I hope you are having a great start to your year! It is easy for me to get caught up in worrying about the future, so this year, I decided to come up with an underlying one word theme for myself. I chose sraddha (pronounced shrod-ha). Sraddha is a Sanskrit word meaning something similar to faith, confidence or trust.
The context in which I discovered this word is in one of the Yoga Sutras (which is the manual for the Philosophy of Yoga). In Sutra 1.20, sraddha is a quality that comes from a deeply unique and personal understanding of our past as well as steady confidence regarding our future. From that place, we are able to bring energy into the present moment so that we can consciously create our lives knowing that right now is all we really have and if an obstacle arises, we will most likely overcome it, just as we always have. Ha! Easier said than done.
We are the only one who truly knows what we have been through in our lives to arrive where we are. Yes, someone may know the details of our life or they might have been there for us through a particularly challenging time. But we are the only one who knows the whole deal… all of the emotions, fears, challenges, set backs, triumphs, disappointments, confusion, clarity, joys, etc. that we have been through to arrive here.
By remembering those truths from our past and bringing that special knowledge that is unique just to us into the present moment, it can help us cultivate sraddha for right now as well as the future. Because as hard as it may have been, we have made it this far. We have overcome many obstacles to arrive at this place and inevitably, we learned from those experiences. We may not always like what we are going through, however, it is very likely that we will make it through whatever shows up because here we are in the present despite all the challenges we have faced.
Rather than fearing the unknown, what if we put our mind towards what we want to have happen? Then simply take the steps to move towards what we want knowing that even if it doesn’t turn out exactly as we see it, we will most likely overcome all the obstacles along the way and at least we’ll be closer to what we want. We might as well dream big because odds are, we will arrive at a future and we will be OK.
A yoga practice is a great way to cultivate this quality in our lives. We develop strength and with that comes confidence. We are more able to focus and with that comes a keen ability to understand what it is we are focusing on and with that understanding comes faith. In yoga, we learn to stand our ground in a firm yet relaxed way which allows us to open up and bend in all directions while trusting that we will not fall. And if we do, odds are, we will just get right back up and try again because that is what we have always done.
So, if things are particularly challenging for you right now, try taking a deep breath and remember, this too shall pass. Just as it always has and just as it always will. Use that knowledge to create the future of your dreams by taking action right here, right now and then trust. This is sraddha.
This quote always reminds me of sraddha. “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” -MLK Jr.
With infinite love & gratitude…