Inner Reflections
October 24, 2022

All or Nothing

For the longest time, I felt as though if I did something, I had to be “all in.” And if I didn’t go above and beyond, it wasn’t even worth starting. If I did 73 days of yoga in a row but didn’t make it to the 108 I set out to practice, I failed. If I signed up for a course, I wanted to be the best I could possibly be at the subject and, of course, get that A. If I was going to carve out time for meditation, it had to be the full 20-minutes, otherwise, why even bother to get on my cushion?

This “all or nothing” mentality is ridiculously exhausting. And quite frankly, it’s a distortion of reality. There’s no one “right” way to be a practitioner of life. And our worth should not be dependent upon reaching or not reaching some arbitrary standard of measurement, whether the goal was set ourselves or by someone else.

A yoga practice doesn’t have to be an hour to be a whole and complete practice. A meditation doesn’t have to be a formal sit to be helpful with strengthening our neural pathways of focused attention and aid in reducing stress. And life doesn’t have to be lived for the achievements, perfection and “getting there” some of us try so hard to accomplish. Life is fully lived in enjoying the moments in-between. It’s in appreciating how we show up for ourselves and others on the days we have the energy for it. And it’s in giving ourselves grace on the days we just don’t.

Every moment is an opportunity to live life with presence. And sometimes, that presence is fully lived when we allow for things to change. For our practice to look different from one day to the next. For our energy to fluctuate depending on our circumstances. And for letting each moment teach us what we need to learn rather than trying to control what we think we “should be doing.”

Setting out to achieve goals is an absolutely wonderful thing. But how we treat ourselves when taking the steps towards reaching that goal is even more important. And how we are with ourselves when we have a day or week or year that’s more challenging to pick ourselves back up and start again – that’s where our real practice lies. When we find ourselves on a detour, we have the beautiful opportunity to let it teach us rather than bring us down. It’s an amazing moment to invite in reflection:

What can I learn when I have a set back?

How can I be kind to myself when it doesn’t look the way I had hoped?

Can I let today be a new day and not let the challenges of yesterday stop me from moving forward?

Can I listen to my body rather than my ego when I make my decisions today?

Making tiny shifts in our lives leads to huge leaps in the lifestyle shifts we are hoping to make. And having days of setback doesn’t negate the efforts we have put in up to this point. We’re never starting over from the beginning, because we’ve already learned so much along the way.

So rather than trying to change everything at once or go balls to the wall to try and accomplish something in a certain way, what if we took one little step at a time and let it unfold as it’s meant to? What if we let the day off be a beautiful rest for our soul? What if we enjoyed the process of living more and celebrated ourselves for all of the incredible effort we have put in rather than spending our energy getting upset with ourselves for it “not being enough”? What if?…

So I encourage you to shift your life from “all or nothing” to “what’s best for me today?” Sit in meditation for the 4 minutes you have. Roll out your mat for a few sun salutations on the days when you’re too busy for more. Set your alarm earlier tomorrow…and let it be ok that you did the best you could with what you had today. Releasing the all or nothing mentality helps us find joy more often in our lives and allows us to be with each passing day with more awareness, compassion and presence.

Make sure to check out Brittany’s newest class “Activate” streaming exclusively on! It’s a quick 20-minute flow that gives you everything you need for a well-rounded and powerful practice when you’re short on time!

by Brittany