We all know what happens when we focus too much on the needs of others.  Staying too long at a family event or listening to a friend vent for multiple hours can leave us feeling completely zapped and not our best selves.

Interestingly enough, the same outcome happens when we focus too much on our own needs.  This narrow viewpoint often leads to low energy and depression when we don't land that extra client or book that important gig.

And while you might feel like nothing is wrong with being too "supportive" or "driven", it's the equal engagement of both skills that will prevent your strength from becoming a weakness.

For example, you might consider yourself an expert at being "supportive" and "adaptable" to the needs of others, but how "supportive" are you really if you only tend to the needs of family or coworkers, and never stand up for your own?  How is it a strength when you come home snappy or resentful for being too giving?

Additionally, you might take pride in self-identifying as a "go-getter", but how truly "driven" are you if you can't identify the needs of others and don't have solutions to any problems beyond your own?  Isn't it a weakness when your view of the world becomes more and more myopic as you become more and more burnt out?

This concept of being equally flexible to the needs of others, and strong in your own is one of the main tenants I'm excited to teach this October, as I launch my 200 and 300 hour yoga teacher training, Yoga Masterminds.  We will learn how to be exemplary in flexibility (expansion of energy away from the self) and equally outstanding in strength (contraction of energy towards the self) in our poses on the mat, and more importantly in how we navigate through life off the mat.  

And this is the reason why 100% of proceeds from the sale of my new ambient music album "Iceland" this year will go towards providing clean water and school supplies for teachers and students at Calavera Elementary in Cebu, the Philippines.  This ambient music album can't simply end with creating benefit for those in my immediate world: it must somehow give life to others, beyond my world.  Equal giving and receiving has become the foundation of my personal brand, and its message is infused into every product or experience I create. 

Now back to YOU - we all naturally fall on one end of the spectrum or the other: Is your natural disposition to focus more on the needs of others or more on your own?  Is there a practice you engage in such as yoga that teaches you the importance of mastering both altruism and self care?  Drop me a line below and let me know.

Stay committed to the path of self discovery AND to discovering the paths of others.  By doing so, your strengths won't become weaknesses: instead your strengths will multiply.   The world, both within and beyond, can only grow when compassionate and strong people like you see the work ahead and are determined to dive in. 

Andrew Abaria

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P.S. Join me at these East Coast album release party/flow classes where all "Iceland" album sales will go towards helping students, like the kids featured above, reach their full potential:

9/7 Lancaster, PA - Lululemon Lancaster (sponsored by Lululemon)
9/13 Owensboro, KY - The Yoga Loft
9/21 New York City, NY - Equinox Sports Club (sponsored by Equinox)