I have been living with my boyfriend for a couple of years now. And in this pandemic, we made the decision to purchase a condo together. Unlike a lot of things I hear about diving into this level of (legal!) commitment, I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t think twice or doubt my decision. It was easy. Despite my confidence, people around me worried about how stable that was since we weren’t married. That something in me should be feeling scared. It made me think a lot about my views on marriage, and what that means when it comes to love.
Commitment according to Merriam-Webster is “an agreement or pledge to do something in the future”. I’m 35 years old and I have always been taught that the ultimate proof of commitment was a ring and marriage. And while I have no problems with it, I don’t believe that love and commitment is limited just that. I’ve grown to learn that commitment is an action. Beyond an agreement or pledge and yes, even paperwork or religious obligation, it is the choice to choose who you love on a daily basis. Marriage is a symbol, not the definition or assurance of it. I believe that we all have the freedom to express love our way.
Our practice gives us the tools to become aware of how we work. The choices we make, why we do what we do, and our intentions come from a place we need to understand. Yoga has given me the space to plant two feet in who I am at this point in my life. Coming from a broken family, I’m aware that my aversion towards marriage comes from this. But I also believe that trust and faith in your person can be bigger than what hold you back from being all in when it comes to love. People joke me about being commitment-phobic but I really disagree. The beauty about love is that it is what you and your person define it to be. And maybe for us, this condo is the symbol.
I recently joined the online 21-day workout challenge by Jordan Yeoh, a YouTube fitness coach. Yoga can be a great workout but lately I have been looking for something more intense. Jordan Yeoh’s workouts consist of high intensity interval training (HIIT) using your own body weight. I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of HIIT, which is exactly why I’m in yoga training. But I know that this is the challenge that my body needs at my age.
Jordan has an introductory video which he wants us to watch before we start the challenge. In the video, he said that he had misgivings about doing daily challenges before. He thinks that people are often more focused on performing and getting immediate results and end up being frustrated or disappointed if they feel they did not meet their expectations. So he has set the expectation for this challenge, which is commitment and consistency. He said that if we want to succeed, we should commit to carve out time to workout everyday for the next 21 days. What we are aiming for is commitment and consistency.
This really resonated well with me.Sometimes, we are so distracted by the end goal and our own expectations that we often forget about the process. Not being at par with our expectations frustrates us to the point that we lose motivation and forget about our commitment. It helps to think that commitment is as simple as showing up. Regardless of how you feel about the process, regardless of how near or far you are from your targets, you just show up, trust the process, and learn from the experience of those who have done it before. Based on my own experience, I have so far not regretted showing up, even if the workout is physically demanding.
The same attitude can be applied to our yoga practice. It may be challenging. It may be tough both physically and mentally. But it is worth it. Just keep working on your practice, enjoy the process, and its fruits will manifest in their own time.