do the work. Where I wish to be may not be where I am now or even where I’ll end up. But this is my journey, and I wholeheartedly love and accept it. The good bits, the messy bits, and all the bits in between.