Mastery is a Mountain With No Top
I attended a worldwide zoom Masterclass hosted by my teacher Baron Baptiste yesterday and was reminded of a simple truth. We never know the depth of a thing unless we study it. In today’s fast-paced world where everyone is hungry for more and more knowledge, there is a lot of bypassing. We skim over and collect facts but often don’t take the time to understand the depth and substance of the things that are right in front of us. I have been practicing, studying, and teaching Baptiste Yoga for two decades and I can honestly say that I continue to be blown away by the teachings and their power to transform lives.
Baron spoke to Baptiste Yoga’s 3 Themes and I saw them with fresh eyes like they were brand new. I am excited to share my new looking with you.
The Three Themes of Baptiste Yoga
1. Be a Yes as a creation not as concept. Put your attention ON what you want to have happen, and BE for it.
2. Give up what you must: Bring into view and let go the fixed perceptions and positions that thwart and constrain you.
3. Come from You are Ready Now: Move, breathe and have your being from “Right now is all I’ve got” and make the higher call at each step.
Three simple steps have guided me to create the life of my dreams and continue to guide me into expansion and meaningful contribution daily. These are simple themes that can take any problem you have and create a new possibility in the moment. They work every time, all the time, and for every human being. But I’ve learned that “the work” doesn’t work on its own, YOU work. I have been a disciplined student of Baptiste Yoga for over 20 years and one thing I know for sure is that the methodology doesn’t change but I change constantly. How I see the world changes, how I show up for others changes, my belief systems change. If the teachings are to remain relevant to me I must be willing to look at them over and over again from the new places that I stand.
How often do you read a self-help book and “get” the concept but fail to plug in any new actions? How often do you assume you know how to do something and deny yourself the opportunity to learn the nuances or subtleties that could take you from average to an expert? How often do you make assumptions when you are listening to someone, thinking you know what they are going to say? How often do you argue for your limitations and speak them into reality? How often do you say the words “I know”?
There are so many ways that we attach ourselves to what we know and miss the whole universe in the process.
Just when I thought I knew something about these teachings, Baron’s take on the three themes blew my mind.
He spoke to ‘Be a Yes’ from the perspective of getting clear on what we want, or what we are a ‘yes’ for, AND identifying what you are a NO for in the process. For instance, if you are a Yes for growing, you will be a NO for staying in your comfort zone. That part is clear to me. I use this formula daily. And then he said something I’ve never heard before; “It’s not your”no” that keeps you stuck, it’s your “know.”
Whoa. What? He then quoted Shakespeare and said, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” He went on to demonstrate how the old stories we tell about our lives, our personalities, our bodies, and our limitations all come from past knowledge. To create something new we have to give up all the knowledge and be open and curious about what we don’t know.
Think back to a time when you truly believed something wholeheartedly and later discovered that thing wasn’t true at all. I think we’ve all had that experience. We fight valiantly to keep our knowledge when in fact our knowledge may be the very thing that limits us.
Mark Twain famously said ” It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
I’ve thought about this before but it came clear to me yesterday that real learning requires letting go.
This past year I have read dozens of new books, taken a new personal development program, and expanded myself in many ways. What I got clear on yesterday was that I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s right in front of me.
Deeply knowing a thing requires curiosity, humility, and willingness to let go of how we thought it was to make space for new perspectives.
This takes us to the second theme, Give up What you Must.
When we drop what we know and get curious, we can collect new perspectives, learn new ideas, and discover new levels of mastery previously unexplored. But if we hang on to what we know for sure, we may be disappointed when we find out that it just ain’t so. What if you dropped your assumptions about some of the people in your life? What if you dropped some of your expectations about how the world should or shouldn’t be? What would open up for you if you gave up being so damn sure about it all?
Lastly, Baron spoke to the third theme, Come from You are Ready Now. The yogis talk about the present moment being all there is. The Dalai Lama said, “There are only two days when nothing can be done; one is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow so today is the right day to love, believe, do, and mostly live.” Most of us get that in concept but when it comes to taking action towards our dreams and goals, we justify, rationalize and we put off taking any action until we are ready.
Baron said, “Procrastination is the killer of confidence.”
When we hesitate, wait, and decide we need more education, experience, support, time, etc., we lose steam, and more importantly, we lose inspiration and our dreams (what we are a YES for) begin to fizzle and die.
He reminded us that small actions are better than no actions. To create anything we have to take physical action. Maybe it’s a conversation. Perhaps you repair a relationship by giving up resentment and making an apology. Perhaps you start creating a business plan or you offer a workshop or you teach your particular skill in a zoom class. It doesn’t matter what it is, it will take physical action in the world to make it happen. Start today with what you have. Current brain science shows that taking tiny incremental steps is the key to success in changing habits and developing new skills or mastery and yet we think we have to be good at something before we start. Think about that…
What if you get clear on a dream or goal you have for yourself, give up what you think you know, and take ONE small step towards that goal every day? What would be possible? What could you accomplish in your life? The answer is, Anything you choose.
All I know is that the more I study, the less I know and it’s the most exciting thing I’ve discovered.
A big thank you to Baron Baptiste for continually challenging the world to think about life in new and empowering ways.