Earlier this year, I created a daily challenge for myself on Instagram: #2016YearofYoga.
I began posting a photo each day of how I would practice yoga that day. I made it clear in my first post that yoga was not just asanas (physical poses), despite what mainstream media tells us.
This challenge to me was more than just bending like a pretzel. The inner work was just as important.
By Day 70, I wrote how I would no longer post my daily yoga photos. I loved that this challenge gave me accountability (I was able to practice yoga daily and created a new habit for myself) but having to post "proof" that I was doing the challenge no longer felt right.
I showed up each day to practice yoga - the last thing I wanted to do was to take photos after feeling highly meditated.
Fast forward to the last month of the year. Have I been practicing yoga every day since then? No. But I practice a lot more than I did before this challenge – it no longer takes a lot out of me to get off my butt to meditate or show up on my yoga mat.
This challenge started out as developing a yoga practice, but it evolved into something more than that.
It taught me the value of showing up, every single day, in everything we do.
There's a big difference when we choose to show up and do work that matters versus checking out and running our day on autopilot (which isn't so hard to do nowadays).
When we show up, we feel that connection with others as well as ourselves. We don't feel as lost, anxious, depressed, or confused.
And when we don't show up? We ask ourselves how time flew by so fast and how little time we had to do what we really wanted.
The secret isn't to find more time to show up for the things we want or love – it's to make the time for what's important.
We might not be able to accomplish this every single day... but I'm willing to bet we'd be a lot better off by simply trying.