Goals vs. Fluidity

My Mother-in-law asked me the other day a question that should have been easy enough to answer. She asked “Whether I was a goal oriented person or a spontaneous person that waits for things to pop up?” It was challenging to think about due to the fact that the answer is ‘Yes’ on both ends. Sure I have goals, but for me they are fluid and always changing. This is where spontaneity comes in handy, following the random path that “My” life veers to. Since having a child it’s been more spontaneity, for 15 months I was able to stay home, not living by a strict schedule or timeline. Not needing to have an end goal to my day, has taught me a lot. When you make the switch from being in the workforce since age 15 to “freedom" (using this term very loosely) of being only mommy for a time, it’s liberating and challenging at the same time. You can’t stick with a solid schedule. If your time table get screwed up, you have to get over it quickly. Your time is no longer just your own. Previous “Goals” change or become less important or pushed to the back burner. At least for me it’s this way.

Almost five months back into the workforce, I am finding myself struggling to create that balance that I once thought I had. My goals have changed so many times throughout my life, especially this past year, that I have come to accept that balance is relative. The Buddhist doctrine of Impermanence comes to mind, nothing is set in stone.

I have always hated the question “where do you see yourself in five years?” I don’t know if I have ever been comfortable with my answer to this question. Anytime this question is asked, I feel like the answer has to be catered to that particular situation or person, otherwise it is considered a wrong answer...but is it wrong? Isn’t it "YOUR/MY" future? Why do I need to envision myself anywhere different from where I am in the present? Living in the moment or for today. The yogi in me applauds this because we are striving to stay grounded in the present moment. If you focus too far in the future you can become obsessed with getting to the end point and miss the joy of the journey. Yet the goal oriented portion of me is always screaming to “get back on track!”. Is it possible to live somewhere in the middle? I guess that is what we are all trying to figure out.

At the end of every yoga practice that I teach, I have my students recall their intentions that they were asked to set in the beginning of their yoga session. After the session I ask them to notice if the intention is the same or has it changed? Within my own practice I frequently notice it needs to change, for I am not the same person who stepped onto my mat in the beginning of the practice. I am challenging my clients to realize that they are not always the same person that stepped onto their mat an hour prior. The same thing goes with our day to day lives.