“All our ideas, objects or even mantras are just symbols to hold onto as aids toward the goal. Behind the objects you should always remember the goal.” (Pg. 53, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, translated by Sri Swami Satchidananda, 1978).
The process of reaching a goal may seem incredibly exciting at the beginning, tedious in the middle and even wavering near the end. I think of all the New Year’s resolutions made with conviction, often shouted out publicly as if the tradition of commitment to resolution is a communal requirement. A few days or weeks go by and no one is feeling incredibly accountable to themselves or each other and soon the resolution is forgotten or swept under the carpet like the crumbs of a forgotten promise.
Making commitments and resolutions to yourself and not sharing them is even trickier. What happens when the only person who knows your resolution or promise is yourself. Staying true to yourself is really the yoga. The union of the individual on the path of contemplation and awareness. The promise to the self to pay attention, observe and celebrate quietly so that the listening can be done. Steady the mind and the breath and body will open and respond more fully and clearly. The goal is not in the distance but in the steps and the leaps we allow ourselves to take towards it with each and every breath.