A person wearing a green blouse anda long black ponytail faces away from the viewer down two intersecting dirt roads

EDITOR’S NOTE

Crossroads

By Lashaun Dale

We often hear about crossroads at critical points in life—that moment in time when we face a crucial decision that will have far-reaching consequences for ourselves, our lives and our future. We can remember those moments and often play the stories over and over in our lives long after making decisions and following the new path to our current lives. Sometimes we take the familiar path and regret it, and sometimes it works out just fine. Sometimes we take the unknown road and it is spectacular and exciting, and sometimes we fall hard on the journey and still it works out just fine.

Which road you take matters—not just for the terrain and the new destination that awaits, but because in choosing, you change and become the author of your life. What is important is that you make the choice and you make it consciously.

Our editorial theme this month is dedicated to the Road Less Traveled, from Robert Frost’s poem in his book “The Road Not Taken.” The poem is one of America’s and the world’s most loved and quoted poems. Most assume that the road less traveled is a call to celebrate individualism and that the phrase “the road less traveled” means a choice that is unconventional, a choice that leads one in a different direction from most people. This may be so, as, metaphorically speaking, someone who takes “the road less traveled” is acting independently, freeing himself or herself from conforming with others who choose to take “the road more often traveled.”

The person taking the road less traveled even may leave a new trail that will become the road more often traveled. Says Frost, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

However, with a closer reading, you might discover that Frost explains that both roads are actually equal, that it is not so much about the road you take as it is about the act of choice itself. There is bravery in consciously choosing the path that you will take, making a decision and then taking the steps required to move forward. We face clear crossroads in our lives, some scary, some invigorating, but even more so every day, in every minute, we decide with our actions we will be this person or that, we will do this or we will do that. Will we make the optimal choice or the convenient choice? Will we show up as our best selves or play it small with a fear-based mind?

The choice you make dictates the experience that you will have. Our cover story is a real-life example, featuring Bo Eason, former NFL player, esteemed playwright and Broadway performer, sought-after motivational speaker and all-star dad. He has spent his life in the quest of what it takes to be the best. What choices and behavior speak to your greatness? He walks us through the four steps to play our A game every day. Life gets simple, when you know which way you will go every time you meet a crossroads.

And of course, as you travel on the road, you will experience struggle and fear. What to do? Dr. Kevin Gilliland says that struggle is to be expected, and once you own that, you can work on transforming yourself to be able to meet the challenge and struggle through it well. That doesn’t mean you won’t face fear. Monica Berg, Kabbalah teacher and self-proclaimed change junkie, says that fear is normal in some situations, but that fear is not an option to hold you back—meaning feel the fear and do it anyway. The important step is to take action that moves you forward.

We also know that it is much easier to get present when you are taking care of yourself in body, mind and soul. Elana Kilkenny reminds us that our body is our greatest resource of intuition. Eating the food that nourishes you, moving your body so you feel free and unrestricted with your energy, knowing that you have the agency and capacity to meet and modify any situation and opportunity that comes your way, with full confidence that you can feel vulnerable and still handle feeling that way with grace and power.

We hope that you enjoy the workouts, recipes and tips in this issue to help you deepen and commit to your daily routines and schedules in a way that helps you on your long road ahead. Here are a few ways to make the best decision available to you right now. May you love the journey!

How to Make a Better Decision

Get quiet

It’s a cultivated skill that takes practice—to find peace and clarity in the middle of a chaotic moment and busy environment. It is possible, but until that becomes an automatic play, take the responsibility and step into a quiet, calm space and sit. Sit and breathe and be still for as long as you need.

Feel the future

Your imagination is a powerful tool. Once you are quiet and feel like you are able to consider the decision before you, think about the choices before you. See them both in your mind’s eye and feel the paths with every sense of your body. Imagine each playing out and see yourself in the future, having taken that path. How does each choice feel: lighter, quicker? Or does one give you a sense of dread or heaviness? Even if your mind is not clear, the body-mind and your intuition know your deepest desires.

If it’s not a yes, it’s a no

This is a powerful shift of understanding. Our minds are so powerful and can take almost any situation and rationalize how it can be good for us and why the pros outweigh the cons. Yet every choice may not be ideal for us, and on some level when we listen deeply, we know it, we can feel it and yet we talk ourselves into it. Stop that and simply accept that if it is not a loud, exciting (sometimes scary) yes, then it is a no. Say no.

Move it forward instantly

When we make a decision, we tend to then second-guess and feel nostalgic about the path that we didn’t take and the life we could have, would have or should have had. This is so unproductive. Instead, once you make a decision, do something to make it real and set its energy into motion. This might be a matter of writing a list of next steps, or if you know the next move intuitively, do it now.

With full gratitude and inspiration,
Lashaun

Video credit: FatCamera, Getty Images
Photo credit: SyhinStas, Getty Images

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Author

Lashaun Dale

Lashaun Dale loves yoga and fitness and finds magic in movement, music and mobs of people. She holds degrees in International Relations, Philosophy and Applied Anthropology, as well as an MPH from the School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York. With two decades of group fitness programming experience, Dale currently serves as vice president of content & programming for 24 Hour Fitness and editor-in-chief of 24Life magazine. A regular contributor to SELF and Women’s Health and Fitness, as well as popular blogs and podcasts, she’ll teach yoga anytime she is given an opportunity to get her om on.

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