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Is Setting Goals Not Compatible with Mindfulness?

The Mindfulness Lectures were launched this past weekend and it was nice to finally “let it go”. Dr. T and I entered into the event with a huge sense of unknowing. It was liberating to not have expectations.

With 22 lectures under our belt, we began to see the possibilities of how the Mindfulness Lectures can expand this year. We have witnessed a beautiful, slow growth of an emerging community that has become stronger and more engaged with each lecture that we present. It was obvious to us, that the lectures were beginning to evolve and a unique voice was about to emerge. This new voice is the growing community.

For the first time we asked for others to speak and share. The collective voice that came out was honest, supportive, highly experienced and encouraging. The lines blurred between student, teacher and presenter. The studio became a melting pot of ideas and words of encouragement. At times one would hear the teacher emerge out of a student and then the flip, a teacher become once again the student. As there is truth that we all have something to learn and so much to teach.

A poignant moment came for me when a question was raised by a member of the audience around the idea of the absence of goals when practicing mindfulness. This sparked a conversation that raised more questions and provoked students and teacher alike, to ponder and reassess their thoughts on this topic.

I approached the question from a movement point of view. It made me wonder if I have “goals” when I practice my yoga? Many modern yoga styles seem to be quite goal oriented. I want to be more flexible. I want to be stronger. I want to perfect my headstand or be able to move through 108 sun salutations. The yoga that I practice and teach tends to shy away from goals of that nature — but is it completely without goals? Even though I believe I embody a mindful yoga practice, is it really free from goals?

Is moving smoothly and slowly so that I am able to FEEL not a goal? Is moving as a way to connect deeper into the body sensations not a goal? Is practicing being open to the moment to moment experience not a goal? The discussion on Saturday has raised these questions in my practice and my teaching.

Is goal setting really not compatible with a mindful practice?

Has this questioning alerted my mindful inquiry? YES! Has it made me look deeper and move deeper into my own mindfulness practice? YES!

Job well done to the group that gathered on Saturday! The mindfulness conversation will continue for me!

Thank you to the member in the audience who asked the question. Thank you to the several panel members who also pondered this question and admitted that they have not yet found the answer to this as well.

What are your thoughts? I would love to hear what you think!!!



Originally posted on Mindful She, Mindful He

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