Yoga training: Contemplating challenge
One month, we studied what the yoga sutras have to say about challenge. Essentially, they're there to help you clarify your own desire.
"Many obstructions are purposely put in the way for us to pass through... We seem to need to be challenged and tested in order to understand our own capacities," writes Sri Swami Satchidananda.
The example that came to mind right away when we discussed this in class was of my career in news. I pursued it right out of college and lived it with burning enthusiasm for over a decade.
When KHNL had mass layoffs in 2009, I decided to try another career, and enjoyed pushing the boundaries wildly, contemplating cake decorator, lawyer, social worker, behavioral therapist. It's not that I disliked news anymore, but it's that I felt this might be a chance to try something different.
In the end, a fancy PR job meandered across my path, and I did that for several years, learning and enjoying what that had to offer, until family crisis called me away. (Mom, Alzheimer's.)
Soon after my mom's situation stabilized, the job at KHON2 came to fruition serendipitously. I hadn't thought about my next steps very hard, but returning to news became an attractive idea. I knew I had missed lots about it during the now-five years I was away.
I like the culture, the energy, the excitement, the type of people it attracts, the craft itself. I was grateful to return to a career I have always had passion for. Most people don't get to work their passion.
Considering this situation within the framework of the sutra, I see my love for my craft didn't diminish during the years spent away, and sharpened my realization that it's what I still like to do.
Which is nice to see in retrospect, because sometimes you go through challenges and wonder why such sucky things happen to you. So maybe there really are no coincidences in life?
Is there a time in your life when challenge helped you sharpen your focus? How did you handle it?