by Faith Macauley
There is an ease in which our paths unfold once we stop grinding with the force of willpower. The minute we begin trusting in the Universe’s inclination to assist us in our dreams, the tendency for tiredness, stress and anxiety disappears.
Have you noticed that when setting personal goals, your mind and body tend to go into overdrive? You make lists upon lists of things to do, people to contact, places to go, and there never seems to be enough time to unwind and truly relax. Why is it that meeting goals can feel like a perpetual struggle, while passion seems the easiest and most natural thing for a person to pursue? Because when doing what we love we are no longer drawing from a pool of personal resources, but rather a limitless well of Divine prana.
I’m reminded of my first asana class at my yoga teacher training in Nepal last year, when my teacher illustrated this concept by raising his arm perpendicular to his body. “I need a volunteer to forcefully bend my arm,” he challenged. To us students, this appeared a mismatched dual—a thumb-war of his arm versus an entire body. A volunteer easily wrapped her fingers around my teacher’s elbow, using her weight to bend it despite grimaces, grunts and increased breathing on his end. “You see, my own effort could never keep my arm straight against the force of another body. But let’s try it again…” In the second demonstration, no volunteer could bring down his arm as my teacher stood still, arm flat as a board, with absolute poise and ease. “It’s not my determination or strength that enables me to keep my arm straight. It’s the flow of Universal energy, prana.”
In life, as in yoga, there is a drastic difference in relying on your own resources and surrendering to a higher power. In the recent paradigm shift I’ve undergone by deciding to “let the passion of what [I] love be what [I] do,” (Yogi-Nomad quote) I’m amazed by how small steps in the direction of my dreams have already begun taking shape as my new life. It was about one week ago that I decided to make “what I do” be teaching yoga, and just yesterday I gave my first paid yoga lesson, scheduled my next lesson and met another new client. Sounds like a busy day, but after teaching yesterday, I distinctly noticed how energized I felt. I have never had “work” with this effect in the past; whether waitressing, sitting at desks, making drinks or making photocopies, I would inevitably come home drained. Paying attention to shifts in energy is how I trust in the claim that prana comes to your aid when you are doing what you love: I have witnessed it on an experiential level.
Every day I return to the quote from Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist: “When a person truly desires something, the entire Universe conspires to help him achieve it.” This novel found its way to me by appearing in my apartment before I left on my first solo backpacking adventure to South America, and its message has followed me to Asia as my life as a child of the world continues. The quote manifests itself in many forms (literally on the wall of Dreamers Hostel in Santa Marta, Colombia; subtly in my business ventures across Bangkok, Thailand) as a reminder to believe in its resounding truth. How many of us are stuck doing something we don’t care about, just because we don’t see any alternatives? How many signs, messages and nudges in the direction of your dreams have you ignored or resisted due to self-doubt? The key is to stop relying on your self, and begin doing what you love with the faith that you are supported with the Divine love.
Faith Macauley is a writer, photographer, yoga teacher and student of the world. She was born and raised in Seattle, WA, but has adventured across Asia and the Americas and now resides in Bangkok, Thailand. She lives to spread happiness, laughter and love by traveling, sharing stories and expressing herself, all the while encouraging others to do the same. When not practicing yoga, snapping photos or writing, you can catch her in the DJ booth dancing to groovy electronic music or in the kitchen cooking up travel-inspired dishes full of veggies, spice and love!
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