‘Dwell in Possibility’ – Emily Dickinson
As I teach more and more yoga I observe more and more behaviours on the mat related to stress, striving, winning, comparing, judging, hurrying, fear, impatience, lack of confidence, grief and I could go on and on.
I know that my students reflect my attitudes and behaviours and thanks to them I have learned more about myself than any personal development book/wise man/guru could teach me!
In doing so, it has taken me many years to understand how much of these behaviours stem from the need/desire to be ‘successful”‘. What on earth is success? If you ask a Western child today, what do they want to be when they grow up…..often the response now is ‘to be famous’! Really? That is seen as success to so many. Yes, success wears many cloaks but having thousands of Facebook friends doesn’t cut it for me.
What is success to you?
I recently was in the home of a lovely friend who pointed out how successful her husband was because of what he had provided for her and her family. However, she didn’t seem to see, in any way, her own so-called success.
Apart from the fact that I was sitting in a beautifully designed home; speaking to her charming son; and having just walked through a stunning garden fit to be in Vogue Living (all produced, designed and nourished by her I might add); she saw her husband as successful but not herself. In fact she sees herself as one who lacks ambition, and is without drive or purpose. However, how I see her is not how she sees herself. She is simply not aware of how she has dwelled in possibility and potential and has created a magnificent haven/ environment for her husband and her children. Success? Surely!
Yes money can certainly be a sign of success if put to good use but so can a garden. For what is more beautiful?
A dollar note or a gardenia?
And how blessed can you be to not feel as though you have to strive every day. Have you considered what it is like just to be aware, to potter, to be present?
Ask someone who has been given 5 years to life, what success is? I did ask this question this week. And the answer was simply: ‘to live in the present with those I love’. End of subject.
Sometimes I play a beautiful piece of music in my classes which is interrupted for a split second with these words…..’When our bones turn to dust the two most important things in life will have been how much we loved and how much we gave’.
When I reflect upon the act of ‘giving’, I recall the times I have visited Mother Teresa’s (now St. Teresa’s) homes in Pashupatinath (Nepal) and Pondicherry (India) and have seen first-hand (whilst being humbled to my very core) what she created in her life and what these lively little nuns (yes they all seem little) do for the disabled, poor and abandoned. Giving and loving – in a nutshell.
Surely these are the two greatest qualities of the human race? Surely what stems from these is happiness. And isn’t being happy – success?
Oh if we all just ‘loved and gave’…..what an idealist I am!
So when you feel you are not ‘being successful’, think again or plant a tree! That will do it.
Or… simply dwell in possibility and potential for others and watch how your success unfolds.
And remember, a small gift given to the earth can give shade, safety and joy and all it takes is a thought, a seedling and a moment in time.
Love x Annemaree x
Thank you to those who took these photos….whomever you may be….for they are beautiful!
Thank you Annemaree for this beautiful reflection. You give my life so much guidance and purpose with your profound wisdom.
Keep up your amazing work. You are very much appreciated and your writings so refreshing in our fast, furious and needy world.