Not Genius but Mastery of the Self to Achieve Success

Not Geniusbut Mastery of the Selfto Achieve Success


An ongoing reflection journal by Deidre Douglas Washington, M.Ed.

A journey of a budding yogi.

Drishti Beats trainee Deidre Douglas Washington, M.Ed., Les Mills US National & International Presenter, and CEO of Iron Philosophy Gym, LLC, journals and shares her own yoga teacher training experience and growth.


Last updated: May 26, 2020

March 2020 Reflection

Genius is over-rated. Genius implies that a person has an exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability, is exceptionally intelligent or creative, very clever or ingenious. So often in life, we seek to be exceptional, near genius sometimes, with all that we do.

We seek to be exceptional in order to attain success or be considered successful. Success is simply not just about innate ability to achieve a desired goal. Success is a combination of factors such as opportunity, timing, upbringing, meaningful and passionate hard work, working 10,000 hours to gain mastery, and your cultural legacy. All of these play a role in success in each domain of life. But do they really have an implication on living a yogic lifestyle? Are we doing a disservice to our natural flow of being in the moment with life?

With the current and ever-present Westernized way of thinking about genius and success, we will continue to run the “genius and success” race ill equipped with our current tools and ways of thinking and being. At some point, we need to pause just long enough to listen to the inner Divine voice within us to reconnect to our true innate genius and success that is NOT defined by the modernized and Western way of thinking and acting.

During this tumultuous time in the midst of COVID-19, we need to respect the guise of Mother Earth. We must find a way to use time wisely, aligning and attuning ourselves with a wholistic way of living. It behooves us to find ways to reconnect to our innate abilities to use time and resources wisely. We have microwaved one too many meals, cash advanced our way to being rich, monopolized our way into politics and cultivated a culture of “isms” that has stifled progress. Why? Perhaps it is due to the fact that we look to be genius and successful in the eyes of others as opposed to being connected to ourselves to help others become connected. We are disenfranchised with technology so much so that it is being used to solicit popularity instead of increasing the well-being of others. Surely the Universe recognizes this, right? Is there a missing link that we need to explore? Of course the answer is “yes” to both, which led me to explore the yogic lifestyle.

Let me explore my thoughts on this as a budding yogi. Random factors of chance, such as when and where you were born can influence the opportunities you have. With the onset of understanding the yogic lifestyle, I am yet in the infinite stages. Success is NOT the worldly outcome in this instance. My measure of success on this journey is knowing that I am capable of adapting to the process fully without restraint and trivial distractions. It is more than just doing the exercises each week. It is cultivating a culture of growth while inspiring and assisting others to be successful. Keeping these premises in mind, creating a yogic lifestyle requires a different way of thinking and acting. It requires being intentional with EVERY decision. That means using a different set of lenses to make this venture work.

It takes a lot of attention to detail. The first step is to pay close attention to internally working through false ideals and ideologies. You have to unpack some things to be free in order to grow. For me, it is as simple as practicing Ishvara Prahnidhana (surrender) daily. At the moment, I am in deep thought. It is a sort of obsession unparalleled to anything else. I’m obsessed with completely purging the old ways of thinking to embrace a lighter and freer mindset to positively impact others on this Earth. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting and breathing and letting go since beginning this process in March 15, 2020. In essence, meditation has taken precedence in my daily life at minimum twice daily. The reason? I’m at the point of understanding some of the concepts that we are exploring, most especially the Yamas and Niyamas, as these have become more prevalent in my daily thought processes. It’s as if all thoughts and actions are now being filtered via the yamas and niyamas before words or actions are take place.

~ Until next month…


April 2020 Reflection

Depicted below is how my mind operates with respect to living a yogic lifestyle. There are two key implications that I desire to achieve with this process.

  1. When opportunity presents itself, seize it.

  2. There is no short-cut to the process of evolving to a higher self. The internal work must be done consistently on a daily basis.

When the Universe introduced this opportunity to me, I paused asking myself, “Why does this feel right? What, Universe, do you need me to do right now? I’m at a crossroads in many areas of life, so why add another path?” Well the opportunity is here because there is a lesson to learn and now is the time to focus on my next calling to assist others. Distractions abound and decisions are plenty, but this journey has proven up to this point that now is the time to seize the opportunity for growth. Only those who are passionate and believe in this process will make it happen. What does this mean? It means that when we let go and the Universe guides us, we see things clearer and with intention and purpose. We are able to discern and use the innate wisdom that we have to make sound decisions with respect to Earth, the Universe and the humans whom live on this planet.

