One of the things I try to do when I'm teaching yoga is to be relatable. Meaning I'm real, straightforward and transparent. I try not to hide behind a mask of pretending I'm perfect. I'm just a human having a very human experience. With that said, lately I've been struggling with accepting the way some aspects of my personal life are going. Can anyone relate? I have deeply ingrained beliefs about how I think my life should be going. How I think I should be at this point in my life. And then there is the actual reality of what it happening. No amount of struggle, worrying, or raging against it will actually change what is.
There are people in my life who I wish acted differently. I say to myself, if they would just do "fill in the blank" then I'd be happy. Day in and day out, there are little situations I see playing out differently in my mind. Then when what unfolds in front of me is a-skewed from my expectations I suffer. Now don't take the word suffering to mean something extreme. Suffering can be annoyance, or frustration. Suffering is the word that Buddhist use anytime our expectations and reality don't match up. Suffering can also show up in actually enjoying an experience and wanting it to stay the same. So you put in a lot of effort to try to keep it, grasping at it, only to realize that it too will change. Like all things. So then when it ends, again you suffer. What a dilemma.
I woke up with the strong desire one morning to stop this endless cycle. I actually knew what would stop all my resistance to whatever the moment was presenting, but I could not commit to it fully in the past. It seems simple, but it is oh so hard. Acceptance. Accepting that in fact, what is playing out in front of you is not happening to you! Or against you! It is neutral. All you have to do is embrace it. Notice I didn't say like it, or dislike it. I said fully allow the moment to be exactly what it is. Without trying to change it, control it or manipulate it in some way. To simply step back and say, this is life in this moment.
I think about having preferences and opinions about people and situations kind of like holding a bunch of honey in the palms for your hands. When you go to pick something up, you get the honey all over it. A friend says, hey what do you think about this? Based off of past logic you say, you don't like it. And you get honey all over it. As you continue through your day, you are flinging thoughts, works, and actions around. Everything thing you look at or touch gets effected by your sticky, gooey mess. Acceptance is saying, I'm not going to get honey all over this moment. I'm going to go with the flow and let it be as it is.
Honey is sticky and when things get too sticky, they get stuck. Here is where yoga comes in. I feel like yoga, movement, breath, and meditation are all ways to begin to clean up the mess our minds make and learn it step back. Remember as kids when your mom was always telling you, " Don't Touch". She wanted you to step back and observe. Try doing this both on and off the mat. Acceptance of what is, so we get the sweetness of the honey, the moment without the mess.
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Jai Siddhat Ma!