The word evolution has been on my mind a lot lately. I am using it as the title for some big writing series that I am embarking on in 2016, as well as playing with it as the name of the yoga studio I am in the works of opening next year. I have been using it as a theme in my yoga classes, and I have also found strength in my daily mind-mapping when I bring evolution into the mix.
What stands out in my memory in regards to the introduction of evolution in my life is a few years ago when I started to paint, a lot. After I "retired" from playing basketball, I discovered painting as a therapeutic and fun activity. I started with simple images and then moved into more abstract with a philosophical tone and title and then began exploring faces and "Dr. Seuss-esque" landscapes. I spent a couple of years painting and exploring new styles and new themes, allowing whatever grabbed my attention to become my focus. I created over 50 paintings and have sold approximately 30. My dad made a few comments during this time period that he really enjoyed watching the evolution of my painting. It seemed like a funny comment at first, but then he said it a couple more times and I began to understand and appreciate the depth that brought into my awareness.
The evolution of my work was seen first by those on the outside looking in. I hadn't picked up on seeing how each painting supported the creation of the next one in line. I was so dedicated and engaged by this process that I didn't realize I was getting stronger and learning from the painting that came before.
I started dope(a)me in February 2015, and I have dedicated every single day since then to my evolution. I learn from my struggles, I lean on the edge of my comfort zone and occasionally take big leaps outside those lines, I take feedback and learn from my set-backs, I challenge myself to continue learning, growing, and ultimately, evolving.
I think a big part of evolution is staying open and receptive to each moment. I never know where my next client will come from, or who will be my next collaborator, or what words I speak in yoga will resonate deeply with someone in class, or whether what is on my mind will reach and support my social media community - and that's ok. I can only control my effort, not the outcome. I do not know where I will be five years from now. I have goals, and dreams, and aspirations, and ideas, and I plan to put in the effort and have as much fun along the way as possible. In the end, evolution happens regardless of effort, but when you live with Intention, direction, and continue feeding and fueling your mind and body, chances are you will be much happier with where your evolution takes you.
Something I brought into my yoga class at Samadhi yesterday (Sunday) morning was what I believe to be the three keys to understanding and leading the evolution in your own life. They are:
1. Acknowledge and embrace where you are and set an Intention/Purpose/Why to direct and guide your energy.
2. Trust your breath, and trust the process. Trust that if you are grounded in your foundation, there will be growth.
3. Reflect and Edit as you go.
Simple yet complex. Get your foundation set, acknowledge where you are without judgement or shame or "should's", gain clarity in your direction by knowing your WHY, your PURPOSE, and your INTENTION. And then get moving. Stay open and receptive as you go, ready to edit, tweak, adjust, shift, learn, and grow.
Take on your evolution!