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Stop and Listen to Your Gut

by Will DonnellyMarch 25, 2014
Grow

Did you know it’s the year of the Yang Wood Horse, according to the Chinese Calendar? I didn’t. I didn’t think I cared. But when I realized that this is a promethean year of opportunity, after two years of deep and soulful introspection and really difficult, deep inner work, I realized I am on a congruent path to that calendar, one which is now destined to open up into positive action for anyone who chooses to engage. Oh, thank god!

I am reminded that in order to prepare for all this good opportunity, we must let go and really listen. Many of us are either directly or indirectly taught to play it safe - to carve out a life not necessarily of what we truly desire, but rather one that is within certain boundaries. A life that can provide food and shelter, according to more traditional values. My parents would tell me that I should do what I love, but what that really meant was that I should love being a lawyer, doctor, or banker.

A yoga teacher, not so much. 

Many of us learn to stuff our feelings for a long term success plan and material gain. We give up so much for a carrot of security “down the road.” We are often taught to muffle our basic urges for the sake of our families, our company, or simply to be reasonable. So we hold off on our dreams and deepest desires, trying to do the right thing, afraid of our primal impulses.

Not all of this staving off of immediate pleasure is bad, of course, but we cannot have a happy ending to a life that is not happy along the way. Life is a daring adventure, or nothing at all. And to be daring, is to be a bit selfish. And what about selfishness? It was probably selfish for Jesus to pay extra money and use the good oil for his feet, though others thought it wasteful. But he did it, and loved it.

Essentially, life is like a big sand castle. We build, but in time it is always washed away. Why not build the life of your dreams, while you are at it? What if everyone on planet Earth could not resist following their gut instincts, their higher intuition, for one full year? Would the world be any different? Definitely. But how so?

In white tantric yoga, we are reminded that our spirit is pure and good, there are no broken parts. If our life is out of whack, it is because we have diverged from our true nature and blocked our Source, which causes our suffering. Our natural state is that of joy, radiant health, and creative self expression. Our practice is about returning to our center, our true self, through gentle observation and careful experimentation in life.

It’s amazing to wonder where these gut feelings, these impulses, come from. Some soft and subtle power well beyond our comprehension pulses through us. It's kind of like the internet - the universe sends us a message such as “Leave this unfulfilling job and go live, for God’s sake! Write a book. Fall in love, Dance.”

The impulse is automatically downloaded. Then, we either drown it out with distractions such as food, sex, TV, shopping, work, or personal dramas and the like, or we muster up the courage to simply go for it. If we became really adept at listening all the time, where on Earth might we all end up?

We all desire to be loved and to love. We all desire radiant health. We all desire to be fully expressed in life. These commonalities are the threads of our humanity that bind us together in a weave of exquisite beauty, one that often cannot be understood unless we stand back to gaze upon the bigger picture. If each of us truly followed our higher instincts, my gut tells me we would all be so much better off. My gut tells me we would be one step closer to heaven on Earth.

Imagine…living in a place where you absolutely knew everyone around you was tapped into their inner truth. What if each human being was able to ride this wave of truth? Can you imagine? Can you?

After a decade of amazing successes and profound losses, I have decided that I will no longer fight my gut. Now, in the year of the Yang Wood Horse, I’m “all in,” grabbing that gorgeous mane and running wild across an open field filled with potential.

Join me, won’t you? And hang on, it’s gonna be a kick ass ride.


Will Donnelly

Will Donnelly is a nationally recognized, certified yoga teacher and writer, and is the author of “Practical Yoga’s Wisdom for Everyday People: Essays & Inspiration for Life" (2017), a compilation of his most popular online essays now available at amazon.com. Will has been a pioneer in the field of yoga, developing Practical Yoga, and co-creating a yoga–reality series for fitTV (Discovery Communications, 2004). As a writer and teacher, Will encourages all students to trust their impulses and find their true voice. Will currently lives in Hawaii, where he leads weekly yoga and writing classes at Kalani retreat center. He also leads several popular Practical Yoga adventure and healing retreats throughout the year. Information on retreats, his book, DVDs and other inspiration to be found at WillsPracticalYoga.com

GET A COPY of Will's New Book, now at Amazon.com: 
Practical Yoga's Wisdom for Everyday People: Essays & Inspiration for Life 
 
JOIN ME for one of my popular Healing Retreats! At Kalani on Big Island of Hawai'i!: 
Holiday Yoga Retreat (7th Year!) December 21 - 27, 2017


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