Saturday, June 26, 2010

Prioritizing Principles

Yesterday I had a three hour meeting with a friend who I am thinking about going into business with. Over the course of that time we discussed many things - the exciting possibilities of partnership, potential creative ways of structuring an agreement, the financial and technical nuts and bolts. Then from playfully exploring all the bits and pieces, we finally returned to what brought us together in the first place ...  

Shared vision and a set of macro, guiding principles. 

Ooooo ... I just love principles. 
They offer my structured, steadfast Capricorn heart a sense of being grounded in something real, supported by a base while at the same time they appeal to my anti-establishment, anti-majority ethos (where this comes from ... not so sure!) that detests "rules" for the sake of "rules" and black or white as my only two options.

No surprise perhaps that I practice and teach a style of yoga that operates on the play of five universal principles. These five principles form a foundation by which anything situation can be examined, tested, understood, managed, AND expanded. The principles offer a road map, an ever present reference point to finding and abiding in a place of spacious freedom even in the midst of a most confronting challenge. Headstand or heartbreak. Principles have set me free!

On the mat, I use all of the different "shapes" and sequences of the physical asana to practice remembering, aligning, and celebrating thru my body an adherence to my central vision. The position of my body may change, the shape of my body may change, even the state of my body may change but the principles, they never change. I find this truly empowering. I am never helpless or alone. In fact, I have an ever steady reference point, a guide that I can keep coming back and my experience with the principles in practice proves them true over and over again.

Beyond the yoga mat, I have made it a practice to contemplate and remember the values by which I want to live my life and to use this vision to consciously create real, tangible principles that can support me in any endeavor and in any relationship. It is the times in my life when I forget or ignore my principles, when I operate out of fear or from the "shoulds" that I get into trouble...placing myself into a situation that is not serving me - health, happiness, heart.

I have a lot going on at the moment. And in the midst of all the momentum, I have felt a little lost.

Last week I was simultaneously teaching a full schedule of Anusara Yoga classes and private sessions, attending a five day yoga intensive with a yoga teacher of another style, drafting a business plan, exploring a partnership agreement, investigating commercial real estate options, looking into rental and residential sales options for a house, designing flyers and promo materials for a visiting guest teacher, planning my next session of classes, visioning my Immersion program for next year, and getting ready to go overseas and see my family for three weeks.  

All of the things listed above are tremendously excited. When it rains, it pours they say. And with the rain, the garden of possibilities is definitely growing. At the same time however I have been left feeling totally overwhelmed, exhausted, and while I've modestly shuffled forward on many things, there were no confident strides taken toward completion, decision, manifestation of any one thing.

As my biz partner and I wrote a daunting list of things that will need to be discussed, decided, and implemented ... the first task we set for ourselves before moving any further forward is to pause the momentum and get clear again. To write down our vision, put into words the concrete principles that will guide all actions, all decisions. In doing this, we not only create a road map but we touch back on intention. When I remember my intention, the worrying over small things melts away and I reconnect with the joy of creating again.

In Anusara Yoga, we have an expression - the highest first! 
As I look back again at my list of to do's, at the plethora of decisions and moves big and small that must be made before I board a plane on Wednesday morning, I'm trying to telescope out... to change my perspective... not get swallowed up by momentum and minutia. I'm not looking for difference, for complications, for drama ... Instead, I'm looking to see how all of these things connect and relate to each other and how all of them together can align with and represent my central vision. 

Skillful life like skillful yoga. 
Looking for ways to bring together rather than tear apart.
Prioritizing principles.
Setting intention.


  1. Thanks for your inspiring blogs Katie. A member of the Sydney Kula, Deb put me onto them. I have just started my own as a kind of way to articulate where I am at in my dharma/karma/practice and life. Reading yours has confirmed why I wanted to start one...putting energy behind the things that really matter to you. So thanks! I am now a devoted follower of Make More Beauty!

  2. Your blog is beautiful and full of wise reflections....
    When we have "tons" of things happening in our lives at the same time....remember to take one baby step, then another and then another..... gives us time to reflect, enjoy, re-evaluate and create with deep intention.
    Wish you luck on your journey to an exciting business!!!!
    with love, Kari