Step 2) Keep your hands on the wheel (niyamas) “It's not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity." -Francis Bacon, Sr.
So just as there are things we need watch out for on our journey. There are also things we need to notice. Things that will make the trip go smoothly. Patanjali called these observances (or Niyamas). And they are:
1) Please Bathe! cleanliness is next to Godliness. So yes, shower please. But what Patanjali might have been getting at is to clean and purify not just our bodies, but our minds and our words as well. Be conscious of the words you choose and there effect on people. But before you speak ask yourself "Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?" That quote was originally Socrates I think and revised by Sri Sathya Sai Baba
2) Become Okay with What you Got! stop noticing what you don't have for a second. Stop comparing your trip with your friends. Stop thinking you got ripped off at the buffet because they didn't have your favourite ambrosia. Stop thinking your hotel is better than so-and-so's hotel. If you stop the nonsense what are you left with? Whatever it is that's left is a gift. Be happy with it. Feel how lucky you are to be right where you are...even if it's with a shitload of bills and your kids won't talk to you. You are and you have exactly enough.
3) Be Disciplined! Some people like to exercise on their trips (i don't). Now on the "journey of life" it's important to be physically fit, for sure. But disciplined isn't just being physical. When we discipline our mind by avoiding gossip, self-judgment, and the like. We change our character and we change the course of our life. We move towards the things we say are important even if it requires us to struggle at times. The constant practice of returning our minds and bodies to balance and peace, allows us to maintain said peace during difficult times...when it really matters.
4) Who Am I? When we go on a trip we get to find out who we are and what we're made of. Who am I in relation to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Italian men and woman. Who am I when I feel really lousy or super happy. How can I have a better experience of myself in these circumstances? How can I experience another persons company so we both learn from the interaction...even if it tears our guts out. So to do we learn from ourselves on our journey through life. If I loose my job or worse, a loved one. Where does that leave me? What does it mean about who I am? How do I approach life. If I have a clearer understanding of myself because I've been brave enough to do the work and dive deep into the scary places, when the shit hits the fan, I won't crumble. I'll be sad, but I'll be standing with feet on floor, mind clear, and heart intact (even if its heartbreak I'm dealing with)
5) Let it Go, Already! We're wound so tight as it is. Then you plan a trip (your journey through life) and the micromanaging and mini-dictator in you arises (or is that just me?) It doesn't mean to throw your hands up, resign and pout. It means let go of how you think it all should be. Ask "how do I want to experience this journery? Who do I want to experience it with?" not "This is the itinerary and we have to stick with it or I'll frigging' loose it, people!" See a difference?