Friday I cleaned the shower, did all the laundry, and changed the sheets on our bed. Normally when I do something like this I will then take the time to show my husband all that I accomplished during the day. I will seek out the recognition for a job well done and the reward of praise for hard work that comes from another. This week, I didn’t. I instead, sat back and just let it be. I felt fulfilled in the knowledge of what I had done and how accomplished I felt…..on my own.
I had a change of heart about one of my resolutions….to an extent. Instead of seeking out fame and recognition, I plan to take a more yogic approach.
In yoga we talk about the path of Karma yoga. It’s a practice in doing for the good of others without seeking anything in return. I think I need more Karma yoga in my life. I’ve written about this idea once before and you can read my post here. But, somehow I got sidetracked on this issue once again.
Last Wednesday my Yoga II class was learning about Asmita (pride) as one of the ways we get sidetracked on the path to enlightenment. Pride is over identifying with your ego and disconnecting from your soul. Pride lies in difference and not equality. Pride blinds us to the quality of others and is the insanity of individualism. I can get caught up in the comparisons of life: I am stronger than you, I am smarter than you…..I am right and you are wrong…..
Pride can also grow out of another of the 5 yoga afflictions, Avidya or ignorance. It can make one define the self by external qualities only and attach you, your self, and your worth to the body. I, too, have been guilty of this.
In moving forward, I’m not seeking fame in the traditional sense, but rather pride in myself. I want to know what I’m doing a good job and I want to keep trying to do good for others. In the little ways and the large. It doesn’t mean that I won’t occasionally brag about accomplishments (and technically we all should brag a little bit, but that’s a topic for another meditation all together), but it won’t be at the forefront of my mind.
Two ways that I plan to stop letting pride get in the way:
- Focus on how good I feel and not how good others make me feel.
- Detach from how my body looks.
Do you ever find yourself to be too prideful?
Do you ask for compliments?
Are you too attached to the external self?
What differences do you use to make yourself feel better about who you are?