As a yoga instructor I am teaching(preaching) presence daily. The essence of the practice is awareness in each moment, the building upon a deep inner awareness and knowing, the journey into the fullness of life.
On some level all of us are trying to figure out what makes our life full. Each New Year that rolls around poses the questions, “was my year full?” and “what will make this year full?” I think as we set goals and create vision boards and reflect on memories what we’re remembering is hardship and joy that exposed fullness, and what we’re desiring to create is what we believe will fill us up. Yet as I dig deeper into the practice of yoga and my own spiritual journey, I’m realizing that fullness is not something to be gained at all. The fullness of life is a life lived in the present moment. And the fullness of life requires presence among the deepest of lows, only to then experience the soaring of highs. We can’t have one without the other. On a spectrum of 1-10 with 1 being pure pain or suffering and 10 being pure bliss, we need a 1 to know a 10. We need a 10 to know a 1. And if we sail through or tune out on autopilot mode, we’ll live a life of 5-7 never knowing either. It takes courage to be willing to be fully present- it invites in what we’re avoiding, but it also creates space for the fullness of life.
I sat down today to do my own Goal Setting Session. I wrote at least 3-5 Personal, Professional and Health Goals for 1 Year (Feb 2021), 5 Years (2025) and 10 Years (2030). All written as if it’s all happened. MANIFESTATION- breathe into existence what you want by speaking it as truth, or fact.
I’ve shared with many of you who know me or have read my writing up to this point that I did this project for the first time at the end of 2011 for the company I was working for at the time, Lululemon, and it changed my life. I dropped out of graduate school, moved back to Zanesville, OH from Princeton, NJ, started + finished massage therapy school, started teaching yoga, and got engaged in one year’s time from the completion of that little goal writing assignment. I look back now and realize I had no idea the impact it was making on my life for quite some time. And I’ve not done a ton of specific goal writing work since that point in my life until about 15 months ago as part of a Personal/Professional Development Immersion Program, called the Real Work, I started writing a vision for myself- encompassing how I feel, what I’ve done, anything personal and professional that is my essence over the next year- still including specific dates, numbers, amounts, etc. So, this project too is very precise, specific and written as if already true, but more in paragraph form and more short-term overall than the Goal Setting Assignment I mention above. So far, I’ve written 3 visions over the past 15 months (I plan to share them with everyone someday in the first book I publish. 😊), I’ve already altered and changed my path and met and re-wrote goals 3x within about a one year span. I believe getting clear, honest and fully present to write goals or write a vision is how we begin to tap into the fullness of life- it’s how we access who we really are…Who we are beyond what people want or need from us, who we are beyond our hurt, who we are beyond our achievements, who we are when everything gets quiet and all we know is the moment we’re in. What is probably most powerful is that we can get present enough in the NOW to write down what matters and is true now. The goals, specifics and dreaming big are not what makes life full- only now can do that.
I get NERVOUS about goal setting. Nervous/excited, but also just flat out scared. Because I can’t do the project for real unless I’m completely present. And when I’m completely present there is no hiding. Today was the first time in almost 10 years I’d written out my goals in list form, category-based, for the next 10 years of my life and I realized something profound in what poured out of my soul. My goals this time around reflect only what makes me feel alive. I yearn for people, experiences and projects that require my full attention because they make me feel awake. I remember writing my weight and body fat percentage goals under all three health categories 10 years ago(I was a freaking 22 year old athlete)- both can be wonderful health indicators and goals btw so no shaming here- but I really do not struggle with my weight and have a fairly healthy body fat percentage, so for me, losing five to ten pounds and shaving off 5% of my fat is not going to bring me the fullness of life. It’s possible those things happen organically through my activities and interests, but those are no longer my goals. Under my health categories today I wrote things like “I completed my first ultra” and “I summit 2+ 14,000ft+ mountains” and “I attend a Vipassana Retreat”. I feel like my goals and visions are in alignment with what the fullness of life feels like to me. And the cool thing is, that will change again in 10 years. And I know I’ll reflect again and hopefully recognize the fullness of life on an even deeper level of consciousness. I’m saying to create goals to feel awake…not accepted, enough, or worthy. Write goals that your completely present and conscious self right now feel are full.
I’m not even sure I have some profound point here, other than to simply share how powerful it is to write goals/visions. Literally, the past couple of weeks I’ve felt like I’ve been floating around with no idea who I am or where I’m going. I think I felt like that because I needed to get radically present, tuned in to my internal landscape. The goal setting required that of me. And now I feel whole. I feel more fully connected to gratitude and clarity. In this moment, fully connected with the fullness of life, like only the moment can offer.
*Date Idea*… if you’re in any kind of romantic relationship, or simply have a close friend you’d like to hype up and share with….Dakota + I have a Valentine’s Day date planned together at home on Friday night to share our goals with one another. Give it a try!! We’re all longing to be seen, heard and understood. Dream big + Live NOW. It’ll always be a delicate balance…perhaps the most intricate of dichotomies.
With love + fire,
Matz Fitness is the collaboration of two independent and fiery Leo partners who love fitness, wellness and living a balanced life. Dakota is an ACSM Personal Trainer, and Rachel a Licensed Massage Therapist, Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner and 500 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher. Combined they have created the perfect mind/body platform for living well, for a long time. They have poured their heart and soul into this project to provide a real and raw weekly plan for keeping the body fit and shaping the mind to be focused, open and resilient. Leos are known for their “fixed fire”, so you can count on endless amounts of fuel each week in tapping into your maximum potential. This platform is created to take you to the next level of living and being in this world- to break old habits, to form new ones, to get clear on your goals, to start the journey of self-discovery, to go beyond limits, to embrace obstacles, to be challenged, to be stretched, and to empower you to take control of your health-mind, body and spirit. Matz Fitness is a call to wake up daily and a roadmap for doing ordinary things consistently and well- the key to your long life of success and happiness.
I was Dakota's first ever client when we were teenagers. Spectacular trainer and phenomenal human being.
Dakota is not only amazing at his job, but he's an amazing person! He has been through so many stages of my family's life including weddings, babies, and a cancer diagnosis. Through all of it he was nothing but positive and encouraging. Even if you're not working with him at that moment he will go out of his way to pay you a compliment while you're working out and make you feel good about the work you're doing!
He's an amazing Trainer ! He always makes you feel comfortable enough to expose your biggest Flaws and guide you to your personal fitness goals. Also His wife is an Awesome Yoga Instructor!
Fluidity and strength. They provide the best of both. Affordable and worthwhile.
Wonderful people, calm, inviting beautiful atmosphere!
Two passionate people of integrity working to make a difference!
Excellent trainer! Develops workouts for each individual client, customized to help them meet their fitness goals. I spent nearly 2 years training with Dakota and only quit because I moved away.
Not only a great trainer, but a wonderful person and friend.
Fluidity and strength. They provide the best of both. Affordable and worthwhile.
The best married couple fitness duo EVER!!!
Matz fitness is two of the most knowledgeable and motivating people in the profession.
Dakota has helped me reach my goals time and time again. He is an outstanding trainer. His enthusiasm, positive attitude and knowledge are second to none.
He is an awesome training and a super awesome person!!
An amazing power yoga session. What a great experience and will definitely be back. Outstanding!!
Courtney Clark Haug