There are things I could be doing to advance my dreams and goals now, although this may be one of them. However, since I think I’ve found a cure for overeating, loneliness, and finding love and mission in life, I think it’s fair to set aside a little time. Perhaps that’s a grandiose claim but I think I need to believe in myself a little more.
On the yoga mat today, I didn’t judge myself for not being able to do a handstand. [I did kind of judge myself for having super tight hips, but that’s another story]. I just tried, and was satisfied with my efforts, as they were. Lots of people around me were doing all kinds of fancy stuff, and I was able to not feel like sh** just kind of trying a few things than chilling back into child’s pose. I’m just not there yet.
Yoga is one of the few things in my life right now I can honestly say I enjoy doing, even though it doesn’t really produce a tangible result. My suits are still tight, I’m still going to beginner classes, and I’m not really doing any new poses or anything too excitingly different from what I’ve done in the past. Despite that, I just keep coming back, without anyone telling me to do it. Sure, it provides a respite from other stresses in my life, but so do chocolate, tv, and vegging out at home. Somehow I manage to make this life affirming choice several times a week though. Why?
I think it has a lot to do with how we talk to ourselves, that is, how I talk to myself, when I’m on the yoga mat. It probably has a lot to do with being present and accepting where I am. It doesn’t feel like a paradox that I’m liking myself now, accepting where I am, and trying to do better and learn and grow at the same time. Listening to the teachers’ intonations about peace, compassion, presence, and kindness, I don’t have any mental space left to think about all the things I should be doing, should have done, could have done better, and why I feel like I’ll never get it right. Instead, I actually just do it. Maybe I do it with some modifications, maybe I do it a little less energetically because I’m tired from the day before, but somehow, there I am, doing it and BEING OK WITH WHATEVER I GET. The joy really is in the doing, as silly as it sounds that a little stretching and twisting would be fun.
When I got out of yoga, I started to eat a bunch of junk food, feel sad, wonder what I’m doing with my life, etc. But I did realize that maybe what I was looking for was just the positive feeling I had in yoga. The belief that I really was enough, and my efforts and their results were perfectly acceptable, even good. I remembered being proud of myself for trying, and so caught up in learning I wasn’t trying to judge. And I realized that no job, no family member, no romantic partner, and really nothing outside of me can give me that affirmation. I need my own love first. I’ve spent so much time trying to bring my environment in harmony with myself and trying to figure out what I really wanted to be doing that I totally missed the significance of how I talk to myself and how compassionate I am in that process.
Because I woke up this morning, tried to write a cover letter for a situation that would actually be really beneficial to my hopes and dreams, but I’ve been kind of blocked from doing it all day. And my morning didn’t start as well as it could have because I was looking for a note from my honey that quite simply didn’t come. And I just realized how much life I have to live and work I have to do and how futile it all seems sometimes. No wonder I need a little chocolate to get through everyday! No wonder I procrastinate so much since whatever I do, I’m never really happy with the results and always think I just be doing more and better!
But I’m going to stop now, because that’s an exhausting way to live. And that kind of focus on results is actually paralyzing to me; it stops me from experiencing the whole process. Sometimes it shuts me down from learning experiences. I know I should just do it, but when I’m tearing myself down and thinking there’s no hope for me, that’s really hard actually. So maybe I just need to take a breath and just accept where I am, or I’ll never get started. Maybe my best for today isn’t the optimized, perfectly scheduled, perfection that I thought it should be; maybe it’s just what actually happened, because even if I can’t get my toe to my ear, I still showed up.
And right now, I am showing up to practice, every day, a little more towards my dreams, and opening my mind to figure out what my heart is really trying to say, and not listen to other people too much. And maybe just listen to, and love myself.
…that’s all I ever wanted anyway.