Full Commitment - 100%
I had signed-up to the 3-day meditation course in the Indian Art of Living Ashram before I realised it was a silent retreat. Although I'd previously studied these teachings and was looking forward to learning more, life in the ashram was challenging enough without the added complications of not being able to speak!
So whilst I liked the idea of 'going within' and spending time on myself, I hadn't fully committed. I was overwhelmed by the scale of the place, concerned about my lack of sleep and worried about the effects of the local food on my delicate travel stomach. At the cafe with its limited menu, my frustration took over and I spoke. The server at the cafe was horrified. He handed me a piece of paper so I could write my question and reminded me of the ashram's teaching 'of giving 100%'.
Why would I invest time and money in a course and not give it 100%? I had come willingly and I wanted the learning. I needed to trust the process and give my it my full commitment. The feelings that would come up and the challenges that would arise would then all part of the process. Moving through them was part of the learning.
Yet, when I look at my journal, this wasn't the only time I broke the rules! Without that 100% commitment, I took a slightly easier path. Not quite following the course set and I probably sabotaging myself. I came away having had an interesting experience but not having made any meaningful change.
Holding back from full commitment is a pretty useful strategy. It stops us from having to really face our challenges, protects us from possible failure or any consequences of success that we fear. It keeps us safely in our comfort zone whilst giving the illusion of moving forward. We flirt with change. We're trying!
This might have been a helpful strategy for us at some stage in the past but does it really serve us now? Is this a good use of our precious time? Is it helping us to live the life we desire? If we're not committed aren't we better being honest and clear about that so we don't waste our energy?
So what do we need to really commit? 'Thinking about it' is unlikely to be the answer! Perhaps we have questions to satisfy or to accept we don't know the answers to. Feelings to face. Intuition to listen to. We might need to find a coach or teacher to show us the way and keep us on track.
When we want to make a change in our lives, we need to recognise that the process of making that change will transform us. Possibly in ways we can not anticipate. We may not be able to imagine ourselves making those changes because the person making them is not our pre-change selves. It is our post change self, the one has developed from coming through the difficulties, learnt new skills and gained new perspectives, who has the full picture. We need to trust in who we are becoming.
I'd love to hear your views on this article in the comments below and please feel free to love and share!