Some people don´t want to do the hard work. And I absolutely understand it. Because it is a type of work that is completely uncertain on outcomes. The hard work for me is the one that does not give you fame, nor wealth, nor friends and maybe not even health. The hard work is the one that takes care of the purity of actions, even if that costs the loss of other things. Not very attractive, right? On its behalf I must say that there is some type of pay for this type of work. It gives the fruits of inner peace, of knowing that we have put things in the right order in such a way that we will live with the full spectrum of emotional nuances and die disturbed in matter but undisturbed in our spirit.
What does this work bring? It forces us for the cultivation of noble and traditional values such as courage, sacrifice, service, love, honesty, truth and justice. It does not mean that you have to die for someone every day, but you might stop to help an old person when you are in a rush for an important job interview that affects the long term of your professional life. The hard work means we are willing to assume the risks of not pleasing everyone but knowing that we are pleasing our heart. It is not the same to offer a friend a teeshirt you just bought as it is to take off your favorite teeshirt and offer it to someone that really needs it. I´m not talking about overplaying the hero or reducing love for yourself. I mean taking actions that would honor life to its highest expression and our humanness to its brightest light. It is easy to share when we have more than enough (and still many people struggle to do this), but what about sharing when you are not sure if you will make it through the month?
What we learn along this path of being willing to do the hard work is that it is not so hard once it has become a habit. It is not so hard to wash your dishes a little bit slower because you choose a thinner flow of water. It is not so hard to buy things according to your needs and not to impress others or confirm artificial identities. It is not so hard to wake up earlier to honor your body rather than stay late disturbing your mind with social media or tv. It is not so hard to be with your kids when they need you rather that prioritize adult social life which can be done or pursued later. It is not so hard to share the secrets of your professional or personal successes to inspire or help others. It should not be hard to listen to a friend even when you want to tell them how well you know how to solve everything.
In our yoga practice it should not be so hard to practice the core teachings of yoga and choose to ignore the tendencies given by the competitive moods of the modern world.
Still, all this is a little hard. But not so hard. Inner strengths get stronger as we work them. Mindful living gets easier as we practice it. Truthfulness reaches a cellular level when we commit to it every day. Simple living is sustainable, maybe not so glamorous, chic or attractive. I know.
We should try to feel how the vibration of the world changes every time we take a step to take care of something else than ourselves. An easy way yo find the answers when we are in doubt: think about the impact of what you are doing in the world and the people around you in the long term. Answers and decisions take a different colour. Life takes a different course. I can´t promise amazing outcomes, it just feels good. In a natural human way.