Birth

Living a mindful life is like sailing a boat - we cannot simply chart our course for the opposite shore and set off in a straight line from A to B; we must set our sails according to the prevailing winds, work our way through storms, find a way to be at ease when there is no wind, adjusting constantly to an ever-changing environment.

We were born to evolve, the whole point of our existence, according to yoga scripture is to evolve.  As Gabriel Garcia Marquez writes, 'human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, ... life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.'  Time and time again, we shuck off the worn out ideals and aims of our former selves, adapt to new situations and create new futures. 
 
Ask any mother: giving birth is sometimes very painful; giving birth to ourselves is no different.  A mindful life requires honesty and an unflinching regard for our own actions, decisions and behaviour.  It requires us to take responsibility for our lives, since we create our own world.  This is not always a comfortable process.  But in birth there is euphoria too and a sense of purpose, of our own true nature emerging, magnificent.

We are not here to stagnate; to become attached to methods and ways of life and practice that served us well once, but might not do so any more; we are not here to remain frozen in one place, always on the cusp of something, our potential just beyond the reach of our fingertips.  We are vessels for a spirit that wants to be born at last into its own fullness; each rebirth bringing us closer to who and what we may be.

Only in this way do we fulfil the promise of our own unique set of skills, talents and personality and seize each day.  Only in this way do we end the habit of bemoaning our fate, choosing instead to boldly play the cards we have been dealt with confidence, kindness and optimism.

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