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The Right Use of Will

by Aruni Nan Futuronsky

Sustained, transformational change happens through the alchemy of mindfulness and the right use of will. Like on the yoga mat, you have to be where you are before you can be somewhere else! Clearly this is one of life’s greatest paradoxes, and it snags us every time. Our tendency is to work diligently to attain a goal without mindfully sinking down into the moment. It is in the moment that we receive the energy, grace, and universal support to shift patterns.

The right use of will is an ancient yogic practice that is essential for growth and change. We need to show up to the moment and mindfully adjust our actions so our intentions and our actions come into alignment, into yoga. The split between intention and action is a painful one; to know and to not practice is essentially to not know.

Here are some powerful reminders about using your will most effectively and committing to yourself in the most success-orientated way:

  • Think incrementally. Change happens in small steps. Keep it simple as you consider your actions. What is one step you can take in the direction of your intention?
  • Think specifically. As you create a commitment to yourself, answer these questions—When will I practice? For how long? How often in the week? The specifics ground us in success.
  • Think realistically. Keep it simple and, like on the yoga mat, meet yourself where you are. Give yourself the gift of the realistic next step.
  • Think relationally. Remember, you don—t have to do it alone. Get a walking buddy, personal trainer, life coach, or someone who will hold the larger perspective of possibility for you. It’s more fun to have another along your journey.

One step at a time, let your actions take you closer to your heart’s longing. It works! Enjoy the journey.