From the slopes to the mat

The following is a funny and humbling story that illustrates how different people’s passions can be. I remember back in high school dating Mark Fawcett, the Olympian and Canadian National Alpine Snowboard Coach. He invited me to join him on one of his winter adventures to New Hampshire, where he was training with other Olympic hopefuls at the time.


Wanting to be a part of his adrenaline-drenched lifestyle, I swallowed my fear of heights and aversion to speed, and joined him on the slopes. Mid way down a black diamond route, I stood there frozen with panic, fantasizing about being air-lifted out of my misery when Mark flew by me screeching in delight.


We have both been fortunate to have pursued our own (and very different) interests. While Mark continues to successfully challenge what’s humanly possible on a thin board traveling on snow at record speeds, I am pleased to be excavating the inner limits of the psyche through fluid movements, meditation and contemplation.


This past weekend in our visioning retreat, we underwent a process of opening to our life’s purpose and embracing that which ignites passion within us. The yoga tradition deems this as one of the soul’s responsibilities, in order to make productive use of our lives and experience true fulfillment.


Conversely, our culture has taught us to ignore our hearts desire, to take science instead of attend art college, to marry Anne instead Sally, who we completely adore. Add up these culturally or parentally influenced choices and you have a person at the end of life, filled with regret that s/he didn’t live a more satisfying life. Bummer hey? This is one of the reasons why I’m so charged about the new Yoga 11 course in our schools, because I’ve dedicated a whole segment to exploring this very conversation.


A simple way to grow more familiar with your dharma, or soul’s purpose, is to notice what brings you joy. When you catch yourself daydreaming, what are you dreaming about? As the spiritual adepts say, when we’re feeling good, we’re feeling god. When we’re truly sharing our gifts, we enter a state where time disappears, creativity flows effortlessly and we are filled with joy. When we’re off track, we might feel the way I did on the slopes, left in a snowboarding wizard’s dust.


The spirit of creation is always seeking to emerge through you, what is your unique expression of this vibrant life force? 
 

Comments

2

I have been contemplating this very thing recently - thank you for highlighting this and bringing it to the forefront of my thoughts! I have a feeling big things are going to happen this year and I look forward to embarking on my life's purpose!

I absolutely love this article it is so close to my heart. You are lucky to have seen the light :)