Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'll start tomorrow, and other bullshit we believe.

A few days ago, I caught myself being lazy. I wonder how often I have this pattern happen in life and don’t notice it. I discovered it during Mysore practice, where the volume seems to be turned up on my awareness so much that my consciousness is shouting in my ear while everything else is very very silent. 

The room has only the sound of deep, slow breath, and the plop plop plop of bare feet jumping back and landing softly on the hardwood floor in the humid jungle. It sounds like there is an ocean in the distance, and as though you’ve walked through a field of large toads who are all hopping away. Otherwise, its very still in the shala. 

As I went to jump back, being my own little barefoot toad in the jungle, I noticed that I wasn’t crossing my feet the “other” direction. I tend to cross my feet with the right one on top of the left one every time and jump back. 

Switch feet, frog!

A month ago, I took a workshop with Prem and Rhada, my yoga teachers, and they asked us to please switch feet every time so that the body is balanced. 

In my infinite wisdom, I am not doing that. In fact, I’m avoiding doing that. A few days ago, this whisper that says “Is this the same foot as last time?” turned into a very loud voice. 

“SWITCH FEET.”  Oh. I hadn’t really realized I wasn’t. Only that’s not quite true. Somewhere, part of me knew that I wasn’t switching feet. Its hard to switch feet. I jump back much better with my right over my left. 

My awareness had been something like “Switch feet! Oh, I am already jumping back, this is a good one, I feel strong. I’ll make sure I switch feet tomorrow. That will be next on my list of disciplines I change in my practice.”

But its been a month. When does tomorrow start? It makes me wonder... in what other aspect of my life am I using this avoidant attitude? Do we all? 

Well, I’ve broken my diet, I might as well eat my way to the bottom of the bag. Well, I’ve picked up a cigarette even though I havent smoked in five days, I’ve blown it, I’m a smoker again, I’ll have to start again tomorrow. 

Bullshit. Bullshit to us all. 

Sit back down. Cross your feet the other way. Struggle through the “hard” side. This is the only way you will get strong. Not by doing it tomorrow, or in the seated series later, even in the next jump back. This moment. You have the power to make a different choice in this moment right now. 

Let go of needing to be right. Let go of protecting your ego and your anger. Let go of explaining endlessly why you’ve done it this way or that, and when you plan to do it better. Hug the person you just yelled at. Pick up the pen you keep putting down. Sit back down at the editing machine. Pick your face up and smile at the person across from you. 

We can all be better. 

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