I feel like I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit, which works well for Saturday’s reading. I’m having a hard time meditating and keeping my brain focused. Normally this would make me stressed out and want to run and hide and beat myself up for failing at this task I’ve set out to do. This time, though, I’m taking a different approach.
Friday’s reading said to give up control. This is something that has always been very hard for me to do. Even my profession requires me to be the leader, the manager, the one in control. I am a first born, type A personality, whose occupational aptitude tests leaned toward military drill sergeant and lawyer. I am good with math and science and love to read instructions before doing things. I am a hands on learner and always the first to volunteer to head a group project. I take on too much and love the thrill of completing a task. But now I need to let go and let what happens…happen. So, when I go to my mat and nothing happens, I have to accept that that is what was meant to happen that day. I feel like my mind is challenging me. Either that or giving me the finger and rebelling.
So, when I got to Saturday’s reading I was a little bewildered and nervous. Have I lost the ability to meditate? What will happen on this journey if I don’t meditate every day or at least every few days? Is meditation really as strict of a practice as I know it and have always taught it to be or is it/can it be something more?
In the Day 5 reading Gates talks further about this transition from dark to light, but focuses more on Patanjali’s intro to the Sutras. The idea is that if you’re in trouble, don’t beat yourself up, instead, build yourself up in order to move forward. ie: look to the light and not to the dark. Gates talks about his own issue with looking to get something out of everything he did and how he had to change his mindset to more of a JFK:
He notes that once he stopped asking what was in it for him that he found his way. I feel like I complain about this a lot, but I see that a lot of American’s have this self-serving attitude in life and it is a real turn off to me. I guess in some ways I must abide by some of it because my children depend on me. So, I can’t offer all of my services for free to benefit others and ask nothing for myself. I am trapped in asking “how can I be helpful?” with nothing in return. I turn, at that time to my goal of making the world a better place by bettering my children and their life. Not by showering them with gifts, but by providing a sensible life experience for them.
This whole conundrum makes me feel like Phoebe:
So, I look to the light and think, if you fall off of a horse you don’t avoid the horse with a defeatist attitude, you get back on the horse and ride and ride and ride until you get it right. Saturday I sat on the mat and tried. Sunday I devoted myself to my children and set the book aside. In doing so I told myself, it’s okay to take some time to live this yoga I am practicing. My travel schedule coming up will make it such that there will be days the book will sit still. My 365 will have to stretch a little longer than a year, but overall, I will not feel bad about that. I will just let my mind be what it is, let my practice be what it is, stay committed and explore while I accept. I will just let go of expectations and judgement about what my practice is.
What expectation can you let go of? Have you asked how you can help lately without expecting anything in return?