With respect to this process with Drishti Beats, I began unpacking and letting go of a lot of false pretenses and ideologies. These are:

  1. The need to “fit in.”
  2. The need to wear my hair in a way that looks like others.
  3. The need to wealthy.
  4. The need to be married, again, and to be “loved” by the societal stipulations of having a 
mate to survive.
  5. The need to be connected with a business partner or someone to help me be the best 
fitness and business leader that ‘I thought’ I needed. Life according to Deidre meant that I was to have someone working with me daily in the office. I’m realizing that it doesn’t need to be that way. I guess I like to be around people on a daily basis to grow. I realize that I don’t have to be around people (in proximity) to grow. I can grow with people via other modes.

I’ve also learned to forge meaningful relationships in a myriad of ways. I’ve learned how to cultivate these relationships by being more open and honest with what I want to achieve by establishing the relationships. It is all about communication. When communication is at the forefront, it makes it easy to establish relationships.
I believe I’ll run on to see what the end will be!

Until next month…


May 2020 Reflection

Aparigraha, that lovely Niyama, relates to the need to possess something in order to feel good about myself. I feel great about myself, actually, given the facts that I learned to let go of some things by default of being an entrepreneur for the past 2 years. I’ve learned to live as a minimalist, having less of every tangible thing that most people consider to be luxuries. My main work of the mind is that less is more and that’s okay. We don’t need things to be a good human. We need to be HUMAN.

Aparigraha means non-possessiveness or non-attachment. When we live life with a firm understanding that change occurs, we free ourselves to embrace the new. Our world begins when one door closes and another opens. What we experience in the wake of COVID-19 is merely a way for us to set up our minds to receive an unknown and undetermined outcome. As fitness leaders, we are always going to experience change. Clinging on to things, titles, accolades, etc. goes against what the Universe is asking us to do right now. I say all of this because we just need to remember our purpose in the industry and practice Aparigraha. When we do this, we will continue to see and receive blessings. Namaste.

Apraigraha has become a means of communicating with myself. I find that a lot of times, I simply must see what is happening, find the relevance, if any that it has on me, and let the rest go. I cannot own someone else’s burden, but I can respect their emotional processing and offer support. It is not my place to own something that isn’t mine nor compare my life to theirs to make them feel at ease. I can simply just be and offer wisdom if solicited. That is tricky in today’s society as everyone wants an answer when the truth of the matter is, we must derive at our own answers based on our contexts.

Satya, truthfulness, begins within us. When we speak the truth about ourselves, it is easy to speak the truth in the world. When we live in truth, it makes it so much easier to deal with worldly stressors. We are seen as being trustworthy and honest. We don’t have to remember false statements because we speak genuinely from the heart when we practice Satya. This lovely gem is so good to tap into because it makes communication, clarity, and coordination so much easier.

Speaking of communication, the dialogue we have with ourselves dictates the type of dialogue and vibrations we give off to the Universe. Regardless of any words that we speak to others, our heartfelt intentions manage to come through, even if we do our best to mask our feelings. We are humans made up of many feelings and emotions. We just need to learn how to channel them accordingly. This yogic lifestyle allows me to pause in reflection of the mind, to think a little more and be observant of the inside voices. If these voices in my mind are congruent with my heart, the Universe will grant what it desired at the right time. It’s all about timing and being able to discern.

This process is causing me to unplug more from the worldly outtakes of life and reflect more on the humanistic side of living to help other humans grow.

“Where there is love and light, we achieve peace of mind. Where there is peace of mind, we are free to explore. When we explore more avenues, we realize that life is abundantly plentiful and pleasant. Allow the love and light to illuminate the world because we all have a divine purpose in the Universe without pretense.”

~ Deidre Douglas

Until next month…


"A Shared Thought" by Elizabeth J.

Hello Jeremy and Lori,

I wanted to reach out and extend my gratitude for your commitment to the training program and to me specifically. I get so much from listening to the two of you on the weekly calls, mostly from your authentic support of all of us and how you show up each time. I just got the feedback from Jeremy on my BG notes and I was touched by the way in which he responded with so much wisdom and nurture in the most conversational way. I feel that way about all of the feedback I have been given on my videos and uploads and I thought it was worth sharing so that you can feel some of that love and support in return.

I feel so grateful to have had Drishti Beats recommended to me at the time it was, and it has been one of the times in my life where I have been blessed to feel like I am truly in the right place and doing the right thing… I could say I feel as though I am following my true north, my Svadharma? There are less than a handful of people I have known in my life that give off the vibe that I get from each of you, individually. You have been a gift to me and will have an effect on my life forever.

Was that too deep? Am I not supposed to say that to people I’ve never even seen in person? oh well! I am who I am so you get what you get!

Until next time…

~ Elizabeth