We live in a time of fast, immediate, and constant connection. There is an infinite number of ways to engage with the energetically crackling environment we exist within. It can be tempting to succumb to them all, and to haplessly ride the waves until we are completely drained. We can even tell ourselves stories about the necessity of this wild dance: that there is no other way, that the only way we can maintain worth and connection is by pushing to the absolute limit.
Remember as you move through your day that quantity does not necessarily equate to quality. Is there one connection you can fully engage with that you can prioritize over the countless other possibilities to show up half-way? In his book Thinking Fast and Slow author Daniel Kahneman discusses our level 1 and 2 brains: one is the autopilot, the unexamined thought process that we fall back on when left to our own devices. Two is the sharpened brain, the one that exists when we can pull away from the chaos a bit and truly assess: what is important here? The practice of Yoga teaches us to zoom out and watch the dizzying patterns and beautiful stresses of our human brains, and to know those anxieties as impermanent fixtures. It also shows us that there is another way. We can actively choose to prioritize meaning and sustainability in all facets of our lives: work, play, and even relationships.
This process of prioritization involves the setting of boundaries. It requires clear recognition of what serves and what ultimately does not. In order for us to live in service of ourselves and others we must recognize where to lovingly draw the line, where to say gently and firmly that’s enough. By engaging in this boundary-making practice we are learning to build sustainable compassion for ourselves and the world around us.