For a book full of written exercises in self-study, try Barbara Sher’s Wishcraft: How To Get What You Really Want – A unique, step-by-step plan to pinpoint your goals and make your dreams come true. Despite the cover art, rainbows or pink depending on the edition, and the flashy title, Barbara Sher actually has very down-to-earth ideas about generating change without completely changing your personality. The book is “based on the needs and potentialities of human beings as we are, not as we ought to be,” providing a framework for deducing how you want to use your gifts and how to work with others to create what you’d like. A very empowering book, with a great writer.
Lessons for Yogis:
1) “Fear is the natural companion of creative action. There is only one way to live free of fear – and that is to live without hope, change, or growth.” Balance poses in yoga are often ways of working through fear – being able to do crow, peacock, or even tree means we’re challenging ourselves and teaching our brains that we can take action even when we are experiencing fear. It’s a good sign!
2) We really do the most when we have others to help us. Think about the way a yoga teacher – or being in a yoga class – can help motivate you. Each yoga teacher you have might say something that sheds light on a pose or philosophy in a new way for you – and the other practitioners come from all sorts of backgrounds and have all sorts of wisdom. “The best ideas, the ones that really work magic, are the ones that draw on the knowledge, skills, and contacts of other people.” Sher calls it “barnraising” when you seek other experts in your community and your contacts to help you figure out how to realize your dream.
3) When thinking about a particular dream, it’s helpful to think about what the emotional core of your goal is. “You can make your target any concrete, specific action or event that will satisfy you that you’ve arrived – but you must choose one, or you’ll never get on the road at all.” This type of self-study helps us realize what we are truly aiming for when we imagine the livelihood or life that we want – what just sounds cool, and what we actually feel built to do.
This book is a good one for transition times. It’s fun to read and potentially very helpful. One of my really good friends recommended this book to me, and I”d be happy to lend mine to you. I first got it out of the library, and I bet yours has a copy. Otherwise it’s easy to find second-hand paperbacks, like I did.